Frederic Chaubin. Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed
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Frederic Chaubin. Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed

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Photographer Frederic Chaubin reveals 90 buildings sited in 14 former Soviet Republics which express what he considers to be the fourth age of Soviet architecture. His poetic pictures reveal an unexpected rebirth of imagination, an unknown burgeoning that took place from 1970 until 1990. Contrary to the 1920s and 1950s, no "school" or main trend emerges here. These buildings represent a chaotic impulse brought about by a decaying system. Their diversity announced the end of the Soviet Union.

Taking advantage of the collapsing monolithic structure, the holes in the widening net, architects went far beyond modernism, going back to the roots or freely innovating. Some of the daring ones completed projects that the Constructivists would have dreamt of (Druzhba Sanatorium, Yalta), others expressed their imagination in an expressionist way (Palace of Weddings, Tbilisi). A summer camp, inspired by sketches of a prototype lunar base, lays claim to Suprematist influence (Prometheus youth camp, Bogatyr). Then comes the "speaking architecture" widespread in the last years of the USSR: a crematorium adorned with concrete flames (Crematorium, Kiev), a technological institute with a flying saucer crashed on the roof (Institute of Scientific Research, Kiev), a political center watching you like Big Brother (House of Soviets, Kaliningrad). This puzzle of styles testifies to all the ideological dreams of the period, from the obsession with the cosmos to the rebirth of identity. It also outlines the geography of the USSR, showing how local influences made their exotic twists before the country was brought to its end.Frederic Chaubin's Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed was elected best book on architecture of the year 2010 by the International Artbook and Film Festival in Perpignan, France (Festival International du Livre d'Art & du Film Perpignan).
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 260 x 340 x 27.94mm | 2,664g
  • Cologne, Germany
  • English, French, German
  • Multilingual edition
  • Multilingual
  • zahlreiche Abbildungen
  • 3836525194
  • 9783836525190
  • 45,042

Review Text

"Ostblock-Gebäude, wie aus den erotischen Träumen eines Science-Fiction-Autors entsprungen..." Short List, London
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Review quote

"A revolutionary read." * Architectural Digest, New York * "...an eye-opening experience for those who assumed that Soviet architecture died with the rise of Stalin." * The New York Times, New York * "This book is an extraordinary achievement, and Chaubin's haunting photographs only improve with looking." * World of Interiors, London * "The wonderfully titled CCCP is the perfect coffee table book for unrepentant Marxists." * Huffington Post, London * "Soviet brutalism is not something traditionally thought of as beautiful, but Frederic Chaubin's stunning photographs should go some way to changing this. This book is a bold foray into an architectural period that is barely documented, either in the former Soviet Union or the west." * The Observer, London * "... one of the most splendid of recent architecural publications and a revelation." * Apollo Magazine, London *
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About Frédéric Chaubin

Frederic Chaubin has been, for twenty years, editor-in-chief of the French lifestyle magazine Citizen K. Since 2000 he has regularly featured works combining text and photography. His CCCP collection research was carried out from 2003 to 2010 and published in 2011. During the last five years, he has been dedicating himself to the Stone Age project.
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Rating details

404 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 59% (237)
4 34% (137)
3 7% (27)
2 1% (3)
1 0% (0)
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