Most of us treat Soviet architecture of the 1960-80s rather sceptically. Such opinion is reasoned, of course. Nevertheless the project institutions of the USSR also created very bold structures which looked like aliens from some sci-fi movies. Here is a list of the craziest, most stereotype breaking buildings born in the times of Khruschev and Brezhnev.
25. Circle houses in Moscow.
The first one was built in 1973, its twin “brother” – six years later. The inner diameter of the house is 155 meters. There are 26 sections and 912 flats in the house, its total dwelling living area is 27 334 m2.
24. Historic and ethnographic museum on Sulaiman-Too mountain in Osh, Kirghizia.
The museum complex was built in 1978. Its structure represents a huge glassed concrete arch which in fact closes the entry to the cave. Initially they planned to use it for a restaurant but it never happened.
23. “Sport” hotel, Tallinn, Estonia.
It was built in 1980 for participants and guests of the Olympic Games (sailing competitions were held in Tallinn).
According to the project it had to resemble a huge ship with a restaurant in its deck-house.
22. Railway station Dubulty, Latvia.
Located in Yurmala under Riga the building of the station appeared in 1977 to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Its structure resembles a wave (Yurmala is a city of resorts).
21. Pavilion on the territory of the Exhibition of Economic Achievements in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
One of the pavilions represented the construction made from hyperboloid column-structures with the unified inner exhibition space. Unfortunately this building has not been preserved to the present days.
20. Movie-theater “Russia”, Yerevan, Armenia.
The unusual building was put into service in 1975. It had two movie halls in the arcs.
19. Khmel’nitsky regional literary-memorial museum named after the writer Nikolay Ostrovskiy, Shepetovka, Ukraine.
The giant ring reveted with scarlet smalt lies on the five massive pillars. The ring symbolizes the wreath dedicated to the memory of the writer, the pillars symbolize the hands of those who adored his talent.
18. Summer theater in the park of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The building resembling a shell was built in 1978 right in the pond, it became the main attraction of the park zone.
17. Sports and concert complex “Amalir”, Yerevan, Armenia.
The huge multi-functional building was opened in 1983 on the hill Tsitsernakaberd towering over the north-west zone of Yerevan. The competition hall accomodated 5000 people, it was located over the lobby with which it was connected by the system of staicases and escalators. The second hall was intended for 1300 spectators. The rotating tribune allowed to transform the capacity of each hall and enabled to increase it for another thousand of people.
Does this futuristic building resemble a flower or an insect?
16. Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
The construction of thiscomplex had been lasting for 20 years and was completed in 1994. Its main building has 23 storeys. For that time it was the unique project that did not have analogues in Moscow.
The decorative elements made from glass and metal in the upper part of the building became its symbol. Locals call it “golden brains” and make up different legends about it.
15. Restaurant “Pearl”, Baku, Azerbaijan.
The open pavilion built in the 60s saves locals from the heat.
The project was rather successful so ten years after a twin cafe was built in Frunze, the capital of Soviet Kirghizia. They both were inspired by the structures of a Spanish architect Felix Candela.
14. Museum named after Ilya Chavchavadze, Qvareli, Georgia.
The museum of the Georgian poet was designed by one of the most vanguard Soviet architects – Victor Georvenadze and put into operation in 1979.The white spirals standing next to the church of the XI century look like aliens.
13. “Olympia” hotel, Tallinn, Estonia.
Opened in 1980 it was a 28-storey tower with 405 rooms that seemed to be assembled from the cubes of different sizes.
Today after the reconstruction it looks less original and harsh.
12. Central research institute of robotics and technical cybernetics, Saint-Petersburg.
It’s one of the most famous buildings of the Soviet “space” architecture. The toothed tower of the experimental centre stands on the four-storey laboratory platform.
11. Embassy of the USSR in Cuba, Havana.
The only one enlisted building located outside the territory of the former USSR. It’s an impressive symbol of Soviet (and today – Russian) presence in fraternal Cuba which is so close from the potential enemy.
The complex with a giant belfry inside was constructed in 1985.
10. “Salyut” hotel, Kiev, Ukraine.
The building constructed in 1984 represents a concrete support tube that carries six dwelling storeys alltogether having the elliptical shape. In the upper part, under the roof, is a restaurant. Another restaurant is on the second floor of the stylobate part of the building. In the basement is a parking area.
Specialists believe it was inspired by the metabolism architecture that was popular in the 60-70s in Japan.
9. Regional drama theater named after F. M. Dostoevskiy. Novgorod, Russia.
The building was constructed in 1987. The abstract composition has some elements of the ancient Russian architecture in their modern interpretation.
8. “Tarelka” (“Plate”) hotel in Dombai, Russia.
It “landed” on the slope of Mussa-Achitara mountain at the height of 2250 meters. The structure is located close to the popular local ski resort.
There are only three rooms and one lobby in the building. The construction is made from polyester reinforced with fiber glass. The hotel may be disassembled into sixteen segments or be fully transported by helicopter.
7. Regional drama theater in Grodno.
The theater was built in 1977-84 to become the real symbol of the city together with its other historic sights. The hall of the theater accomodates 800 spectators, the building itself resembles a castle tower standing on the high shore of the Neman.
6. Recreation and retreat centre “Druzhba”(“Friendship”), Yalta, Ukraine.
It was joinly built by Soviet and Czechoslovak architects and accomodated 400 citizens of the two countries on the Crimean shore.
The views from the windows are wonderful.
Thanks to the unusual architecture the building of “Druzhba” was even featured in the movie Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), where it served as a former Soviet military base in Kamchatka.
5. Crematorium in Kiev, Ukraine.
Another work of Abram Miletsky who designed “Salyut” hotel. The fanciful combination of arches doesn’t hint at the sad function of the building.
It still looks rather innovative even compared to the works of many famous modern architects.
4. The House of the Soviets, Kaliningrad, Russia.
Two rectangular towers made from relief panels and united by covered passages were started to be built in1970 at the place of the former castle of Konigsberg. They had been the most famous protracted construction in the west of Russia for a long time.
The 21-storey building is often called “a buried robot”, because it really resembles a robot’s head.
3. Engineering building of the Highway Ministry of the Georgian SSR, Tbilisi, Georgia.
The amazing complex stands on the steep slope over the Kura river. Three vertical towers are connected by horizontal two-storey blocks. The building was completed in 1975.
The architect wanted to occupy as little ground space as possible to leave it for vegetation. Today the former Ministry belongs to the Gerogian Bank.
2. Exhibition complex “Belexpo”, Minsk, Belarus.
The glorious building was constructed in 1989 and became one of the most prominent examples of the Belorussian Soviet architecture.
It resembles an open flower and looks very beautiful. The area of the inner space is 4500m2 and there are no columns inside at all!
1. The Palace of ceremonial rites, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Masterpiece of the Soviet modernism erected in 1985 is a real late Soviet temple but deprived of elements of a religious cult.
The building was bought by a local businessman who was finally buried there in 2008.