Nomadic design studio Dizaino Studija Baklazanas has created a bold map of Moscow’s Constructivist architecture. The poster comes as part of a social responsibility campaign against the demolition of the Russian architectural avant-garde heritage of Moscow.
The ‘New Moscow’ map celebrates the city’s architectural avant-garde heritage including workers’ clubs, schools, factory kitchens, garages, communal housing, factories, bathhouses and even the first soviet crematorium and columbarium. It features 180 stunning examples of Constructivist architecture in Moscow. Both world-famous buildings (from Melnikov House and the Narkomfin Building to Shukhov Tower and Lenin’s Mausoleum), less known residential buildings, and constructivist quarters and settlements within the limits of Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) are represented on this graphic poster in a homage to the bold Soviet style of the mid 20th century.
Since the late 1930s, the Constructivist movement produced many pioneering projects and became a style unique to the Soviet period. These projects have had a great impact on contemporary architecture. Despite this, however, Constructivist buildings are left largly neglected and are currently threatened by demolition. People don’t seem to appreciate the unique architectural heritage of Constructivist Moscow today, perhaps due to their qunitessential Soviet-era looks or their dilapidated states. As a result, Russia’s unique architectural heritage is often being disregarded (and destroyed) by the authorities in the energised developments which are sweeping through Moscow today.
Reacting against the mainstream, Studio Dizaino Studija Baklazanas wanted to attract attention to the problem of demolition the Constructivist architecture in Moscow as well as to show the pure exceptional beauty of these artefacts.
“The main reason why we created this map and also the main challenge was to focus on the problem of demolition of the Constructivist buildings in Moscow”, explain the design studio. “Many Constructivist architectural masterpieces are either in ruins or under threat of demolition nowadays so the land could be sold to developers.”
This is a central theme which is slowly emerging as a key agenda for Russian conservationists designers (see 52FACTORY‘s work per example). Love them or loath them, these buildings are nonetheless testament to a particular time in history which held its own unique style.
The ‘New Moscow’ map showcases 180 leading examples of Constructivist architecture in Moscow. Besides the architecture, the studio also included into the map some remarkable elements of Russian industrial art from the 1920s and 1930s to set the tone and mood of the time.
The four roundels (on each corner of the poster) refer to Soviet textile and porcelain design of 1920-1930 and their propaganda capacities celebrating industrialization, electrification, collective farming and aeronautics. At the time, the designs were announcing an era of a new type of human, trained by the overall mechanisation of everyday life.
Some of the patterns used throughout the poster celebrate the work of Russian designers Lyubov Popova and Varvara Stepanova who helped pave the way for all modern day graphic designers as they created art with a purpose in hopes of bettering the society in which they lived in.
Finally, the map features fonts created by famous Russian type designer Yuri Gordon, texts of one the most outstanding proletarian poets of early post-revolutionary Russia Alexei Gastev from the book of poems A Pack of Orders (1921) and two fabric designs: The New Village by R. Vasileva and Factory by S. Burylin from the collection of Ivanovo Regional Art Museum.
This beautiful poster is a celebration of an era gone by, but also of contemporary graphic design. It comes in a choice of three background colours: white, grey, yellow and (obviously) red.
About the Designers
Baklazanas is a nomadic design studio from Vilnius, Lithuania, focusing on visual branding and communication design for cultural, educational and governmental institutions. “For us, design is a continuous communication”, they explain; “our art direction aims to engage our clients in the process that not only communicates what they want but clarifies what they are”. One of their latest project ‘Save My Speech Forever’ has won European Design Award (Silver) and their ‘Save Shukhov Tower!’ poster campaign has won a Red Dot Design Award.