Is there a Putinist architectural legacy?

May 16, 2022
Vladimir Kalashnikov on the absence of a consolidated architectural style in Putin’s Russia and the neo-modernist and neo-Stalinist eclecticism of new buildings.
Studying the architectural projects implemented or even just discussed over the last two decades in Putin’s Russia, Vladimir Kalashnikov concludes that a unified “Putinist” style hasn’t emerged. “The second-rateness, the all too obvious imitation, the absence of our own professional understanding of modernist concepts made this architecture provincial, at least compared to Western models,” he explains.

Neo-modernism became the dominant style, yet without reaching a final form. A form of neo-Stalinist architecture also developed, especially in Moscow for commercial projects and upper-middle-class housing, such as Triumph Palace and Scarlet Sails. Meanwhile, the private companies building these new complexes failed to do their homework, having added “a wide range of elements from Gothic, Baroque, Rococo, Art Deco and even Moorish style.”
Putin, Patriarch Kirill and Shoigu looking at a mockup of the cathedral ©
Another main area of state architecture has become the “temple,” the embodiment of which is the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces. Kalashnikov calls the style “radical eclecticism,” a combination of incongruous elements. “Whether the cathedral drives the emergence of a new architectural tradition or whether we’re facing just one isolated precedent without a logical continuation – it’s hard to say,” says Kalashnikov. He comes to the unambiguous conclusion that in Putin’s Russia “you can’t speak of a program with a clear architectural style – there simply isn’t one.”

Digest written by the Russia.Post editorial team. See the original here.
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