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Navigate the Architectural Avant-garde With a New Moscow Map

Baklazanas, a Lithuanian design studio, has compiled a map of extraordinary constructivist architecture with an eye for preservation.

Despite their visionary status and invaluable contribution to the development of modern architecture and graphic design, constructivist buildings keep vanishing from the streets of Moscow. Every passing year, the remaining unique architecture faces neglect, demolition threats, arguably random fires and other disasters. 

The map features 180 landmarks of constructivist architecture, including communal housing, workers' clubs, factories, schools and other objects, both famous and less-known. Using the style of propaganda posters of the era, excerpts from post-revolutionary poetry, and fabric designs this map seeks to expose the problem of demolition and, at the same time, gives an opportunity to discover them for the first time while there's still a chance.

Among the lesser-known landmarks is the student dormitory of the Communist University of the National Minorities of the West (13 on the map) is one the largest constructivist structures in the city’s centre. Built in 1929-1931 by the later repressed architect Grigoriy Dankman, the building stands high above the old Moscow houses. After the University of National Minorities was liquidated in 1936 the building, which was supposed to accommodate more than 1000 students, passed on to serve as dormitory for the Moscow State Linguistic University. Over the last decades, the main building of the structure suffered from unexplained fires, decay and total neglect. However, recently the appearance of surrounding area began to improve and, hopefully, the building itself will receive some work if it's not too late.  

  • Student dormitory of the Communist University of the National Minorities of the West, archive illustration.
Student dormitory of the Communist University of the National Minorities of the West, archive illustration.