Constructivist architecture in Ekaterinburg

Born in the early 20th-century constructivism movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Rejecting of the idea of autonomous art and aiming “to construct” art. Constructivism in architecture, born out of the same art movement, employed design to further socialist ideology and applied geometry to create bold, pure and practical buildings and structures. Known as the constructivist capital of Russia, due its industrial past, Yekaterinburg has some of the finest examples of constructivist architecture.

General Post Office

The House of Communications was designed in 1933, using block geometric shapes to resemble a tractor — a symbol of collectivisation and a tribute to the agricultural workforce. The building still operates as a post office in the present day.

Dinamo Sports Centre

One of Yekaterinburg’s most iconic constructivist buildings, designed by leading Ural constructivist architect Sokolov (one of the architects who also worked on the General Post Office Building). The sporting complex resembles a ship — topped with a flag, with balconies imitating lifeboats and V-shaped windows modeled after bows.

Chekist Town

This residential complex of 14 buildings, shaped like a hammer and sickle, was originally designed for the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet Union’s secret police force. Located in the heart of Yekaterinburg, the complex still contains some buildings that are residential and one of them even houses the Iset Hotel, where you can spend the night if you want to experience not only Constructivist architecture, but also get an idea of the interiors.

Madrid Hotel

Built in 1933–1937 this building never actually got to serve as a hotel, although it was intended to be one originally. While the building was being erected in Ekaterinburg, Spain was going through a military conflict where the Soviet Union was supporting the local revolutioners. That is when the building was repurposed to become accomodation for refugees from Spain and got it’s unofficial name that stuck around until today. Turned into a hospital during the World War II and further abandoned by the end of 2000s the building has come to a very poor condition. However in 2017 the city announced an auction to rent the building for 49 years for just 1 ruble, to an investor who would agree to fully restore it within the first 7 years.

Residential building in Ulitsa Kuybisheva

It is located not in the most obvious and touristy side, however the fact that this is a residential building makes it all the more interesting. This building is part of a complex built for military and is the only constructivist building in the cluster, standing out with its ideal proportions, modesty of architectural elements and straight lines.

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