The Druzhba sanatorium in Yalta, Ukraine.
Communism and architecture are more widely known for social equality and state ownership, however Frederic Chaubin has recently wrote a book called CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed. It opens the eyes to the world that communism is/was not just about creating a singular class and common ownership of the state, but had more lateral 'utopian' visions. Normally commutecture is associated with square blocks and excessive useof dark concrete promoting a strong, physical, and industrial aesthetic. However this book reveals the exploration of the possibilities of the now frowned upon material.
Concrete is very much the Marmite of design, it is un-ethical to use it but has been around for generations and for some people these brutalist structures hold a special place in their hearts.
These structures to me represent a bygone era of political uprising and technological advancements. Technology was increasing at such a rate that scientists predicted we would be driving flying cars by the year 2000 and would have a population of humans living on the moon.
This era represents so much more than political ideals, it represents a time when anything was possible. It's like that stage when you look back at your past and wish you were a child again, when you had no concept of life, no concept of money, and you played endlessly until your eyes slowly closed and you drifted into a magical kingdom. At this period of time anything was achievable and this ultimately drove people to progression. The space race was an example of this, it was fundamentally a competition to who was the most powerful country in the world.
The Ukrainian Institute of Scientific and Technological Research and Development
Communist architecture outlined in this publication shows that communist designers were able to make political structures that were modern and innovative. However, the forms are indeed in some cases organic and modern, but they still show signs of industry being the key driver of the overall finish. Rusting, hard and cold metals and filthy concrete symbolise the lack of expense involved in the finishing stages, no luxury items here.
Communist architecture will never be as eye pleasing as he likes of Zaha Hadid's glossy neutral ambiguous designs, however they represent an age of ambition. An age where being nieve was king, smoking could not kill you and whoever had the most nuclear bombs was leading the world.... bigger was better.
I feel somewhat we have lost this ambition and drive because we have no definition of who and what we stand for. Communists however right or wrong their beliefs were/are, they are fighting for a set of beliefs and this only strengthens and communicates the message that this group wants to get across.
These morals should be used as a template of defining who we are as designers and who we are as human beings. We abide by a set of ethical laws that are recognised by the state so it is our moral duty as designers to create our own design beliefs, our own commandments and sculpt our own futures.