Revitalizing the Heritage of Socialist Modernism: BACU’s Online Initiative to Protect Central and Eastern European Architecture


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Monument To The Conquerors Of Space Moscow, 1964

Preserving the monumental yet decaying structures of central and eastern Europe erected between 1955-91 is the mission of the online initiative, Socialist Modernism, created by the Bureau for Art and Urban Research (BACU). With an aim to revitalize this heritage, BACU believes in the significance of these elements which managed to defy some of the ideological requirements of their time, giving the urban space a distinct flavor characteristic of the socialist period.

More: Socialist Modernism, Instagram, Facebook h/t: boredpanda

”Electrification”, Stainless Steel Sculpture, Vidraru Dam 1971. Arges County, Romania

According to Dumitru Rusu of BACU, boulevards, public buildings, living units, and monuments are all a clear reflection of the social and cultural context of the socialist era. Therefore, BACU’s first phase involves documenting the Eastern Bloc’s architecture by mapping these socialist modernist buildings and monuments online in a community-driven tool. The team hopes to build a comprehensive database to create awareness and promote a desire to preserve these structures. The second phase of the project aims to develop regulations for their protection.

The National “Khabar” Television Studios And Administrative Offices. Almaty, Kazakhstan, Built In 1983

The significance of this project is evident in how preserving the past can enrich the present. These monumental structures provide a glimpse into a crucial period in history, and their preservation can help us understand the cultural and social contexts of the time. Moreover, the buildings and monuments carry a symbolic value that can evoke emotions and memories for those who lived during the socialist period.

Stone Flower, Croatia

As a community-driven project, Socialist Modernism also promotes engagement among people to help protect their cultural heritage. The initiative emphasizes the significance of community efforts in preserving architectural masterpieces that hold an essential place in the social and cultural fabric of the region. By encouraging public participation, BACU hopes to create awareness about the importance of preserving these structures.

The Monument To 1300 Years Of Bulgaria

In conclusion, Socialist Modernism is a commendable project that aims to preserve and revitalize the monumental yet decaying structures of central and eastern Europe erected between 1955-91. The initiative is a testament to the importance of cultural heritage and its preservation, which not only enriches our present but also provides insight into our past.

Bus Stop No 37, Network Of Bus Stations, Tajikistan. Built In The Late 70s

Housing Building On Bobur Street. Tashkent, Uzbekistan Built In 1974

Slovak Radio Building, Bratislava, Slovakia, Built Between 1967-1983

Former Ministry Of Transportation, (Now: Bank Of Georgia) Tbilisi, Georgia, Built In 1974

Monument To The Revolution Of The People Of Moslavina – World War II Memorial. Podgarić, Croatia Unveiled In 1967

The Former Wedding Cathedral, (It Was Used As A Private House, Now Event Place) Tbilisi, Georgia, Built In 1985

The Aul Residential Complex, Tole Bi 286/1, Almaty, Kazakhstan Built In Stages Between 1986-2002 Architects: B. Voronin, L. Andreyeva, Yu. Ratushnyi, V. Lepeshov, V. Ve, M.rakhimbayev

The Monument To Yu.gagarin Moscow. Russia

The Hall For Lectures And Cinema Of The Institute Of Scientific And Technical Information, (Aka “Kyiv Flying Saucer”) Kyiv, Ukraine. Built In 1971

Bas Relief Sculptural Frieze On The Facade Of The Institute Of Communications. Yerevan, Armenia. (70s)

Cafesjian Art Museum – Cascade, Yerevan, Armenia. Design 1975-1980 Built 1985-2000

Canteen For The House Of Recreation For The Writers’ Union Of Armenia Sevan Lake, Armenia, Built In 1967

Institute Of Robotics And Technical Cybernetics, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Built Between 1973-1986

Monument On Freedom Hill By Janez Lenassi In Ilirska Bistrica, Republic Of Slovenia, 1965

Sports And Concert Complex, Aka Hamalir Yerevan, Armenia Built Between 1976-84

Military Medical Academy Complex, Banjica, Belgrade, Serbia, Designed In 1973, Built In 1981

Experimental Residential Building In Bratislava, Slovakia, Built Between 1968-74 Architect Štefan Svetko With J. Hauskrecht

The Monument To Yuri Gagarin Is Located On Gagarin Square In Moscow, Russia – It Was Unveiled On July 4, 1980

Nova Scena Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic. Built Between 1977-1983, Architect Karel Prager

Bridge Of The Slovak National Uprising, Bratislava, Slovakia, Built Between 1967-1972

Block Of Flats, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Built In The 80s Architect Victor Breusenko

Hotel Salyut. Kyiv, Ukraine. Built Between 1976-1982

Concrete Toboggan Slide – Playground Floreasca. Floreasca Development. Bucharest, Romania. Built In 1959-1960

House Of Fashion, Belarus, Minsk, Built In 60’s-70’s

Ilinden / Makedonium – A Monument Dedicated To The Fighters And Revolutionaries Who Participated In The Ilinden Uprising Of 1903

The Former Memorial House Of The Bulgarian Communist Party, (Buzludzha Monument), Shipka Pass, Bulgaria, Built In 1981

Palace Of Weddings, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Built In 1987

Few Of The Many Imposing Statues Located In The Center Of The Monument To 1300 Years Of Bulgaria

Monument To The Uprising Of The People Of Kordun And Banija / Spomenik Ustanku Naroda Banije I Korduna Petrovac, Petrova Gora, Croatia Unveiled In 1981

One Of The Two Halls Of Parting, Memory Park (Kyiv/Kiev) Ukraine. Built 1968–1981

Hotel “Cosmos” Moscow, Russia, Built In 1979

Pearl Cafe, (Now Mirvari Cafe) Baku, Azerbaijan Built In 1961

Memorial Monument “The Defenders Of Stara Zagora” 1977. Chadir Moghila, Stara Zagora County, Bulgaria

Lviv Bus Terminal Stryiska 109, Lviv, Ukraine Built In 1980

Apartment Building On Karowa Street, Warsaw, Poland Built In 1978

Ferant Garden Residential Quarter Ljubljana, Slovenia, Built In 1975

Haludovo Resort, Malinska, Croatia, Built In 1972

Biotürme, Part Of Former Lauchhammer Coking Plant, (Decontamination Towers/Gdr-Heavy Industry.) Lauchhammer, 1957

Pantheon To The Heroes In The Serbo-Bulgarian War, Gurgulyat, Bulgaria, Built In 1985

Bus Stop No.12, Network Of Bus Stations, Near Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Built In The Late 70s

Eastern Gate Of Belgrade, Rudo Buildings, (Istočne Kapije) Belgrade, Serbia, Built In 1976, Architect: Vera Ćirković Engineer: Milutin Jerotijević

The Former Memorial House Of The Bulgarian Communist Party, (Buzludzha Monument), Shipka Pass, Bulgaria, Built In 1981

Cafe In A Railway Station – Pkp Warszawa Powiśle, (Former Ticket Booth) And Main Entrance From The Puma Building; Warsaw, Poland, Designed And Built Between 1954-1963, Architects Arseniusz Romanowicz, Piotr Szymaniak

Museum Of The Slovak National Uprising, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Built In 1969

University Of Wroclaw, Building Of The Faculty Of Mathematics And Computer Science – Facade From The Odra River, With A Mosaic By Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska. 1971. Wroclaw, Poland

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