Monday, March 28, 2005

Glorious technicolor, breathtaking cinemascope

I don't even remember where I found the link now, but this is a fascinating gallery of those epic (and more than a bit improbable) plans Stalinist Soviet planners had for remaking Moscow. They're uniformly bleak, colossal, and inhuman, in a way that puts all Soviet architecture that actually did get off the drawing board to shame; nonetheless, there's still something stunning about the sheer scale of these designs, Metropolis imagined as a statement of communist stolidity. It's also a reminder that grand, Haussmannesque plans, while they may look dramatic, tend (when being applied to a pre-existing city) to require more money, time, and attention than any state should waste on disrupting commerce or natural urban growth. (Are you listening, NCC planners?)


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