Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed

Taschen

Frédéric Chaubin


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Type Hardback
Language English

(Spanish/ Italian/ Portuguese version available)

Year 2011
Approximate size 345 x 266 x 28 mm
Approximate weight 2720 g
Pages 288 pages
ISBN 9783836525190

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Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed is an unusual book, fully-packed with photographs from distant locations around Eastern Europe. The book intends to publish unusual buildings from the communist regimes that could, for several reasons, benefit from a freer approach to design, keeping their solutions far away from the standard and prototypical communist authoritarian buildings. They are a testimony of creativity and formal experiments in a restricted Eastern Europe. In fact, a major part of the buildings here showcased are examples of extreme experiences in architectural form and on the integration of arts and architecture, much of it around ceramics, design objects and sculpture. It is a beautiful book, unusual for the typical architecture or photography book, a major work without any doubt. The pleasure we can get from this book is rooted in the feeling of being transported constantly, as we move to the following page, traversing an imaginary trip of several decades and hundreds of kilometers.


 

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Highlights

  • Huge photographs let the reader plunge inside the buildings
  • Careful selection of unusual and beautiful buildings
  • Large format with good binding and semi-glossy high-quality printing

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Contents

A short introduction explains the context where the buildings were created and where they still stand today. The book is organized by themes, from institutions and cultural buildings to private residences and small architectonic pearls. The examples are listed by order of appearance in each new chapter and include location and name. A small caption is added for each image, giving small hints on what is seen on the photographs; those captions, however, are not very detailed and one should not assume to find a lot of data surrounding each building. On the other hand, all the pages are carefully set so that a continuous wonder can be retained, page after page.

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The book as object

 

Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed has a thick hard cover, making it suitable to support the book both in a table and on an armchair. Although it is a bit heavy and has large dimensions, making it more difficult to hold, it is still able to support itself without much work, allowing an enjoyable time. The double-format pages increase the impact of some images and truly let the reader dive inside the places. The photographs are in itself of high quality, both in color and atmosphere, and on framing and subject selection. A minimalist graphic design allows the images to stand out and provides a graphic context from the beginning, going for a reddish palette with an adequate font that reminds you of soviet graphic design. It is a great book, unusual for the type of editions we are accustomed, and can be a source of delight with bizarre and striking constructions.

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