Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


Old comments migrated to Disqus, currently working outtechnical issues

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Adventures In Bad Architecture - Communist Edition

In response to a recent remark about Commie-like architecture, a reader informs me that worse architecture can be found in Norway, citing the Norwegian Labor Party headquarters as an example. In color it resembles a shabby housing project. In black and white the aura changes radically; one half expects to see Winston Smith walk through its doors.

So what does real Commie architecture look like? That's a mighty tall order, but here are some examples:

  • Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest, Romania. The third largest building in the world. A combination of blandness and excessive ornamentation. The lower half of the building has a slight tinge of a drab yellow that clashes with the white marble in the upper half. Another image of the palace is here..
  • Palast der Republik, Berlin, Germany. The seat of the East German parliament. Erich Honecker definitely did not share Nicolae Ceaucescu's philosophy on municipal architecture.
  • Falowiec residential complex, Gdansk, Poland. This English-language site describes the building; built in the early 1970s, it is over a kilometer long, the longest in Europe. Individually each unit is not unattractive, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts. That "wave" structure is disconcerting. Such a long traffic must have created a lot of traffic nightmares.
  • A series of apartment buildings in Bucharest. Featured in Wikipedia's article on Communist-era Romania's Systematization program. Not a continuous building like the Falowiec monstrosity, but follows the same pattern of Borg-like standardization for civilian housing
  • Yu-kyung Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea. The linked site notes that coincidentally the hotel has the same shape and same number of rooms as the Ministry of Truth in 1984. One might also perceive that it resembles a warhead.
  • This site features images of a few buildings in Moscow, including yet another example of Commie-Borg residential housing.

Site Meter