Ivan Leonidov (1902 – 1959 was a constructivist architect, but also a painter, urban planner and a dreamer. He realised only one project in his lifetime: a staircase on a hillside in Kislovodsk.
“It is sad that the vast majority of sketchbook plans and competition entries reproduced in this album were never built. Ivan Leonidov was surely one of the most innovative and humanistic architects to come out of early Russian modernism. His Constructivist-inspired projects embody the same revolutionary spirit as Vladimir Tatlin’s celebrated 1919 tower. In his later buildings, medieval Russian motifs mingle with pyramids, amphitheaters, pagodas, to reflect his love of Eastern and classical cultures. Many of his visions were quixotichis United Nations headquarters, for example, or the Island of Flowers park in the Dnepr River but all are inspirational. Vilified in the 1930s, Leonidov has lately undergone a “rehabilitation” in the Soviet Union.”
In the first half of his life, Leonidov’s work quickly became widely known. Even Le Corbusier and Niemeyer had fell under the charm of the strong so-called leonidovskogo “definitive breakthrough”. Then the Soviet coined the term “leonidovschina” and the great architect of the Iron Curtain was isolated from the world of architecture. After the war, Leonidov developed with his sketches some grandiose projects of the utopian City of Sun. The conception of this ideal city began to emerge in Leodinov’s thinking during the thirties. It took shape during the war years, and was inspired by Campanella’s book of that title and the Italian socialista-utopian’s concepts.
Russian Utopias, Ivan Leonidov, via: dpr-barcelona
Leonidov, by Andrei Gozak and Andrei Leonidov, 216 Pages, Published by Rizzoli, 1988, ISBN: 084780951X
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