socialist modernism

Genex Tower – Belgrade, Serbia

Zapadna Kapija Beograda, the Western City Gate of Novi Beograd, was designed by renowned Serbian architect Mihajlo Mitrović in Brutalist style.

The béton brut building was erected in 1980 in Bloc 33 of the new planned municipality as a modern gate to the city for people arriving from Belgrade airport.

The two towers of the raw concrete skyscraper are connected on the highest floors by a two storey-corridor leading to a revolving restaurant on the top – which has never been rotating and is not in use anymore.

The higher side is a 30 floors-residential building; the lower used to host the headquarters of Genex (hence the nickname), a state-owned enterprise dealing with trades between Yugoslavia and the USSR.
While the first one is still in use, the latter stays empty and abandoned.

Kula Geneks – Between the towers Polaroid B&W 600 Film / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF
The residential building and the rotating restaurant Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort
The office building Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort
The residential building and the rotating restaurant Polaroid B&W 600 Film / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF
Between the towers Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort
Residential building – Side view Polaroid B&W 600 / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF
Office building – Side view Fujifilm instax mini black / Leica Sofort

TV Tower – Berlin, Germany

Happy 50th Birthday, Telespargel!

Berlin worldwide-famous television tower was inaugurated on 3rd October, 1969.

Architectural landmark and political symbol of GDR power, the monument overlooks Alexanderplatz and was purpose-built to be visible from almost the whole city.

Berliner Fernsehturm Impossible B&W Film for 600 Round Frame Edition - Expired Film / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF

Müggelturm – East Berlin, Germany

Clean-cut and chic, the Müggelturm is one of the first examples of Modernist architecture in East Berlin after years of ruling Stalinist Classicism.

Almost 30 meters high, the tower overlooks the Müggelsee and the surrounding woods from a hillock.

Opened to the public on the 31st of December of 1961 – just a few months after the construction of the infamous Wall – the building was designed by the collective of students of Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee led by architects Jörg Streitparth, Siegfried Wagner and Klaus Weißhaupt.

The façades display panoramic windows at every landing, together with stylish clear concrete geometrical shapes.

A twin tower is planned to be built soon next to the original one.

Müggelturm Fujifilm instax mini monochrome / Leica Sofort
Concrete façade Polaroid Color 600 Metallic Red Frame Edition / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF
The staircase Fujifilm instax mini monochrome / Leica Sofort
Müggelturm Polaroid Color 600 Metallic Red Frame Edition / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF
Müggelturm Fujifilm instax mini monochrome / Leica Sofort

Hotel Cosmos – Chișinău, Moldova

Slightly crumbly and vaguely ill-kept, the charming Cosmos has surely seen better days.

The state-owned hotel, planned by architects B. Banykin and Irina Kolbayeva, was constructed between 1974 and 1983 during the massive urban redevelopment of the capital following war and earthquake devastation.

In its golden years it was one of the largest and most modern accomodations in Moldavian SSR. Under the blazing starbursts and the neon capital letters on the top floor, swinging angled-shaped balconies form a dynamic concrete pattern overlooking Negruzzi square and Kotovsky equestrian statue.

Although not working anymore on its full capacity, the Cosmos hotel and its former glamour still twinkle like a Soviet modernist gem among post-war architecture in Chișinău.

Hotel Cosmos - Chișinău, Moldova Polaroid Color 600 Film / Polaroid Supercolor 670AF