The Very Best of Strange Soviet Architecture

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Today our favorite period drama heroine, Keira Knightley, returns to the big screen in Tom Stoppard’s bold adaptation of Anna Karenina , the Russian high-society love story that Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vladimir Nabokov, William Faulkner, and TIME magazine have all called “flawless” and “the best ever written.” Set in pre-Soviet Russia, the tragedy explores themes that — as British translator Rosemary Edmonds explained — emerged from the vast panorama of Russian life. Not long after Tolstoy immortalized Anna’s affair with Count Vronsky, the old Russian regime collapsed, and an era of extreme artistic inquiry ensued. We’ve explored the experimental style that represents the ideological dreams and chaotic impulses of a stifled society; from retro-future research institutes and vacation spots to a wedding palace, click through to check out the very best of strange Soviet architecture.

Druzhba Holiday Center – Yalta, Ukraine

Image credit: Frédéric Chaubin via The Camera Club New York

Ministry of Highways and Transportation – Tbilisi, Georgia

Image credit: Simone Rota via Wallpaper*

Fyodor Dostoevsky Theater – Novgorod, Russia

Image credit: Andrei Rozen

Crematorium – Kiev, Ukraine

Images via OpenBuildings; wikimapia

Space Arches – Tbilisi, Georgia

Image via indoorbillboards

Cascade – Yerevan, Armenia

Image credit: Simone Rota via archidialog

Canteen for the House of Recreation for Writers of Armenia – Sevan Peninsula, Armenia

Image credit: Simone Rota via archidialog

Palace of Weddings – Tbilisi, Georgia

Images via skyscrapercity; Igor Palmin

Institute of Robotics and Technical Cybernetics – St. Petersburg, Russia

Image via rpa2101; Andrey Efimovsky

Institute of Scientific and Technological Research and Development – Kiev, Ukraine

Image credit: Frédéric Chaubin via Architectuul

House of Soviets – Kaliningrad, Russia

Image credit: Volkov Vitaly via Wikipedia

Rusakov Workers’ Club – Moscow, Russia

Image credit Richard Pare via art-Corpus; tom$

Administrative building – Tallinn, Estonia

Image via Socialism Expo

Horizon House – Karachayevsk, Russia

Image via indoorbillboards