Boris Iofan


Boris Iofan

Boris Mihailovich Iofan (April 28, 1891–1976) was a Russian Soviet architect, known for his Stalinist architecture buildings like 1931 House on Embankment and the 1931-1933 winning draft of the Palace of Soviets.

Background

Born in Odessa, Iofan graduated in 1916 from Rome, Italy's Regio Istituto Superiore di Belle Arti, with a degree in architecture. Initially, he followed the Neoclassicism tradition. His first major work was a Barvikha sanatorium for Party elite (1929), which exposed him to the top state clients.

In 1931, Iofan completes the elite block-wide "House on Embankment" (official name Дом Правительства, "Government Building"). The structure, containing 505 apartments [House on Embankment web site: [http://www.domna.ru www.domna.ru] ] , two theaters and retail stores, becomes an iconic example of early Stalinism. Boris Iofan was a lifelong resident in this building.

Palace of Soviets

Iofan's entry to the Palace of Soviets contest won in 1932 (first prize was actually split among three competing entries, but eventually Stalin awarded the job to Iofan). His design was awarded a gold medal during the 1937 International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life. Church of Christ the Savior, a monument initiated by Alexander I (and consecrated by Alexander III), was razed for construction of the palace (before the contest began). Construction proceeded slowly; in June 1941 the work halted when steel frame was at the 50-meter mark. Frame was cut down and scrapped for weapons production. In 1958, the Moscow Swimming Pool was erected at the site, after construction of the palace was abandoned. This open-air pool was eventually shut down and the cathedral was rebuilt at the same location in 1994-1995.

Iofan designed Soviet Pavilions ar World Expo in Paris (1937) and New York (1939). Later, he bid for the Moscow State University skyscraper project in Moscow (1947); the job was awarded to Lev Rudnev.

References

External links


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