Model of El Lissitzky’s cloudprop proposal (1925)

Russian Constructivists meet Aussie Students

Undergraduates at the University of Western Australia make models of unbuilt Russian Constructivist buildings

Perth's leading higher education institution, the University of Western Australia, may rank among the best universities in the antipodes, yet its architectural heritage is august. Up until 1932, the university campus was centred around a street known locally as Tin Pan Alley, as many buildings were made from corrugated iron.

However, students on Prof Charles Mann's architectural history and criticism evoke a more iconic era of building design recently, when they researched and made models of works by Russian Constructivist architects. They're striking creations, grand and folly-ish in places, and alarmingly prescient at other points. Many were based on little more than a sketch or two, such as the Yakov Chernikhov's 101 Architectural Fantasies, and might not look so hot when rendered in glass and concrete. Nevertheless, these models do serve to illustrate the grand designs made possible by encouraging architects to think big.
See further examples of the models on this blog, and find out more about the movement in our book 20th-Century World Architecture.

Model of Alexey Shchusev’s Lenin Mausoleum (1930)
Model of Alexey Shchusev’s Lenin Mausoleum (1930)