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“The Monument to the Third International” by Vladimir Tatlin

tumblr_m2juc5Jxtv1rptk2bo1_500.jpgDuring 1919 and some of 1920, russian architecht, Vladimir Tatlin, produced many sketches of a tower that would be The Monument to the Third International.  “This utopian design, so typical for the frenzied mood of Russians in the years immediately following the Bolshevik revolution was, in theory, to have been taller than that great symbol of modernity, the Eiffel Tower. Its spiraling structure, however, was to lend the Monument a structural dynamism lacking in Eiffel’s more symmetrical (and more stable) design. In theory, the Monument was to house a telegraph office, and other office space, but Tatlin, who was no architect, did not even attempt to work out the engineering problems that would have had to be overcome. Instead, like so many other early Soviet projects of utopian intent, Tatlin’s tower (as it came to be called) never went past the planning stages. The model was exhibited–and photographed–in Petrograd in November 1920, at the same time as the mass theatrical action, The Staging of the Winter Palace, was performed.” [1]

What makes these sketches so interesting are the shapes and the demensions used.  It was originally intended to rival the Eiffel tower in height and design.  The main difference was the shapes that were going to be  used.  The Eiffel Tower has slight bends up the sides and support based on shapes like triangles, squares, and octagons.   Tatlin’s tower was going to utilize more drastic slopes and curves as well as more exaggerated or elongated shapes for support.  In the end, only models were made, but if this tower would have been constructed, it would have been way ahead of its time in design as well as structure. 

[1] Early Twentieth-Century Russian Drama: Constructivism