Friday, April 6, 2007

"The tower is Utopian": Tatlin's Tower

From Wikipedia:
Tatlin’s Tower was a grand monumental building envisioned and blueprinted by the Russian artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin, but never built. It was supposed to be erected in Petrograd after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, as the headquarters and monument of the Comintern. Its proper name was to be The Monument to the Third International.
Tatlin's Constructivist tower was to be built from industrial materials: iron, glass and steel. In materials, shape, and function, it was envisioned as a towering symbol of modernity. It would have dwarfed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The tower's main form was a twin helix which spiraled up to 400 m in height, which visitors would be transported around with the aid of various mechanical devices. The main framework would contain three enormous rotating geometric structures. At the base of the structure was a cube which was designed as a venue for lectures, conferences and congress meetings, and would complete a rotation in the span of one year. In the centre of the structure was a cone, housing executive activities and completing a rotation once a month. The topmost one, a cylinder, was to house an information centre, issuing news bulletins and manifestoes via telegraph, radio and loudspeaker, and would complete a rotation once a day. There were also plans to install a gigantic open-air screen on the cylinder, and a further projector which would cast messages across the clouds. (Gray 1986)
The Monument is generally considered to be the defining expression of architectural Constructivism, rather than a buildable project. Even if the gigantic amount of required steel had been available in revolutionary Russia, in the context of housing shortages and political turmoil, there are serious doubts about its structural practicality. (Gray 1986)
There is a model of Tatlin’s Tower at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, Sweden.

A beautiful and impossible dream? not for the the people of the Tatlin's tower and the world project who would like to build the parts of the tower in different locations all over the world, and then assemble it at a yet unknown location.


K. A. Burton said...

The banner above the tower int he orginal picture reads "Welcome" and the second line is "International" Wonder who was being welcomed....

M. Christian said...

Thanks so much for the translation -- it ads a lot to what's going on!