15th Anniversary of the Revolution
Under the experienced leadership of the Bolshevik Party, headed by comrade Stalin, the Country of Soviets, steadfastly making real the behest of its great leader, comrade Lenin, has achieved unprecedented successes and legendary victories. In the fire of the class wars, the smoke and blaze of the civil war, in the merciless and decisive battle with every sort of deviation from the general party line, the Communist Party has grown up, fortified and tempered.
The New Moscow
There is an excellent pictorial section concentrating on recent architectural achievements in Moscow – new factories, apartment blocks and offices. A lot of that architecture would not be repeated since by 1932 the approved style was changing towards the past, not the future.
The Avant-Garde is beaten
For the end of 1932, Stroitelstvo Moskvi offers a pictorial journey through some of the new buildings of Moscow. The magazine has changed considerably since 1930. Physical differences are evident: The quality of the paper is much worse, two issues are crammed into one (to save paper) and there is an announcement to say that publication numbers are limited. From the point of view of content, there are also very noticeable differences: The colourful advertisements are absent. The content of the magazine is either pure ‘browsing’ material such as the New Moscow pictorial, or specialised professional information for architects and builders. The flights of utopian fancy, the extraordinary designs for public parks and garden cities that characterise earlier issues are gone. It is as though an invisible hand had picked up avant-gardism and thrown it out. A chill wind was blowing through the entire architectural profession and community.
House on the Embankment
Perhaps emblematic of the new direction towards the glorification of the state rather than the provision of buildings for public use, this issue contains photographs of the famous ‘House on the Embankment’, designed by Iofan. The whole complex, a short walk from the Kremlin, was designed to house senior government officials in circumstances of quite considerable comfort: They were to have their own theatre on-site, the largest cinema in the USSR (complete with retractable roof for romantic summer evenings), a department store and sports hall.
Having so many of the top people concentrated in one place also made life a lot easier for the secret police, (NKVD) when Stalin decided to have 80% of leading communists arrested in 1936-37.