Tatlin's Tower

Tatlin's Tower
Tatlin's Tower

It is curious, and paradoxical, to verify that the great edifice of the Russian constructivist movement was never built. And that the artists who integrated this style, such as Naum Gabo, El Lissitzky or Aleksander Rodchenko, they advocated an art that was first and foremost useful.


Tatlin's Tower Model

Well, that question of utility was still to be more evident in architecture, and yet the paradigm of the Tatlin Tower never got off the ground. It was a project made by Vladimir Tatlin (1885 – 1953) and whose real name was Monument to the Third International. But the manuals of the architecture of the avant-garde movements have been nicknamed Tatlin's Tower in memory of its author.

This artist was commissioned directly by the authorities of the Soviet regime. And it was a most ambitious commission, since they intended to build a center dedicated to the promotion of communist philosophy, but not only in the USSR, but on a planetary scale. However, although the plan was very ambitious, the truth is that the Soviet rulers never had enough funds to carry it out.

That didn't stop Tatlin from considering construction, even making large scale models. And in those sketches and models it can be seen that his designer had severalinspiration sources. One is obvious, the Tower of Pisa as it was a building that was going to be crooked on purpose.

The Eiffel Tower is also present here, since, as in it, we wanted to leave the metallic structure completely visible. And finally, Russian Constructivism is closely related to industry and machinery, hence the shape of certain elements reminds us of engine propellers.

The tower was to be made up of three oversized rotating structures. Those three structures were based on geometric shapes such as a cube, a cone and a cylinder. Yes. We said that they were going to be rotating structures, and also it was going to have different uses.

For example, the cube-shaped one would be a venue for the congress meeting of the Communist Party or lectures, and it would be spinning very slowly to complete the entire rotation in a year.

On the other hand, the conical space would house an executive headquarters and would rotate at a faster rate, one revolution per month. And finally, propaganda actions would be carried out in the great cylinder, and its presence would stand out even more, since it would complete a full turn every day.

It was certainly a propaganda project in itself, as it was thought to reach a height of up to 400 meters in the city of Saint Petersburg (at the time,Leningrad). And that there would even be a large projector that would launch its messages towards the clouds of the sky, converted into a gigantic screen and as a simile that communismwas going to reach the whole world.

But we already know that the Tatlin Tower was not built and the Soviet regime fell decades later.

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