“Reports from Moscow: Taut’s Return from Moscow” (1933)

A report has reached us from Moscow that Professor Bruno Taut has suspended his activities on all the big commissions previously given to him, and that he has submitted a request for indefinite leave.  He will return to Germany via Japan, where he has been invited by the government.  This abrupt suspension of Taut’s activities is not devoid of a certain measure of tragedy.  In contrast to those Germans who think about their tasks in Soviet Russia only in the sense of offering their technical skills, Taut belongs to the kind of people who consider their planning for the Russian state as an organizational and artistic expression of their ideology.  Only recently, important members of the Soviet government, including Stalin himself, decided no longer to subscribe to this particular interpretation of functionalism, but to ask for a return to the architectural forms of the past.  During the past year, a number of reports dealing with the deep disappointments of a good many of the German architects who had moved to Russia and relating to these developments have been published (see our reports in volumes 11, 17, 26, 31 of 1932).  It may be expected that Ernst May will have more to say about this subject after his return to Germany, and thus supplement the great lecture he gave in the summer of 1931.  It is difficult to make a clear assessment of the full extent of these changes, particularly as far as the translation of Bolshevik ideology into architectural form is concerned.  It is quite obvious that the whole matter has been further complicated by a number of more or less superficial formal decisions.  Still, the discontinuation of Le Corbusier’s [Centrosoyuz] building, which had stirred so many hopes at the time when it started, permits us to come to the conclusion that certain fundamental decisions have indeed been made, and that these decisions were not based altogether on financial difficulties (compare with report from Moscow below).

[From Bauwelt, No. VII, Berlin 1933, pg. 172]

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~ by Ross Wolfe on October 20, 2010.

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