The exhibition features a set of drawings by Russian architects collected by the architect and collector Sergei Tchoban and shown for the first time in France. At the end of 2011, the Beaux-Arts de Paris had unveiled to the public another aspect of his collection, pertaining to the period of Neoclassicism. The drawings currently exhibited in Paris testify to the extraordinary growth of official architecture during the first two decades of Soviet rule.
The new programme for the transformation of the society inspired new architectural ideas offered by the professionals and young students of architecture. The forty drawings on display help to trace both the public commissions of the new state and the innovative approaches of these Russian designers between 1920 and 1940, through projects and graphic techniques of great diversity.
Until 1932, the Russian architecture was characterised by a highly prolific experimental aspect and was epitomised in the curriculum taught by Vkhoutemas, or various workshops advancing new radical ideas.
The first demonstration of these new ideas the agricultural and craft exhibition took place in 1923 in Moscow, illustrated by a vast programme of architectural construction works and the exhibition of such original pavilions as those by Andrei Bourov and Ilia Golosov.
The constructivist movement, arguably the most original of the Soviet architecture, saw its finest minimalist inventions materialize in the projects of Kirill Afanasiev, Moisséi Guinzburg and especially Yakov Chernikhov.
An important part of the exhibition is devoted to the development of the Lenin Mausoleum, symbolic monument of the Bolshevik Moscow, designed by Alexei Schusev and installed in the Red Square.
Finally, the Soviet projects developed from 1932 onwards, are evoked through some great achievements such as the monumental palace of Boris Iofan that was never be completed, or the Meyerhold Theatre in Moscow, or the Government Centre in Kiev.