A guide to the New East

Home front: Berthold Lubetkin and Constructivism’s London afterlife

  • Image Yev Kazannik
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In the Stalinist Russia of the 1930s Constructivism fell out of favour, condemned as an example of unacceptable "formalism". Berthold Lubetkin was one of a number of architects who strove to keep the movement's flame alive outside Soviet Union. Born in Tbilisi in 1901, Lubetkin studied at Vkhutemas, the leading Constructivist institution in Moscow, where his teachers included Alexander Rodchenko and Lyubov Popova. After moving to Britain from France in 1931, he became one of the founders of Tecton, an architectural studio that helped give Modernist architecture a place in British society through prestige projects and public housing. Especially for The Calvert Journal, Russian photographer Yev Kazannik has documented Lubetkin's London buildings, capturing the clean lines of Constructivism's international exile.

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