An Instagram tribute to socialist modernist architecture in Odesa, Ukraine’s seaside city

An Instagram tribute to socialist modernist architecture in Odesa, Ukraine’s seaside city
Image: The Kuyalnik Sanatorium, Odesa

13 October 2021

Travel vicariously to the Ukrainian port town of Odesa with Instagram account @odessamodernism, which showcases Soviet-era buildings, monuments, and ornaments from around the city.

Most of the city of Odesa was built under the USSR, in the second half of the 20th century,” account curator @vozdukhokrain told The Calvert Journal. An IT specialist in his 30s, he says that his interest in his hometown’s Soviet-era architectural history began gradually, starting with an appreciation of 19th-century neoclassical architecture . From there, he became interested in constructivism, and finally, modernism. “I began to understand that these [Soviet-era buildings] were not just ‘boring, Soviet panels’, as most people thought of them, but perhaps masterpieces of world architecture.”

Yet although interest in Soviet-era architecture is growing internationally, @vozdukhokrain says he feels in the minority in his own community. “I think many buildings and mosaics will cease to exist within 10 years: they will be completely destroyed or rebuilt. That is a general trend in Ukraine,” he explains. “My Instagram account will become an architectural monument to the Odesa which we have lost.”

As for Odesa’s architectural highlights, @vozdukhokrain prefers the city’s 1970s Kuyalnik sanatorium, as well as the well-preserved Odessa Theatre of Musical Comedy —designed by architect Heinrich Topuz in the late 70s, and finished in 1981.

Read more

An Instagram tribute to socialist modernist architecture in Odesa, Ukraine’s seaside city

Odesa’s literature museum is a radical tribute to the city’s multicultural, revolutionary history

An Instagram tribute to socialist modernist architecture in Odesa, Ukraine’s seaside city

An Instagram account casts a new eye on Ukraine’s striking Soviet mosaics

An Instagram tribute to socialist modernist architecture in Odesa, Ukraine’s seaside city

Follow of the week: Soviet mosaics from the Far East to Moscow