March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 37 March 2012

History of architecture

Meerovich Mark G.

DSc (History), DSc (Architecture),
Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Civil Engineering,
Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Architecture.
Irkutsk State Technical University,
Irkutsk, Russia, e-mail: memark@inbox.ru

Konysheva Evgeniya V.

PhD (Art Studies), Associate Professor,
Chair of Art and Culture Studies,
Southern Urals State University,
Chelyabinsk, Russia, e-mail: e_kon@mail.ru

Flierl Thomas

PhD (Theory of Aesthetics), Member of the Board of Hermann Henselmann Foundation,
Senator for Science, Research and Culture in Berlin Government (2002-2006),
Berlin, Germany


The article is devoted to the critique of the planning approaches practiced by the German representative of functionalist architecture E.May in designing "socialist cities” in the USSR during the first five-year periods. Initially, the critique was based on professional disagreements and concerned the regularity and ordinariness of his planning solutions, domination of line building, and priority of the functional over the artistic. Gradually, however, the critique lost professional reasoning and acquired political colouring. After 1932 E.May lost his leading position in the Soviet design system. After 1934 when E.May left the USSR, this German architect was totally denied any positive contribution to Soviet town-planning, and his heritage received the pejorative Russian term ‘Mayevshchina’ (May-ism). It was not only evidence of a turn in Soviet town-planning practice from the functionalist approach to understanding the city as an art and ideology phenomenon. And not only did it reflect the attitude of the totalitarian state towards any foreign experience as potentially dangerous and hostile. It was an expression of the system of relationships between Soviet power and creative personality. The town-planner was dependent on the central and local authorities, on commissioning agencies, on the achievement of targets, on the availability of finance and technology to support design and construction, and on the town-planning policy and ideological dogmas. If professionalism and creative beliefs entered into conflict with circumstances and political and ideological requirements, the architect and his ideas would be inevitably rejected by the system.

Key words: town planning, town-planning policy, Socialist city, architecture of the first five-year periods, E.May (architect)

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017