Tatlin’s Tower – under this name the project of a monumental monument dedicated to the Third International went down in history. It appeared in the devastated and half-starved country of the Soviets in the 1920s and broke all traditional ideas about architecture.
History of creation
The design of the monument belongs to the Soviet architect Vladimir Evgrafievich Tatlin . The giant 400-meter monument was to become a symbol of world communist rule.
The architect, together with assistants, built a reduced tower 5 meters high.
Plywood, wood, tin, twine served as the basis for the creation of the model. In November 1920, she was presented at an exhibition. Then she was transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery, where she disappeared. The leaders of the country did not appreciate the tower. The project has remained a project.
One of the newly made models was presented at the exhibition of decorative arts in Paris. It was there, in Paris, that Tatlin’s creation received international recognition for the first time, it was a gold medal . But in Soviet Russia, it was not customary to remember this. Nevertheless, the tower has become a symbol of the revolutionary upheaval of all mankind.
The uniqueness of the tower
The idea of the monument is very original. It contains a combination of architecture, sculpture and painting.
Vladimir Tatlin became the founder of Soviet constructivism. This is a style that is characterized by rigor, geometrism, laconic forms and solidity of the external appearance of buildings.
As conceived by the architect, the building was planned to be made of glass and steel . Grandiose in design, it was supposed to consist of two coiled, upwardly directed steel spirals, which were located one within the other.
They leaned on an inclined steel mast, which went into the ground. Above, the spirals gradually converged at the ribbed steel cylinder. The weight of the ascending spirals below was borne by two arches of complex curvature.
Purpose of the tower as conceived by the author
In the internal space behind the through grate there are four volumes located one above the other. In fact, these are separate buildings. They were intended for the management services of the International. The most interesting thing is that they all rotated at different speeds.
The largest building was in the shape of a cube. It was intended for holding conferences and congresses; it rotated at a rate of one revolution a year. Above it was a truncated pyramid-shaped structure for the secretariat. Its rotation speed is one revolution per month.
An information bureau, a publishing house, a printing house, and a telegraph office were to be housed in a cylinder building with a rotation speed of one revolution a day. Radio Comintern was supposed to be located in the fourth building, made in the form of a hemisphere, with a rotation speed of one revolution per hour.
All the bodies of the buildings were planned to be connected to each other and to the ground with an electric lift of a complex design.
The Tatlin tower also included radio masts and antennas. As well as the beams of searchlights capable of drawing texts – slogans on the clouds. The carrier mast was going to be sent to the Polar Star.
The design of the tower is imbued with symbolism. Its tilt is like that of the axis of the Earth. Rotating structures are related to the rotation of the Earth. The height of 400 m is a multiple of the earth’s meridian. The spiral shape is the “line of movement of free humanity.”
Tatlin’s project is the great utopia of a grandiose building. The tower had no practical significance. The devastated Soviet Russia would never have pulled such a complex construction.
The project went down in history as the most recognizable symbol of constructivism . He inspired subsequent generations of architects to explore previously unattainable heights in architecture.
Tower design and modernity
Models of the tower can be seen in the Tretyakov Gallery, in Moscow at the elite residential complex “Patriarch”, in the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, at the University of Oxford.
And the ideas inherent in Tatlin’s project have not yet been fully implemented. In the form of separate fragments, they are present in the symbolism of the buildings of the government complex of the capital of Brazil, in the structures of the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, in the powerful spiral of the leading museum in New York, in the surfaces of the complex curvature of the opera house in Sydney.
The idea of the monument was too daring for immediate implementation. Rotation of free-hanging structures is now being implemented on the International Space Station.