Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Akademii Arkhitektury SSSR, 1944. 116 pp.: ill. 22x16 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Fragments of spine and covers lost, some pencil marks and pencil signature on t.p., otherwise very good and clean internally.
First and only edition. One of 5000 copies.
This is a richly illustrated work on urban planning written by Roman Khiger (1901-1985). He was a Soviet architecture critic, architect and engineer, one of the ideologists of constructivism. In the 1930s, he was one of the leading architecture critics in the USSR.
In the post-WWII period, maximum efforts were made to reconstruct destroyed cities and build new ones to make cities more beautiful and comfortable for life. Khiger gave a detailed analysis of the American construction of huge suburban subdivisions for agricultural and military workers. In particular, he wrote about temporary solutions like trailer camps that weren’t in usage in the USSR. One of the approaches to arrange settlement elements included applying superblocks. Compared them with traditional city blocks, he stressed the certain advantage of less number of roads and cars. All the schemes resembled the garden city movement being popular between constructivist architects. The post-war concept of urban transformation also tended to many green spaces whichever plan the architect chose.
This book was published before Khiger submitted the dissertation “Experience of Settlement Planning and Housing Construction of USA” (1947). Both encouraged contemporaries to follow American experience in planning houses and places for leisure activities. After that, during the increasing Cold War, Khiger was blamed in admiration of foreign constructivism. In 1949 he was deprived of everything and ended his science activity.
Worldcat shows only 2 copies located in LoC and Harvard College.