The Institute of information (Kiev)
1971
Architects: F. Yuryev, L. Novikov
Engineers: A. Pechenov, L. Kovalev, L. Kovtun, N. Coffman

Since the late 1950s the field of Soviet architecture became more and more interdisciplinary. Popular ideas about “synthesis of the arts” were complemented with the need to maneuver between censorship restrictions that were specific for each sphere of Soviet art.

The figure of architect and artist Florian Yuryev is a representative of this fluid, interdisciplinary identity. In the early 1960s, during the campaign against “abstractionism”, his exhibition of the abstract painting in Kyiv House of Architects was closed, his works were physically destroyed, and Yuryev himself was under the threat of exclusion from the Union of Architects. Yuryev managed to avoid this career catastrophe with the help of an argument that his “fault” happened in the sphere of art, but not architecture, so there is no sense in punishing him as an architect.

In the early 1960s Florian Yuryev was developing his own vision of a “synthesis of the arts” in the project of light music theater that was supposed to be a platform for the development of a new artistic discipline called “music of color”. Yuryev surpassed artistic imagination of “Synesthesia” of that time, arguing that the “music of color” is an independent art form and the transfer of properly organized colors is able to cause the physical perception of sound among the public. With this aim Yuryev created a light music orchestra and developed for it a hall with a perfect system of transmission of sound and light.

Its external form was dictated exactly by these practical needs: the building received the nickname “Kiev flying saucer”. This project was implemented long after its conception and in a totally different context than Yuryev wanted. Instead of color-music theater, this building became a hall for lectures and cinema of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, which was built in the late 1970s under the coaching of the KGB. Thanks to this protection the project of avant-gardist Yuryev could be realized.

 

Research group of the “Superstructure” project – Alex Bykov, Oleksandr Burlaka, and Oleksiy Radynski

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