From the editors
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY
MAP OF THE CITY
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
IN OR OUT
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL
THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
THE ROYAL CASTLE
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
WRITING OF DREAMS
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT
OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
THE AMBER ROOM
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
PLACE OF EXECUTION
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
MATTER AND SPIRIT
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
MAN AND WOMAN
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"
ON THE STREET
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
BEFORE THE CITY
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
Aleksandr Sologubov / Kaliningrad, Russia
I will not write about the history of this construction, about its unique technical and other solutions, about the number of floors (which I don't know, as I never counted them), and so forth. This is not interesting. Moreover, according to one Kaliningrad newspaper, not a single copy of the technical documents for this building is presently available in the city. We do not have a source to apply to.
The House of Soviets. As long as I can remember, it has stood there uncompleted. I have passed by it so many times and have never been inside. I will not go inside. Why? Ancient architects taught that "beauty is essential for the development of human soul… If a badly projected building is erected in a city, unfortunate children will be born in the city, and men and women who look at ugly structures will lead disharmonious lives." I am often asked about my attitude towards it. I reply that my attitude is similar to that of parents towards an ugly child: Love.
You are called many names: the vulgar bulk, the multileveled idol, pure ugliness, architectural eyesore, the monster house, the giant robot, what squalor!, the skyscraper of Pisa, the gray pimple, the hen-coop, the new castle, a monument to the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union), MSC (Monument to Soviet Chaos), Pavlov's house (for that very Sergeant Pavlov who said "We shall die but we shall never build it"), the wisdom tooth (I must note that it appeared in the place of another, rotten Prussian tooth; see the entry "Royal Castle").
Once, while talking to some Germans, I made a mistake: Haus der Ratten (House of Rats) instead of Haus der Raten (House of Soviets). Excuse me!
You are the hero of talks, negotiations, reports. You appear in local texts:
"Now, have a look at this dead rectangular bulk!" he said, pointing at the uncompleted building of the House of the Soviets. "It looks like an iceberg. An iceberg versus a sailing ship."
"There was a castle there," I reply. "A little bit to the left."
"I thought it was at that very spot," he said.
"No," I respond. "A bit to the left. It could have been restored, but it was blown up for some reason."
"Did you witness that that?"
"No. I was only born that year."
"And so they built this monster. It was not by chance anyway. It is a necessary part of the portrait, the architectural portrait of the city, its other face, an opposite face, another face of the two-faced Janus. It is a symbol of what we have done to the city. This reinforced concrete abomination all around."
"Yes," I agreed. "A painful sight. But when it's dark, you can't see it."
It is impossible to pass by without giving you a look. You are different at different times. Sky, sun, fog, moisture on your walls, they all decorate you. Nature is equally just towards all of its creatures.
Poor construction, a lonely nutcracker.
Translation by A. Matveeva