September 18, 2011
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№ 4 (April 2007)

How Stalin's Death Influenced Campus Architecture

Gubkin has an urban campus in the European tradition with a rich library, cultural center, athletic facilities, numerous cafeterias, a recreational center and a physical education summer school.

By Anna Arutiunova, Sergei Balashov, Elena Zhuk

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The campus has a history all of its own - built in the late 1950s, it was initially designed by the famous architect Boris Iofan and was supposed to resemble the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, with its tall stature, lavish finishing and a pompous colonnade, meant as a continuation of the architectural axis of the majestic Moscow State University headquarters. But when Stalin died in 1953, the empire style was largely critiqued and minimalist ideas prevailed - the height of the building was halved and the colonnade forgotten. Despite these privations, the building remains an architectural masterpiece.
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