Book review: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed by Frédéric Chaubin

Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed (CCCP) may best be described as a passion project.  Over a remarkably short period of seven years (2003-2010) Frédéric Chaubin travelled to and photographed many of the crumbling architectural remnants of the former USSR.  The book is a magnificent collection of images which highlight the political, economic, and cultural power of architecture in these former Eastern Block countries.

Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed (CCCP) by Frédéric Chaubin’s

Chaubin’s photographs successfully show the enormous scale of many of these buildings.  Most of which are vast brutalist concrete structures which impose themselves on the populous.  Some sit like cathedrals and invite the population to come together, others display political might and demand obedience.  Many of these structures are clear historical reminders of the USSR and their importance in the ‘space race’.

Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed (CCCP) by Frédéric Chaubin’s

Shot in both colour and black and white Chaubin’s photographs work beautifully.  He has successfully captured the beauty of these buildings; the size and scale, the gorgeous ageing concrete, and how they occupy their place in the landscape.  Chaubin also provides a peek inside some of these buildings and he effectively displays the glamorous interiors which often sit at odds to their austere shell.

Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed (CCCP) by Frédéric Chaubin

Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed is a book all architecture photographers should definitely investigate.  Highly recommended.

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DETAILS: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, Frédéric Chaubin, Hardcover, 26 x 34 cm, 312 pages, ISBN 978-3-8365-2519-0, Multilingual Edition: English, French, German, Taschen, 2015