THE STALINIST ARCHITECTURE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN THE LATVIAN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC DURING THE 1940S AND 1950S (Stalina laika sabiedrisko eku arhitektura LPSR. 20. gs. 40. - 50. gadi)
Stalinist architecture is an outstanding and distinctive legacy of Soviet ideology found not just in Latvia but all over the former USSR and most former socialist countries. Many buildings of the Stalinist period are sufficiently well preserved to the present day and although they offer excellent study material, so far no deeper research has been done on the architecture of this period. Stalinist architecture was created under Stalin's totalitarian rule in the former USSR from the 1930s to the 1950s. The beginning of the phenomenon in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR) coincides with the end of WW II (since 1944), ending in 1955. Stalin devised the idea of a perfect society, centralised and isolated from the rest of the world. After WW II architects in the LSSR had the primary task to clear the war damage. Working on general plans of reconstructions, architects envisaged the implementation of the features of the new, Stalinist architecture through the creation of large, expressive central squares and complexes dominated by public buildings. A culture house or cinema, administrative or educational building etc., was constructed in almost every town. They not only had to reflect the might and power of Stalin's regime but also to afford education on the lines of socialist ideology thus serving as a successful tool of Stalinist propaganda. The shape and significance of public buildings was often conditioned by the surrounding environment, territorial aspects and cultural-historical circumstances. Several fine examples of Stalinist architecture have survived in Riga for example, the Latvian Academy of Sciences building, Spilve Airport, State Electro-Technical Factory (VEF) Palace of Culture, Riga Technical University and the Hotel Riga.
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