Reviews

This richly illustrated article offers a panorama of the development, in Central Asia, of Russian-made colonial city-planning and architecture in the Tsarist period, and of international-style architecture and urbanisation in the decades following wwii.  Vernacular architecture and city-planning are rapidly dismissed as expressions of an immobile, ossified tradition, opposed to the dynamics brought about by Russian conquest and dominance.  The paper quickly surveys the master plans of modern towns established in close proximity of old cities in conquered Turkistan in the aftermath of the fall of Tashkent in 1865.  Short, elliptic paragraphs on the “renaissance” of vernacular architectural practice under colonial Russian rule are followed by more substantial developments on the participation of local masters in the implementation of the eclectic style applied in public construction in the laste Tsarist period.  The historical narrative continues with a lyrical evocation of the elaboration of architectural standards for reconstruction in the early 1950s, and large-scale housing complexes in the two following decades.  The article ends with an evocation of the development of city-planning from wwii to independences, and of the concomitant impact of the new symbolic needs of nation-states and of the current development of tourism on the re-appropriation of old centres.

The Redaction
CER: I-4.3-355