Gymnasium Riedberg, Frankfurt-Main, Germany by Ackermann+Raff.
Photos: Thomas Herrmann.
The National Library in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan by Abdul Akhmedov in 1964. The three-storey concrete project is a magnificent example of Soviet modernism with brutalist tendencies. It utilizes highly Islamic, namely Iranian, forms as the basis of its plan. This is notably seen the central courtyard which functions for utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. It is shown as a focal point due to the nature of the social patterns in eastern societies which are centered around courtyards and atria, places where scholarly discussion and the sharing of ideas takes place have taken place for millennia. Islamic influences are also seen in the modernized screens and the Persian water gardens which have both been hardened and masculinized, contrasting their traditional femininity and etherealness. This library both established Turkmenistan as a distinct nation from Moscow while still embracing the modernist movement that came with the industrialization of the Soviet Republics.
Caruso St John Architects
House, Lincolnshire, England, 1994