The Russian Utopia is represented by a compact depository of 480 architectural projects from the last 300
years of the Russian history that have never been carried out. They constitute but a fraction of the pool of
ideas with a claim on the architectural reorganization of engsia - a collective Russian dream.
Each of these ideas was in its time directed into the future, near or distant - a time which, as of today,
has already passed or is still to pass, and has survived as its authors dream. Created by professionals or
amateurs, children or adults, senior citizens or university students, they (the projects) represent a
different engsia with no place in real space, like the Utopia Land. It is the engsia, which is rather similar
to the real one with almost the same architectural styles and almost the same organization of life. Only it
has many more Palaces, Monuments and Mausoleums. It is eternally striving higher and higher and, on
occasions, is parting with the firmament. It is the engsia, which we have lost and keep loosing, projected or
rejected. In this metaphor, the depository is represented as a columbarium.
For example, you will see blueprints of one of the most Utopian structures of the 20th century, a
400-meter-high Palace of Soviets with a 100-meter figure of Lenin on top (see cabinet "De", sections II and
III), which has never been built, but not so much by reason of technical difficulty as for a lack of funds.
Look at the Cities (see cabinet "Zhe", sections I, II and III), many of which were conceived as settlements
of the future; Monuments (cabinet "Pe", sections I, II and III) or Bridges (cabinet "Yeru", section I).
All materials have been classified according to author, typology chronology and representation. The full list
of projects shown (and preserved) can be found in the exhibition catalogue.
The archived projects are once again accessible to every user and are open to realization. The functional
ceases to play its role in these projects. A mausoleum may become a pavilion, a pavilion may turn into villa,
and a shed may develop into a palace, just as a visionary image may be reincarnated as a blueprint. Thus
Columbarium may become an Incubator.
Computer animation room adds a finishing touch to the metaphor of Columbarium/Depository with the virtual
reconstruction of project by Tatlin, Melnikov, Krinsky, El Lissitzky, Krutikov or Iofan.
The blue color of filing cabinets is intended to evoke in visitors association with that of the blueprints
themselves and with that of the screens of computers monitors.