The Palace Complex: a Stalinist ‘Social Condenser’ in Warsaw
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Journal of Architecture
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© 2017 RIBA EnterprisesThe Constructivists of the Soviet 1920s desired to suffuse architecture with revolutionary electricity. They dreamt of creating radical new types of buildings, which would function as ‘power sources for the new order’ and ‘conductors and condensers of socialist culture’. But did the Stalinists, in fact, build more successful Social Condensers than their avant-garde predecessors? This paper explores this question with reference to the case of the Palace of Culture and Science, a Stalinist skyscraper ‘gifted’ to Warsaw by the Soviet Union in 1955.