Georgii Krutikov, The flying city / Георгий Крутиков, «Летающий город» (1928)

Летающая кабина Жилой комплекс "Трудовая коммуна".

The very first detailed study of Krutikov’s sensational Flying City has been translated and published.

25€ VAT included (24,04€ + 4% VAT)

21 x 16 cm
100 halftones images
160 pp
ISBN: 978-84-939231-8-1

Georgii Krutikov epitomized the utopian ideal of the Russian Avant-garde. In 1928, while still a student at the Moscow VKhUTEMAS, the budding architect presented his visionary solution to the seemingly impending problem of unsustainable population growth; a flying city.

Encapsulating the spirit of the times, Krutikov’s soaring city caused a sensation, daring to reimagine and remake the world as an exercise in possibility; rationalized through data, realized in sketches and plans.

Architectural historians and devotees of Russian modernism have cited the influence of Krutikov’s “Flying City.” Yet, for decades, little was written about this remarkable project, its precocious author or his subsequent career.

Calling down Krutikov’s city from the clouds, eminent scholar Selim O. Khan-Magomedov separates myth from fact to uncover a wealth of previously unseen visual and documentary material, affording insight into this truly revolutionary work, its fascinating creator and a varied later career that spanned influential membership of Nikolai Ladovskii’s rationalist Association of Urban Architects (ARU), his contributions to urban planning, his post-constructivist designs for the Moscow Metro and his passion for preserving Russia’s architectural heritage.

Жилой комплекс "Трудовая коммуна" Жилой комплекс. Жилище гостиничного типа


(1928-2011) has been widely recognized for his outstanding contribution to the study of the Russian avant-garde movement during the 1920s and 1930s. He has written countless monographs, articles and books, including the legendary Pioneers of Soviet Architecture, Pioneers of Soviet Design and One Hundred Masterpieces of the Soviet Architectural Avant-Garde. He has written on the most important architects of the Russian avant-garde, including Konstantin Melnikov, Alexander Vesnin, Nikolai Ladovsky, Alexander Rodchenko, Moise Ginsburg, Ivan Leonidov, and Ilya Golosov. Khan-Magomedov contributed greatly to the scholarly research about Russian avant-gardists, and studying the personal archives of over 150 Russian architects, artists, designers and sculptors, which revealed a number of previously unknown facts about their lives.

Khan-Magomedov held a doctorate in art history and was an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Art.  In 1992, he was awarded the Russian Federation’s “Distinguished Architect” title, and in 2003, he was awarded the State Prize of Russia for his contributions to the field of architecture.


Professor Christina Lodder is an established scholar of Russian art. She is currently an honorary fellow at the Universities of Edinburgh and Kent, Vice-President of the Malevich Society, and co-editor of Brill’s Russian History and Culture series. Among her publications are numerous articles and several books. She has also been involved with various exhibitions such as Modernism (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2006) and From Russia (Royal Academy, London 2008).

Жилой комплекс. Перспектива Перспектива города

The first translation of the late veteran Soviet scholar Khan-Magomedov’s study of the designer of the notorious “flying city,” a seriously argued 1928 proposal for an airborne form of settlement as a solution to the housing crisis bequeathed by the bourgeois city. It gives weight both to this justly famous scheme and to Krutikov’s later career designing elegant, but comparatively earthbound stations for the Moscow Metro.

Owen Hatherley, The Architectural Review


An extraordinary and careful study by S. O. Khan-Magomedov. A particularly contemporary title when we remember the first sentence of “The history of the pool” by Rem Koolhaas, included in Delirious New York: “Moscow 1923. At school one day, a student designed a floating swimming pool. Nobody remembered who it was, The idea had been in the air. Others were designing flying cities, spherical theaters, whole artificial planets.”

Juan José Barba, Metalocus


Since the landmass available to humanity was limited, and the population was exploding, a radical solution was needed. Krutikov’s idea? Mobile architecture. By mobile, he meant to place buildings in the sky, so the land could then be cultivated […] Although Krutikov’s design wasn’t published at the time, architects recalled his visionary work—and the furor it caused—many years later, during the Space Race of the 1950s.

Rebecca Maksel, Air & Space Magazine


The goal of Krutikov’s work was to prove the theoretical possibility and preferability of mobile architecture.

In this theoretically possible and practically impossible project, technology becomes a part of “nature” — since the potential for this undertaking is present in it — and takes on its sublime quality.

The pleasure that Krutikov’s project offers is the pleasure in the sublime, a disinterested pleasure in perceiving something immense that transcends a moment and a place.

Julia Vaingurt, Wonderlands of the Avant-Garde:
Technology and the Arts in Russia of the 1920s


If the Americans had invented the skyscraper, Revolutionary Russia ought to create a whole new edifice […] Georgii Krutikov’s Flying City (1928) turned this pyramid into an elliptical “parabaloid” curving from the edge of Earth into orbital space, floating thanks to the power of atomic energy.

Michael G. Smith, Rockets and Revolution:
A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight


Georgii Krutikov’s “City of Aerial Paths of Communication” settled for nothing less than the domestication of the planet.

Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastophe:
The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West


Дипломный проект «Летающего города» Г.Т. Крутикова носит характер творческой разработки идеи использования воздушного пространства для жизни людей. Архитектор разработал планировку города, типы домов и универсальное средство передвижения, провел скрупулезное исследование и анализ научных, технических, социальных, биологических вопросов, которые доказывали реальность и необходимость осуществления идеи города в воздухе.

В аналитической части («Предпосылки к работе»), которая состояла из 16 планшетов, Г.Т. Крутиков графически с использованием различного рода изображений и схем анализировал проблему «подвижной архитектуры».

Непосредственно сам «Город будущего» состоял из двух основных частей: вертикальной — жилой части, парящей в воздухе, и горизонтальной — производственной, расположенной на поверхности земли. Жилая часть города представляла собой сужающийся по направлению к земле параболоид, ось которого совпадала с центром производственной части. На внешней поверхности параболоида ступенчато размещались жилые комплексы, включающие несколько структурных типов — развитую трудовую коммуну, компактный дом-коммуну и жилище «гостиничного» типа. Из этих типов «неподвижного жилища» (парящего в воздухе) и формировались поднятые над землей части «летающих городов».

Вся пространственная структура «города будущего» была ориентированная на воздушные пути сообщения. Связь между парящим жильем и землей, должна была осуществляться с помощью универсального транспортного средства (кабины), которое могло передвигаться в воздухе, по земле, по воде и под водой.

Г.Т. Крутиков, как истинный рационалист и член АСНОВА, при разработке «Города будущего» отдавал предпочтение социальным и архитектурным проблемам, трактуя свой проект как первый этап выхода человека и архитектуры в околоземное пространство.

Разработка таких экспериментальных проектов-прогнозов была очень важной составляющей частью учебного процесса на архитектурном факультете в 1920-1930-е годы, так как именно они способствовали общему подъему творческого и теоретического уровня обслуживания градостроительных проблем, помогали видеть не только ближайшую, но и отдаленную перспективу.

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