Moscow: Izd-vo i 2-ya tip. Gos. izd-va arkhitektury i gradostroitel’stva, 1950. 135 pp.: ill. 22x14.4 cm. In original publisher’s wrapper with a photograph mounted to the front wrapper. Near fine.
Very rare. First edition. 1 of 5,000 copies. An interesting post-war Soviet edition dedicated to the architecture of metal fences.
Written by the Soviet author Sergey Rozenblyum in 1950, this book offers a thorough analysis of the construction of metal fences in different cities of the Soviet Union (with the focus on Moscow and Leningrad). In the introduction to the edition, Rozenblyum defines the principle rule of the art products’ architecture: “When creating fences in Soviet conditions, the design should be based on the requirements of the ideological content.” The publication consists of four sections: “External metal fences,” “Metal fences - elements of the house,” “Manufacture and installation of fences,” and “Practical fencing issues.” From the processing methods to the peculiarities of the installation process, the author elaborates upon such topics as fencing for parks, gratings for various purposes, window grates, stair fences, balcony fences, etc. Through the analysis of the architecture of metal fences in a number of the Soviet cities (including Novgorod, Tashkent, Kolomna, Yaroslavl, Erevan), Rozenblyum singles out the most and least common patterns such as low window grates for setting flowers (not popular) and others. In each chapter, the author offers brief information on the key factors in the construction of metal fences and doesn’t spare a chance to criticize Western practices: “Such tasteless, anti-artistic fences are erected there [the United States of America] sometimes for many kilometers ... a trend, so often observed in the context of the degrading culture of the West.” The edition is supplemented with numerous tables (the most common sizes of steel for the production of architectural metal fences, alloy grades for various purposes, etc.) and black-and-white illustrations showing designs of metal fences in various places across the USSR. The latter is particularly important as many of them got destroyed over time, and the book serves as a kind of photo-documentation of architectural features of the period.
Overall, an interesting insight into the architecture of metal fences in the Soviet Union.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition at Harvard University, University at Albany, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Washington Libraries, and UC Berkeley Libraries.