Two large concrete platforms stand above a street, surrounded by old fashioned trams and buildings.

After achieving international acclaim as a painter and designer, El Lissitzky set out in 1924 to convince the world—and himself—that he was also an architect. 

He did this with a project for a ‘horizontal skyscraper,’ which he gave an obscure and untranslatable name: Wolkenbügel. Eight of these buildings, perched atop slender pillars, were intended to stand at major intersections along Moscow’s Boulevard Ring, integrating the flow of tramlines, subways, and elevators. This talk, and the book of the same name, explores Lissitzky’s translation of visual and textual media into spatial ideas and offers an in-depth study of the surviving drawings and archival artifacts related to Lissitzky's most complex architectural proposal.

Copies of Wolkenbügel: El Lissitzky as Architect (MIT Press, 2024) will be available for purchase at a reduced price at the event. Book sales are supported by the RIAS Bookshop.

More about Wolkenbügel: El Lissitzky as Architect can be found here.

About Professor Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is Professor of Architectural History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh. He is the editor of Ludwig Hilberseimer’s Metropolisarchitecture and Selected Essays (2012) and the author of Russia: Modern Architectures in History (2015) and Wolkenbügel: El Lissitzky as Architect (2024).


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Event details

24 Apr '24
Free and open to all
Edinburgh College of Art Main Building, Main Lecture Theatre (E22), 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF
Professor Richard Anderson