Published by FUEL Publishing. By Christopher Herwig. Edited by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell. Essay by Owen Hatherley.
From the author of Soviet Bus Stops, an underground trip through the Soviet Metro
“For us,” said Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in his memoirs, “there was something supernatural about the Metro.” Visiting any of the dozen or so Metro networks built across the Soviet Union between the 1930s and 1980s, it is easy to see why. Rather than the straightforward systems of London, Paris or New York, these networks were used as a propaganda artwork—a fusion of sculpture, architecture and art that combined Byzantine, medieval, baroque and constructivist ideas and infused them with the notion that communism would mean a “communal luxury” for all. Today these astonishing spaces remain the closest realization of a Soviet utopia.
Following his bestselling quest for Soviet Bus Stops, Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig has completed a subterranean expedition photographing the stations of each Metro network of the former USSR. From extreme marble and chandelier opulence to brutal futuristic minimalist glory, Soviet Metro Stations documents this wealth of diverse architecture. Along the way Herwig captures the elements that make up this singular Soviet experience: neon, concrete, escalators, signage, mosaics and relief sculptures all combine to build a vivid map of the Soviet Metro.
Soviet Metro Stations includes an essay by the leading architectural and political writer Owen Hatherley, author of the acclaimed books Landscapes of Communism (2015), Trans-Europe Express (2018) and The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space.
Published by FUEL Publishing. By Christopher Herwig. Edited by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell. Text by Owen Hatherley.
On the heels of his bestselling Soviet Bus Stops, photographer Christopher Herwig locates fresh wonders of the Soviet vernacular in Georgia, Ukraine and Russia itself
After the popular and critical success of his first book, Soviet Bus Stops, photographer Christopher Herwig has returned to the former Soviet Union to hunt for more. In this second volume, as well as discovering new stops in the remotest areas of Georgia and Ukraine, Herwig turns his camera to Russia itself. Following exhaustive research, he drove more than 9,000 miles from coast to coast across the largest country in the world, in pursuit of new examples of this singular architectural form.
A foreword by renowned architecture and culture critic Owen Hatherley reveals new information on the origins of the Soviet bus stop. Examining the government policy that allowed these small architectural forms to flourish, he explains how they reflected Soviet values, and how ultimately they remained—despite their incredible individuality—far-flung outposts of Soviet ideology.
The diversity of architectural approaches is staggering: juxtaposed alongside a slew of audacious modern and brutal designs, there are bus stops shaped as trains, birds, light bulbs, rockets, castles, even a bus stop incorporating a statue of St. George slaying the dragon. An essential companion to the first volume, this book provides a valuable document of these important and unique constructions.
Published by FUEL Publishing. Edited by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell. Foreword by Jonathan Meades. Text by Vera Kavalkova-Halvarsson, Christopher Herwig.
Photographer Christopher Herwig first noticed the unusual architecture of Soviet-era bus stops during a 2002 long-distance bike ride from London to St. Petersburg. Challenging himself to take one good photograph every hour, Herwig began to notice surprisingly designed bus stops on otherwise deserted stretches of road. Twelve years later, Herwig had covered more than 18,000 miles in 14 countries of the former Soviet Union, traveling by car, bike, bus and taxi to hunt down and document these bus stops. The local bus stop proved to be fertile ground for local artistic experimentation in the Soviet period, and was built seemingly without design restrictions or budgetary concerns. The result is an astonishing variety of styles and types across the region, from the strictest Brutalism to exuberant whimsy. Soviet Bus Stops is the most comprehensive and diverse collection of Soviet bus stop design ever assembled, including examples from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Estonia. Originally published in a quickly sold-out limited edition, Soviet Bus Stops, named one of the best photobooks of 2014 by Martin Parr, is now available in a highly anticipated, expanded smaller-format trade edition.