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    Africa Hall (Women’s Hall 6), Kumasi, (Ghana), design 1964 -65. Architects Office UST, John Owusu-Addo/Miro Marasović (chief university architect), Niksa Ciko (architect in charge).

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    The Center of Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia). Master plan by Giprogor (USSR), 1954.

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    International Trade Fair, Accra, 1962 -67. GNCC, Vic Adegbite (chief architect), Jacek Chyrosz, Stanislaw Rymaszewski (project architects).

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    Ministries Complex, Kano, 1973 -78. Energoprojekt (Socialist Republic of Serbia, Yugoslavia), Milica Steric, Zoran Bojovic.

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    International Trade Fair in Lagos, 1974 -77, aerial view of the area. Energoprojekt (Socialist Republic of Serbia, Yugoslavia), Zoran Bojovic.

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    International Trade Fair in Lagos, 1974 -77, aerial view of the area. Energoprojekt (Socialist Republic of Serbia, Yugoslavia), Zoran Bojovic (project architect). Ljiljana Bojovic (interior design).

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    Municipality and Town Planning Department, Abu Dhabi, 1979-85. Tayeb Engineering, Bulgarproject (Bulgaria), Dimitar Bogdanov.

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    Entry to the competition to the Municipality and Town Planning Department, Abu Dhabi, 1979, external view. Shiber Consult (Kuwait), Wojciech Jarzabek, Edward Lach.

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Book Review: ‘Architecture in Global Socialism’ by Łukasz Stanek

Georgina Johnston
11 Feb 2020

'Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War' divulges how socialist architects worked to urbanize and develop the global South during the Soviet era

In the course of the Cold War, architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist Eastern Europe engaged in a vibrant collaboration with those in West Africa and the Middle East in order to bring modernization to the developing world. Architecture in Global Socialism shows how their collaboration reshaped five cities in the global South, Accra, Lagos, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City.

Lukasz Stanek describes how local authorities and professionals in these cities drew on Soviet prefabrication systems, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe. He explores how the socialist development path was adapted to tropical conditions in Ghana in the 1960s, and how Eastern European architectural traditions were given new life in 1970s Nigeria. He looks at how the differences between socialist foreign trade and the emerging global construction market were exploited in the Middle East in the closing decades of the Cold War. Stanek demonstrates how these and other practices of global cooperation by socialist countries, what he calls socialist worldmaking, left their enduring mark on urban landscapes in the postcolonial world.

Featuring an extensive collection of previously unpublished images, Architecture in Global Socialism draws on original archival research on four continents and a wealth of in depth interviews. This incisive book presents a new understanding of global urbanization and its architecture through the lens of socialist internationalism, challenging long held notions about modernization and development in the global South. 

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Book Review

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