Once upon a time in the ’70s and well into the ’80s, the ’50s were considered an architectural horror show. Everything associated with the era went straight in the bin. But now Midcentury Modern is all the rage. Right now the thing they’re throwing away as fast as they can tear it down is Soviet Bloc chic, like this fabulous Palast der Republik in former East Germany.
I first got turned onto bloc interiors when I stayed at the Hotel Pyramida in Prague (above), so-called I guess ‘cos the concrete carbuncle was built in the shape of a pyramid. But this was no Vegas Luxor. It was so barren, so bleak, so uncomfortable, I thought I was going to cry. But then I thought of the Minimalist fetishists back home, and my tears of sorrow became tears of joy. I was staying in some future issue of Wallpaper that not only had not been printed, but also hadn’t even been conceived of. I nicked the towels and use them to this day. But will these white elephants of communism become chic in time to preserve them?
– Fenton Bailey