Kathy Hinde

29 January, 2020



On my first walk around Kaliningrad, Alexei introduced me to the House of the Soviets. An incredible building that stands out prominently in Kaliningrad and can be seen very clearly from the window of the studio I’m working in. Architecturally, I find it beautiful, but its appearance divides opinion. It is often referred to by Kaliningraders as the “buried robot”, because it does look a bit like a robot’s head. The interesting thing about this building is the fact that it has never been finished, or inhabited. It was started in the 70’s to house the governors of Kaliningrad Oblast, and initially ran into structural problems due to the marshy ground it stands on. Construction was paused in the late 80’s due to lack of funding, and then never really took off again to this day. I fell in love with the building, and was particularly taken by how she (I decided to call her a ‘she’) appears in different light at different times of day. As there are no other buildings overshadowing her, it is possible to view her from all different angles, and I took a lot of photographs during my time in Kaliningrad. It was previously possible to gain access to the inside, and I wanted to make recordings of the empty spaces inside the building. This felt conceptually interesting as she has always been empty, but is most definitely not silent. I anticipated hearing the sounds of the busy traffic and wind tuned by the resonant spaces of the empty rooms  Unfortunately, access was not possible this time…

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