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E. A. Levinson

Evgeny Adolfovich Levinson (1894-1968, Leningrad), architect and artist, Associate of the Academy of Architecture of the USSR (from 1941), Doctor of Architecture (1946). He studied at Civil Engineers' Institute (1915-1916), and graduated from the Academy of Arts (1924-1927). In the early 1920s, he worked as a stage designer in Odessa.His architectural activity is mainly connected with Leningrad. He followed the norms of constructivism in his early works, such as the building of the preventorium (32 Elizarova Avenue, 1928-1930, together with L.V. Rudnev, I.I. Fomin et al.), residential houses at 55 Kamennoostrovsky Avenue (1929-1930, together with A.M. Sokolov) and 20 Pesochnaya Embankment (1930-36). The forms of the late constructivism can be seen in the first apartment house of Leningrad Soviet (13 Karpovka River Embankment; 1931-35, together with Fomin), which is characterized by the dynamics and sculptural expression of curved and right-angled dimensions, Leningrad Soviet Recreation Centre (42 Kamennoostrovsky Avenue; 1931-1938, together with V.O. Munz) and the House of Light Industry (44-46 Voznesensky Avenue; 1932-1935, together with Fomin) which has ornamental details of the facades a la Art Deco.Since the mid-1930s Levinson was involved in the modernization of the city's classical heritage, thus contributing to the establishment of his original Neoclassical style. The dominating point in the buildings of Nevsky District Soviet (163 Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue, 1936-1939), buildings on Ivanovskaya Street (1937-1940), residential-houses at 8 Petrovskaya Embankment (1938-1940) as well as 145 and 147 Moskovsky Avenue (1938-1940, all of them built together with Fomin et al.) is constituted by the rows of high pylons which accentuate the monumental and large-scale character of the composition. In the 1940s, he took part in the building up of Magnitogorsk, built residential houses in Moscow as well as blocks of low buildings on Krupskoy Street in Leningrad.His post-war works consists of enhancing the retrospective character and ornamentation, such as the apartment house on 1/12 Pestelya Street (1947-1949), the Railway Station in Pushkin (1948-1950; Stalin Award of 1951), Avtovo Metro Station (1950-1955, all of them built together with A.A. Grushke). At that time Levinson paid special attention to the synthesis of arts. His turn to the integrating lapidary forms can be seen in the ensemble of Piskarevskoe Memorial Cemetery (1955-1960, together with A.V. Vasilyev, sculptors V.V. Isaeva, R.K. Taurit et al.). The last stage of his works is represented by neo-constructivist forms, revealed in his return to a strict functionality and laconicism of clear-cut three-dimensional compositions: Sovetskaya Hotel (43/1 Lermontovsky Avenue, 1963-1968), Nevsky House of Culture (32 Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue, 1968-72) etc. Based on the methods of industrial house-building Levinson directed the development of residential blocks in Nevsky District. He also taught at the Leningrad Institute of Municipal Building - Leningrad Building Engineering Institute (1940-46), and was also in charge of a workshop in the Academy of Arts (1941-68; professor from 1947).

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ziggurat, July 22nd, 2011
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