15 Moscow Landmarks – Part 2

Small Arena, Luzhniki Sports Complex, Moscow 2012 by Leslie Hossack

Small Arena, Luzhniki Sports Complex, Moscow 2012

Swimming Stadium, Luzhniki Sports Complex, Moscow 2012 by Leslie Hossack

Swimming Stadium, Luzhniki Sports Complex, Moscow 2012

© Leslie Hossack

The Small Arena and the Swimming Stadium shown above are part of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Complex which also includes Luzhniki Stadium featured in yesterday’s post. Originally the main arena held 103,000 spectators, the small arena 16,000 and the swimming stadium 8,000.

The Soviet Union achieved its first post-war success at the 1952 Olympics and determined to upgrade its sports facilities to guarantee future medals. The Luzhniki Sports Complex was constructed from 1954­-1956. It was completely rebuilt for the 1980 Olympics, the first games held in a communist country. Led by the United States, 65 countries boycotted the Moscow Games because of the Soviet War in Afghanistan; four years later the Soviets lead a boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

The Moscow Photographs, a collection of limited edition fine art prints by Leslie Hossack, examine Joseph Stalin’s architectural legacy in Russia’s capital. The structures are linked to Stalin by era, architect and anecdote. Hossack painstakingly deconstructs these historic landmarks, revealing them as they appeared when the architects first put their designs on paper.

The Moscow Photographs include: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow’s 1980 Olympic Stadium; the Small Arena and Swimming Stadium also located at the Luzhniki Olympic Sports Complex; Lenin’s Tomb and Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square; Bolshoi Theatre and Red Army Theatre; Moscow City Hall and Dinamo Metro Station; Gorky Park and Ukraine Pavilion; Lubyanka Building and Moskva Hotel; Russian White House and Kotelnicheskaya Apartment Building, one of Stalin’s high-rises known as the Seven Sisters.

These images are part of Leslie Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, sacred sites in Jerusalem and a Cold War bunker in Ottawa. To view more images, please visit her website.  lesliehossack.com

15 Moscow Landmarks

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow 2012 by Leslie Hossack

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow 2012

© Leslie Hossack

This is the first in a series of posts featuring 15 iconic landmarks in Moscow.

The Grand Sports Arena shown above was officially opened in July 1956. It was the signature stadium during the 1980 Moscow Olympics, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies. In a 1996 renovation, the roof was added.

Recently, the 2018 FIFA World Cup was awarded to Russia, and Luzhniki Stadium will host the final match. It will then join Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, Munich’s Olympiastadion and London’s Wembley Stadium as the only stadia to have hosted the finals of the FIFA World Cup, UEFA’s FIFA World Cup and also featured as a main stadium of the Summer Olympic Games.

The Moscow Photographs, a collection of limited edition fine art prints by Leslie Hossack, examine Joseph Stalin’s architectural legacy in Russia’s capital. The structures presented are linked to Stalin by era, architect and anecdote. Hossack painstakingly deconstructs these historic landmarks, revealing them as they appeared when the architects first put their designs on paper.

The Moscow Photographs include: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow’s 1980 Olympic Stadium; the Small Arena and Swimming Stadium also located at the Luzhniki Olympic Sports Complex; Lenin’s Tomb and Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square; Bolshoi Theatre and Red Army Theatre; Moscow City Hall and Dinamo Metro Station; Gorky Park and Ukraine Pavilion; Lubyanka Building and Moskva Hotel; Russian White House and Kotelnicheskaya Apartment Building, one of Stalin’s high-rises known as the Seven Sisters.

These images are part of Leslie Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, sacred sites in Jerusalem and a Cold War bunker in Ottawa. To view more images, please visit her website.  lesliehossack.com

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Three months from today, on the 27th of July, the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games will mark the beginning of the XXXth Olympiad.

But my love affair with the Olympics started over four years ago, in January 2008. I walked past the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Village construction project, and I was a goner.

Southeast False Creek, Seen from Cambie Bridge, Vancouver 2008

© Leslie Hossack

Olympic Village Site, Seen from Science World, Vancouver 2008

© Leslie Hossack

I was captivated by the vision of a dozen tower cranes moving gracefully together. Sometimes they reminded me of a finely tuned orchestra; sometimes they looked like a beautifully choreographed ballet. From that very first glance, I felt compelled to return to Southeast False Creek again and again to photograph the massive construction site of the Vancouver Athletes’ Village.

I knew from the beginning that I had to document the area over a four-year period: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. It was a rare opportunity to witness the construction of a village, and the creation of a community, from the ground up.

And this was no ordinary community. Normally, we create purpose-built structures; we build a condo to be a condo. But this was different; this was the construction of a group of buildings to serve as a transient Athletes’ Village and, subsequently, an ongoing urban community.

Initially, the village on Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek would be one of the world’s most exclusive gated communities. It would be home to elite athletes from around the globe in the winter of 2010. The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius means: “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” I often thought that this motto applied not only to the athletes, but also to the construction of the village. It was a fascinating example of project management and coordination.