Women's Activism NYC

Raisa Kokhanova

1906 - 1992

By: Sofia Krasnaya | Date Added:

Raisa Nikolevna Kokhanova Soviet architect-engineer. Illustrious for several architectural, industrial projects, she had contributed significantly to constructivism in the USSR. Biography. Raisa Nikolaevna Kokhanova was born in St. Petersburg, spent her childhood in Ertelev Lane. Her father, Nikolai Ivanovich Kokhanov, was a major general, a military engineer-fortifier. Raisa Kokhanova entered the painting department of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1917, but after the revolution, the course was reoriented to civil architecture. In 1930 she graduated from the Leningrad Higher Artistic and Technical Institute with the title of engineer-architect. After graduating from the institute, Raisa Kokhanova specialized in the design of traction electrical substations. All the buildings she created were carried out at the very beginning of the 1930s. Kokhanova's style, in the absence of any ornate details, is artistically very expressive. The architecture of the buildings has a pronounced constructivist character. Among the industrial buildings that Kokhanova had designed is Komsomolskaya Traction Substation No. 11 on Fontanka (1931-1932) and Lesnovskaya Traction Substation No. 12 on Engels Avenue (1931-1933). She is also credited with the authorship of projects for other substations: Substation No. 13 "Grebetskaya" at the Volkhovskaya HPP (1933-1934), Traction substation No. 15 "Klinskaya" on Mozhaiskaya Street (1933-1934). The traction substations of the architect Raisa Kokhanova were created according to a developed experimental project, born of Lenin's plans for the electrification of the country and the task of developing a new transport for workers. These substations are a symbol of Soviet utopian endeavors. They contain the pathos of the revolutionary reorganization of the world in general and the reorganization of everyday life in particular, the widespread rejection of the individual in favor of the collective. The spirit of working romanticism and the new society had to correspond to new architectural and urban planning forms: garden cities, housing cells, kitchen factories, proletarian baths, and, of course, electrical substations. Raisa Kohanova is illustrious not only for being at the peak of Russian constructivism and prompting ideas of new social structure but also for contributing to historic preservation programs. During the siege of Leningrad, she was engaged in the protection of architectural monuments from bombing. She was awarded the medal "For the Defense of Leningrad." After the Great Patriotic War, she took an active part in the restoration of buildings in the city. Traction substation No. 11 (1932), Leningrad. The most famous and significant Kohanova's project is Traction substation No. 11 in Saint Petersburg (former Leningrad). In 1932, Kokhanova designed the famous substation building on the Fontanka River. The building is designed in the Suprematist Leningrad style and is a unique example of a constructivist production facility. The substation is inscribed in the embankment line and does not dominate the surrounding background. The composition consists of simple geometric elements that are folded according to a specific pattern. In addition to its architectural value, the project is notable for its place in history. Traction substation No. 11 has become one of the symbols of the besieged Leningrad and a vivid example of Suprematist architecture. The building is a rare example of a production facility in the central districts of St. Petersburg, designed in the spirit of constructivism. Similar projects were created at that time under the influence of Lenin's plans for the electrification of the country and the task of providing workers with a new mode of transport that was to be developed. The building is a historical monument and a work of architecture, made in the spirit of ideas and style of constructivism. In 2015, city defenders and an amateur filmmaker under the collective "Tram Studio Mountains. St. Petersburg" made a movie "The Tale of the Siege Substation” that revolves around the fate of the building. References. Pervushina, E., 2012. Leningrad’s utopia. Avant-garde in the architecture of the North Capital. Tsentrpoligraph. 384 p. Teplitskaya, Y., 2009. Modest charms of constructivism. Legendary blockade substation belongs to a withering Russian avant-garde classic. Novaya Gazeta №26. Nikolaeva, M., 2019. Baumanka and “Kuznetsky Most”: the 6 best projects of women architects. Forbes Woman.

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