German photographer Frank Herfort became fascinated by the oddly futuristic buildings being built in Moscow shortly after he moved there in 2006.
As he traveled through other parts of Russia and the surrounding countries, he noticed a similar desire to put the Soviet Union in the past by constructing extravagant buildings that defied Communist ideals and signified prestige and status.
Herfort took roughly 300 photos of those buildings, some of which he allowed us to publish. You can check out the entire collection in his book, “Imperial Pomp,” which was released last fall.
Over the past 15 years, numerous luxury office and apartment buildings in Moscow have replaced old historic buildings. The Aliye Parusa (or Scarlet Sails), pictured here, has 500 apartments, an indoor amusement park, and a marina for yachts.
The Linkor Tower in Moscow, an office building, also houses the Veteran Palace of Military Intelligence.
The Mercury City Tower in Moscow began construction in 2009. At 1,112 feet, it is now the tallest building in Europe.
The Legion III Center is a business center located in the central historical district of Moscow.
Since Astana became Kazakhstan’s capital city in 1997, the government has commissioned several futuristic buildings.
The Bayterek Tower represents a poplar tree holding a golden egg, which refers to the tree of life in Turkic mythology. The tower is 97 meters tall, corresponding to the year that Astana became the capital.
The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center is a giant transparent tent in Astana, with a shopping and entertainment complex, a boating river, mini-golf, and an indoor beach resort.
Italian architect Manfredi Nicoletti designed Astana’s Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, which opened in 2009 and is one of the largest halls of its kind.
The Lazurny Kvartal (or Azure Quarter) in Astana is a complex of apartment buildings opened in 2011.
The Ugra Chess Academy in oil boom-town Khanty-Mansiysk was designed by Dutch architect Erick Van Egeraat. It has no sharp edges and was designed to conserve energy.
The Surgut School of Foreign Languages in Surgut, Russia has a clock tower that is nearly identical to London’s Big Ben.
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