The Derzhprom (Gosprom) building

The Derzhprom or Gosprom building is a constructivist structure located in Freedom Square, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Its name is an abbreviation of two words that, taken together, mean State Industry. In English the structure is known as the State Industry Building or the Palace of Industry.


The building was one of a few showcase projects designed when Kharkiv (Kharkov) was the capital of the Ukrainian SSR. Built by architects Sergei Serafimov, S.Kravets and M.Felger in only three years. It was to become the tallest structure in Europe for its time. The building also became the most spacious single structure in the world by the year of its completion in 1928 to be surpassed by New York's skyscrapers in 1930s. Its unique feature lies in the symmetry which can only be felt at one point, in the centre of the square.

The use of concrete in its construction and the system of overhead walkways and individual interlinked towers made it extremely innovative. It was rated by Reyner Banham as one of the major architectural achievements of the 1920s in his Theory and Design in the First Machine Age and comparable in scale only to the Dessau Bauhaus and the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam. This allowed the structure to fully survive any destruction attempts during the Second World War.

The Dezhprom complex was used as a symbol of modernity in films such as Dziga Vertov's Three Songs about Lenin and Sergei Eisenstein's The General Line. The building's notability was overshadowed following the 1936 move of the Ukrainian capital to Kiev, the later denunciation of Constructivism by Stalinist Architecture and the Second World War. More recently one of its towers was used as a television centre and a TV relay tower was built on its roof.

  • Universiry/ Dec 2005
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