The National Library in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan by Abdul Akhmedov in 1964. The three-storey concrete project is a magnificent example of Soviet modernism with brutalist tendencies. It utilizes highly Islamic, namely Iranian, forms as the basis of its plan. This is notably seen the central courtyard which functions for utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. It is shown as a focal point due to the nature of the social patterns in eastern societies which are centered around courtyards and atria, places where scholarly discussion and the sharing of ideas takes place have taken place for millennia. Islamic influences are also seen in the modernized screens and the Persian water gardens which have both been hardened and masculinized, contrasting their traditional femininity and etherealness. This library both established Turkmenistan as a distinct nation from Moscow while still embracing the modernist movement that came with the industrialization of the Soviet Republics.
Ban Shigeru: Expo in Hanover
As an expression of sustainable architecture – a central theme of the Expo – the pavilion was constructed with recycled materials that can be dismantled and used again. Over the main hall is a lattice-grid shell of cardboard tubes. The end walls are in a cable-tensioned cardboard honeycomb construction, while the roof skin consists of a five-layer fire- and waterproof paper membrane. Even the sand-filled steel foundations can be removed and used again later. Extensive trials were necessary to obtain planning approval, however. The structure had to be reinforced with curved timber ladder girders, which, together with the steel stays, form the real load-bearing elements; and the paper membrane had to be covered with an additional PVC fabric.