Saatchi & Saatchi/MA

The "iceberg" metaphor made literal.

Great buildings don't wear their history on their sleeves. As in Hemingway's famous literary "iceberg" adage, the story sits mostly out of sight -- in broken windows since fixed, realigned walls, and most of all, the movements of important people who left no prints on the architecture.

That iceberg metaphor is the inspiration for a clever new advertising campaign for the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow. Designed by the Russian offices of Saatchi & Saatchi to lure in architecturally curious Muscovites, the posters imagine what three iconic Moscow buildings might look like if their above-ground structure represented only a tenth of their total volume.

Above, of course, are the famous onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square, with an imaginary substructure of ever-larger pillars and domes.

The designers also developed underground additions to the Lomonosov Moscow State University (which featured in Phaidon's atlas of 20th century world architecture):

And for the now-infamous Bolshoi Theater, which, as David Remnick's reporting on the acid attack demonstrates, may be the perfect illustration of the campaign's slogan, "Discover the full story."

Come to think of it, we wouldn't be too surprised if a good number of Moscow buildings did have secret underground extensions.

All images courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi and the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  3. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  4. Equity

    Capturing Black Bottom, a Detroit Neighborhood Lost to Urban Renewal

    “Black Bottom Street View,” now exhibiting at the Detroit Public Library, thoughtfully displays old images of the historic African American neighborhood in its final days.

  5. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?