Under Threat: Red Flag Textile Factory
by Erich Mendelsohn, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1926
DATE: 24/3/2017
Docomomo International wishes to draw your attention for the threatened future of the Red Flag Textile Factory, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and challenge you to join the cause, spreading the case as most as possible.

Red Flag Textile Factory is the only major work in Russia, built in 1926, designed by the German architect Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) and his team who was recognized by his innovative design buildings and sites as the best examples of the avant-garde era in Germany, Great Britain, Israel and America. Red Flag Textile Factory is an international famous building ensemble that should be considered as architectural world heritage of the industrial Modern Movement development. It also stands as an outstanding example of cooperation between Germany and Russia and an inspiration of the influences of German architecture in Russia and worldwide.

This outstanding monument is under the risk of being demolished by mistake, due to the new works under construction around it, and due to the reduction of Monument protection, step by step, in the last years. Finally, last 20th March 2017, the assembly of the “Great advice of the cultural monuments of St. Petersburg” decided not to give any monument protection to the whole ensemble, regarding both the inside and the outside of the building as its surrounding area.

According to recent correspondences with Russian and German experts all the information gathered among international forums, Docomomo International painfully realizes that no preventive measures are expected to be undertaken in order to maintain this facility, neither its conservation and restoration.

Docomomo International full supports the efforts carried out and other actions under development in order to preserve this factory that should be fully restored, taking into consideration the history of the building and the willing to maintain its integrity and authenticity for future generations.

The Publik Library in Wyburg, designed by Alvar Aalto and restored through a strong initiative of the Russian and the Finnish Governments, especially through the support of President Putin and Finnish-Russian cooperation, is a worldwide regarded and respected success story for 20th century architecture of Modernism and Avant-garde. It could be an example for Red Flagg Textile Factory and its future.

Docomomo International sent the following letters to authorities in Russia and Germany and received the following answers from the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, the Head of the Heritage Protection Committee,  Mr. Serguei Makarov, and from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. 

Correspondence regarding the Red Flag Textile Factory: PDF below