1964-1994 Cosmos Pavillon at VDNKh Moscow

Through the Years - The main exhibition area


The 60ies design

From the opening of the designated Cosmos Pavillon in 1967 until late in the 1970ies the walls of the two main exhibition rows were covered with black plastic panels that were inset with lit-from-behind image panels, depicting photos, schemes and quite a number of space art works by the famous soviet SF and Space artist Andrey Sokolov. Back-lit information boxes were distributed among the exhibits. On top of the side walls were 4 space propaganda slogans.


New information concept I

1978 the exhibition was restructured. Two rows of information-loaded panels in contemporary 70s-style were circling the length of both exhibition platforms, replacing the separate light boxes and presenting a lot of background information to the visitor.

In 1980 the 4 propaganda slogans were removed from the top of the side walls leaving the panels white.


New information concept II

During 1980 the amount of background information presented was reduced to give way to a more colorful and less dense arrangement of orange-rimmed information panels. The information given here was rather sketchy.

The dome area was fitted during this phase with a huge colorful mural in contemporary style.


Blue design I

The cosmos pavillon was completely refurbished in 1983. Gone were the black plastic walls, the side walls and parts of the upper level were painted deep blue.

The intervalls between the upper level pedestals of the original 1930s design of the pavillon were now filled with large information panel boxes in the same blue design. These boxes would eventually come be the last visible remnants of the cosmos exhibition in the early 1990ies.


Blue design II

The infomation boxes were redesigned in 1987. 6 big pylons and new information panels were added to the exhibition.


Blue design III

Finally the top boxes were emptied of any scientific or technical information in 1989 and filled with large black-and-white space art graphics.

Thus the exhibition in those difficult years already tended towards some more "show value". In the end, however, the space age exhibition had to bow to the new times and was replaced by American Car sales, a Garden Shopping Center and so on ...

images: 1969 David C. Cook; 1980 FotoAlbum; 1980 Postcard; 1981 Ray Thomas; 1984 Steve Makin; 1987 Angelika Rosenzweig; 1990 Elaine Robson

Through the Years - The dome


Vostok Background

Befor the opening of the designated Cosmos Pavillon in 1967 the dome area was used to exhibit the iconic Vostok 1 spaceship as a 1:1 model, along with a mockup of Yuri Gagarin in his ejection seat and the Vostok 1 return capsule.


Leonov's spacewalk

Throughout these years the dome central wall was dominated by a large panel depicting mankind's first spacewalk, performed on 18 March 1965 by soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov.


The mural

The dome area was fitted during this phase with a huge colorful mural in contemporary style (A bit awful in my opinion).


Yuri Gagarin

The cosmos pavillon was completely refurbished in 1983. A slogan was put into the rotunda :

"Космонавтика - путь к миру и прогрессу"
(Cosmonautics - Path to Peace and Progress).

A large portrait of Yuri Gagarin holding a pigeon, symbol of peace, was overlooking the exhibition.

For strange reasons this portrait was 1993 covered with clothes (Who could be ashamed of Gagarin?), but left installed for many years..

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