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Waiting for the End of the World


By Richard Ross. Princeton Architectural Press, 2004. 144pp.

£12.50 Before the end of the Cold War, this was the nuclear shelter for a factory in St Petersburg - now, after a little makeover, it's 'The Trendy Griboyedov Club' (pictured left). Richard Ross's photographic survey of these subterranean hideouts isn't sytematic:

Cold War provision predominates, but there are pictures too of Second World War shelters in London, of 1930s tunnels beneath the Chinese village of Jiaozhuanghu - made for the SinoJapanese War but now a tourist attraction - and of caves in Cappodocia where early Christians hid from Roman armies.

The Cold War shelters range from the clinical or palpably malign to the incongruously cosy (armchairs, bookshelves, a rustic timber ceiling). Strange to think how hush-hush they were so recently: now a sign on the A128 points to a 'Secret Nuclear Bunker'.

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