Each building will be what our age calls a megastructure, containing apartments, industrial workshops, communal eating and recreational facilities (Chernyshevsky describes the ballrooms, and the festivals to be held there, in elaborate loving detail), and enhanced by aluminum furniture, sliding walls (to facilitate household rearrangements), and an early form of air conditioning. Each megastructure will contain a community of several thousand people satisfying all their material needs through a collectivized, technologically advanced agriculture and industry, and satisfied sexually and emotionally through the social policies of a benign, sophisticated, and rational administration. The ‘new Russia,’ as Chernyshevsky calls it, will be utterly devoid of tension, personal or political; even the dream of trouble is absent from this new world….
Thus the Crystal Palace is conceived as the antithesis of the city. Chernyshevsky’s dream, we can see now, is a dream of modernization without urbanism. The new antithesis to the city is no longer the primitive countryside, but a highly developed, super-technological, self-contained exurban world, comprehensively planned and organized—because created ex nihilo on virgin soil—more thoroughly controlled and administered, and hence ‘more pleasant and advantageous’ than any modern metropolis could be.
― Marshall Berman, All that is Solid Melts into Air