Today best remembered for Baku’s Palace of the Press, Semyon Pen was a Soviet architect , civil engineer, inventor and artist.
Born in Odessa to a Jewish family, he studied engineering in Leningrad (today St Petersburg). At a time when clubs were deemed the great social condenser, he designed the constructivist Krasny Proletarian Printing House Club in Moscow. Specialising in printing works – an important tool of the Soviet system, his next project was the Baku Palace of the Press, considered a triumph at the time of building – a complex which contained workshops, a book shop and a publishing house. In 1937 he designed the House of the Press in Kazan.
In 1950 he was awarded the Stalin Prize for his study of Asbestos Cement. A prolific writer, he published Asbestos-cement in the industrial construction of England which was part of the Soviet Architectural series Construction equipment in England in 1956.
Semyon Pen 1897-1970