a+t visits the Melnikov House

Aurora Fernández Per.

May 03, 2018

 a+t visits the Melnikov House

Kostantin Melnikov. Melnikov House. Moscow, 1927

It is striking the amount of private homes that can be visited in Moscow. In a city where it is so difficult to talk to its inhabitants, it is very easy to get to know their houses. Those in which someone singular lived have become a museum and are the people close to the character who show them, making it a way of life.

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To that universe of museum-houses shown by relatives, belongs that of Kostantin Melnikov, which shows his great-granddaughter Natalia. In the midst of family intimacy, built with furniture and personal objects, the architecture is blurred. We must separate the sediment of the years lived to discover the visual games, the floor which expands to the circular limits, the tension between openings and walls on the ground floor and the light-filled vacuum on the upper floors

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Built in 1927, during the period of New Economic Policy (1921-928), the Melnikov residence was one of the many single-family homes that were built during those years, in which the nationalization law of 1918 was softened to tackle the shortage of housing.

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Constantín Melnikov considered it as a prototype, from which he proposed designs for low-cost collective housing buildings, -not built- and for working clubs, one of which, the Burevestnik factory, was completed.

The principle of  interlocking cylinders was the Melnikov proposal for a desirable house, in opposition to the cubic unit, on which the designs of his peers pivoted to solve the housing problem in the emerging Soviet Union.

Photos by a+t research group

 


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