A Point In Design

Trips to Famous Buildings – The Melnikov House, Moscow, Russia
October 20, 2011, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Trips to Famous Buildings

This house was something I came upon by accident, but it really intrigued me. From a US perspective, Russian architecture is rarely explored in any detail in architecture schools in the US (at least not at the one I attended) aside from a cursory mention of Constructivism presented in an art history seminar. I was not familiar with Melnikov’s body of work prior to discovering his house. The house itself was built in 1927 based on 2 interlocking circles and was really ahead of its time as the house had no internal load bearing walls. The entire structure was supported by the two interlocking circles. This allowed for a very open floor plan. It would not be till the mid 1950s (mid-century modern) that this kind of open concept plan was implemented in any way in the United States. The house still exists today and is still occupied by Melnikov’s relatives, but it is in sad shape in and dire need of restoration. The Russian government is in the process of creating a preservation grant to restore it to its original glory, but that maybe sometime till the work is completed. So below are some photos of the building that you can check out to give you some idea of the feel of the house. The ground floor is taken up by a kitchen and bathrooms while the second floor is reserved for the living room in the front of the house with the bedrooms in the rear. The third floor occupies Melnikov’s double height studio space. Melnikov was an artist as well as an architect. There is also a roof deck.

I am somewhat surprised by Melnikov’s use of a flat roof in Moscow. Russian winters would not be conducive to such a design and the owner would have most likely had to have shoveled snow off the roof to prevent it from collapsing. The series of scuppers and downspouts that surround the roof are also somewhat unusual and surprisingly prominent.

Of course the signature element of this design are the trapezoidal windows that blanket the outer rings of the house. The openings were designed to conserve brick which was in short supply in Russia at the time. The quality of light that comes in through these openings is superb.

Daylight in Studio

Image Gallery

5 Comments so far
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cheap-kids-bean-bag-chairs.tumblr.com Adoring the posting.. thanks My internet browsings seem full.. thanks. My personal internet searching seem total.. thanks. I appreciate you giving out your point of view..

Comment by Devona Arif


Comment by Wendell Stines

interesting post. thanks very much

Comment by Robbie Golia

ive got to show this to my friend, bookmarked

Comment by Monicca2654

ive got to show this to my friend, bookmarked

Comment by Laverne Rollins

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