Architectural Design Edited by Andreas C Papadakis


eAva t Ga de



nor, · I ONION

We are gTllteful to Catherine Cooke who has contributed the majority of material in thi~ isso.eand has allowed us to use extracts from her fonhcoming book The Russian A valli-Garde: 7 h~ones of Art, Al'chilec/ure and the City, 10 be publi: hed by Academy Editions. The essay' Professional . Diver ity and its Origins' (pp 8-21) is based on a lecture entitled • ~pproa~hes La Archncc.LUre In the Soviet Union in the Twenties' given to the Zurich chool of Architecture In 1988. a~enne. ooke ha also translated the documents (pp 22-31) [TOm the original Russian. The Melnikov interview (p 31) is taken from the contemporary journal Le Bulletin de la Vie Arlislique.


Dr Andreas C Papadakis

CO ULTANTS: Catherine Cooke Denni Crompton, Terry Farrell, Kenneth Frampton, harle Jencks Heinrich Klotz.Leon Krier, Roben Maxwell Dernetri Porphyries, CoLin Rowe, Derek Walker. EDITORIAL TEAM: Maggie Toy (House Editor). Justin Ageros, Vivian Constantlnopoulos. DESlGNED BY: Andrea Bette IIa, Mario Betrella SUBSCRlPTlO SlAG R: . a Joka First published in Great Britain in 1991 by Architectural Design an imprint of the ACADEMY GROUP LTD. 7 HOLLAND STREET, LO DO W84 A ISB : 1-85490-077-3 (UK) Copyright © 1991 the Academy Group. All rights reserved The entire contents of this publicauon are copyright and cannot be reproduced whatsoever without wriuen permis ion fr m the publishers

in any manner

Th~ Publishe.fs and Editor do nOI hold themselves responsible for the opinions expressed b the wruers of articles or letters in this magazine Arch!tectll:a/ Design Profi Ie 93 is published as part of Architec: ural Design 01 61 9- 10/1991 Published In the United Stales of America by STMARTIN'SPRESS. 175 F'lFrH AVENUE, NEW YORK 10010

ISB : 0-312-06793-3 (USA)

Primed and b und in Singap re

Architectural Design Profile No 93

Kenneth Powell Modernism Divided 6 8

Catherine Cooke Professional

Diversity and its Origins

Vladimir Tatlin TheWork Ahead of Us 22 Nikolai Ladovsky The Working Group of Architects of Architecture in Inkhuk 26 24

The Psycho- Technical Laboratory Alexander Vesnin Credo 27

Ilia GoIQSOV On Architectural Education New Paths in Architecture 29


Konstantin Melnikov Lectures to the Military Academy 30
USSR Pavilion, Exhibition des Arts Decoratif ASNOVA and the Rationalists Paris, 1925 31 42

32, GSA and the Constructivists 60, Konstatuin Melniko,

Younger Moscow Constructivists


Ilia Golosov 68, Gtigorii Barkhin 71 Velikovsky, Kuznetsov, Golosov 74, Leningra iers 78

Alexei Shchusev 79, Ivan Zholt vsk I and Pupils 83 Ivan Fomin 86, VLadimir Shchuko 90
Nikolai Markovnlkov 93, Yopra 94

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Modernism stands divided, torn between social and aesthetic priorities, between orthodoxy and innovation, alternately apologetic and defiant, while its critics brand it as joyless, insensate, detached from popular perceptions and aspirations. A new generation of radical Moderns strives to revitalise the movement, aiming at a synthesis of the forms of the machine and of nature, a dialogue between artists and architects, and a renewed examination of the definition of architectu re as Itself an art, injured. The very nature of existing cities and lowns is questioned, and the ways in which a new urbanism can create a better society are truitfully debated. Meal'lwhlle, Classicism survives and adapts successfu.lly to social and economic changes. But it all ends unhappily. Supposed 'plurallsrn' giv·es way to an architecture rooted in a forced marriage of 'traditional' styles and up-Io-date constructional techniques. The 'Iarniliar", the traditional, the well-tried and the beauti1ul, are reinstated as ideals - but beauty is not the outcome, nor even the real objective. The scenario sounds familiar enough, though the obvious parallels between revolutionary Russia and Post·Modern capitalist society can easily be exaggerated. ('MoscoW Metro' is nonetheless an effect which one of the leading British Post-Modernists admits to striving for) ..As the New Modernism advances, against all the odds, the history o"f the post 1917 Russian avant-garde becomes all the more opposite .. To the Soviet Union itself and throughout Eastern Europe, moreover, Stalinist aesthetics are being finally consigned to the dustbin. The work of the Constructivrsts and the other radicals of the 19205 is certain to be reassessed there (and the need for a reassessment Is urgent as the East faces the onslaught of facile Western architectural fashion). ( 'Either build functional houses and bridges or create pure art, not both. Oon'l confuse one with the other' wrote Naum Oabo in criticism of Tatlin's proposed towe.r. Constructivism had lis origins on the fringe of respectable society, creating agitprop art for the Bolshevik cause. After the close of the Civil War, its idealism was oonfronted head on by the exigencies of national reconstruction. Oabo was just one of a large number 01 voices urging Ihe new Russian architecture towards ~arlous courses and objectives. But the need of the country was for housing, factories, hospitals, schools and hydro-electrle plants, not monuments, however 'Jr:md the causes they might commemorate. (The !lcal,,· and urg'JnCY 01 the task lended 10 override phil') aphll,,!1 IJnd Iyll tic debates. In any ease, th r ~IJ JfI flfltl.lh (Jry bl08 In censrruettvtem,

linked to the ambition of its exponents 10 abolish the distinction between art and life, between thinking and doing.) The achievements of modern architecture in Russia were enormous. Yet, to an extraordinary degree, Modernism in the infant Soviet Union was detached from the populace. This was its Achilles heel. In due course, architecture, like every other aspect of cultural life, was subjected to a examination as the Soviet Union sought a popular proletarian art. The outcome, of course, was Socialist Realism - in effect, the rebirth of a conscious style with avowed soclal and didactic aims and a cumbersome train of cultural baggage. 'Style is not the essence of architecture', wrote Golosov in 1921, 'and what really matters is to distinguish true artlstlc spirit from style and material values'. Melnikov was adamant that the pavilion he designed for the USSR at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratils in Paris was not a. symbol. In its Simplicity. in fact, the pavilion harked back to the genuinely traditional timber building methods of rural Russia. It typified the Constructivist philosophy in its resolute refusal to openly evoke past or present values. Constructivism was essentially a language of pure form - the architect becomes technician. Any symbolism there was contained within the act of construction. Constructivist architecture was, by definition, anti-style and a-stylar. The fact that style has been so much 10 the fore in the discussion of modern architecture of recent years (1'101 least In the fruitless 'great debate' conducted in Britain) has led to a remarkable undervaluation of the work of Ihe Russian avantgarde. Llssitzky, Tatlin, Melnikov, Vesnin and others are absent from many of the standard textbooks of modern architecture. This omission was all Ihe more nolable In view of the influence of Conslruc!!vism on Walter Groplus, Hannes Meyer, Pierre Chareau and, most recently, Richerd Rogers. (Lloyd's, In particular, Is a striking restatemenl 01 Conslruc\ivlstldeas, directed to the needs of lale 20th-century capltausm.) An excessive concern wflh form and with theory In Ihe current renaissance 01 Modernism can only result In an alien and negative preciousness (already apparent in American Deconstructivist circles). This Is cles.rly a case Of fighting Post-Modernism on the basis of Its own set of yul s - more or less inviting the eoneluslon that 'Modernism Is Just another style'. An aggressive, socielly aware, artistically aligned ITlodarn srehltecture for Ihe 21 st century must be based on the rejecllon 01 applied style and H construcuvtat contempt lor applied effects.

Kenneth Powell is Correspondent for The Dally TeiegrapiJ.llfld member of the Academy Forum COlillcil


Vladimir Tattin, Monument to the Third 19 J 9


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In looking at the architectural avant-garde 01 Russia in the 20s it is important to Seethe Constructivists and others within their larger professional context. Too often, all modernist work of the period is called 'constructivist', whereas in facl very similar looking work derives from several quite different philosophies of architecture. lt is also quite wrong to suppose that the modernist avant-qarde had the architectural field to themselves. The work of the 20s is also too often presented as if its technical, formal and spatial innovations, as well as its concern with design for the poor, were entirely new features of Russian architectural practice. In fact much of that progress in these latter directions had already developed considerable momentum in the pre-Revolutionary period. As a result, social priorities of the post-Revolutionary years were more or less agreed, or at least accepted, by the architectural profession as a whole. On the other hand the question of the style in which such objects should present themselves, of the language with which they would most effectively convey the Revolutionary message, was a matter of heated debate. My atrn here is to clarify the difference between those various strands of what were loosely 'modernist' approaches, to highlight the fundamental differences of theory behind buildings which often superficially appear very simllar stylistically. Some of these approaches are further illuminated here by documents. Others had a clear and distinctive base of theory, but the architects concerned did not develop lt so copiously in theoretical writings. The pluralism of architecture today may help us to understand the arguments on various sides, but the dive.rsity to be found in the Soviet Union of the 20s is not properly described as pluralism. Pluralism after all signiftes a democratic acceptance of that diversity as the natural reflection of legitimately different political and philosophical viewpoints. Russian architectural circles of the 20s were no more characterised by such mutua I respect am 0 ngst the protagonists than Western architecture was In the heyday of the modern movement. My concern here is a positive one, of showing what each group believed about the basis of design. I shall nol confuse this by delving into the oross-currents 01 mutual recriminations and accusations more than Is I'lecessary for clarification of the essentials. But the general arguments made agllinst all 'modern' building there are significant, for it was precisely to overcome or pre-empt such objections that some IIIhom we may broadly describe as 'modernists' UHe already formUlating their approaohes, Tha argum nts made against modernism In the '(Ivlrrl Union of th 20 w re remarkably slmllar to

those made against It 50 years later in the West. Modernist buildings were said to be joylessly 'industrial' In mood, to ignore the 'cultural heritage', and therefore not to communicate with the myths and aspirations by which the general population lived their lives. In this there was considerable truth, and Malevich's discussions 01 the relationship between abstraction and cultural development indicated some 01 the reasons why. Even without seeking explanations, it is clear that some of these failures of communications were the result of deep differences of cultural origin between the popula.tion and the relatively very small architectural profession, and within that protesslon amongst the architects themselves, particularly as a new generation rose to greater influence during the 20s. Other disputes were the result of the theoretical battle going on within Bolshevism itself over the proper source of a proletarian culture. The overlaying of these two factors - the cultural and the theoretical- produced the strange alliances which brought the conservative, pre-Revolutionary generation of architects back to the top in the early 30s, as executants of the historicist aesthetic chosen by the new dictatorship. The essence of the -argument was already established in 19th-century Russia. In the West in the 60s It re-emerged as modernism versus PostModernism. In the Soviet Union in the 20s it was a clash between modernism and an idea 01 synthesis with the cultural heritage that became called Socialist Realism. The denouement in that battle was the competi· tion launched in 1931 for a vast Palace of Soviets in central Moscow, but that it is a saga tn its own right on which I shall only touch peripherally here. Suffice it to note here that, even before such a philosophy was formulated with any clarity in the early 30s, there was sUIl a strong current in the profession which believed in the necessity to preserve a continuity with tradition. Whether It was the tradition of looal vernacular building, or the tradition 01 high-art Classl.clsm, both convictions were represented amongst those groups advancing modernlst archlteatures. As in Europe at thai tlrne, the most obvious and dlrecll.nlluence in slu~ping the arohltsctural and aesthetics 01 the avant-garde was the new art. Before looking at the artistic ldaas which formed that seedbed here In Russia, It Is Important to distinguish the various age and Interest g~oups of thai ganerallY progressive front 01 the profession which In some mann r espous d modernism, for the reacllon of Individuals were very naturally shaped by Ih II' P rsonal baokground .

Konstantin Meillikov, own house, Moscow, 1927-29; Melnikov and his wife on site at completion of the brick 'cage'. 1928.

Street cleaner and waiting cab-men
Red Square. Moscow. /912.



Palace Square and Ihe Alexander Column, SI Petersburg. during a celebratorv divine service, cl900: looking nOrth towards the Wimer Palace.

ot the RevolullonaryPro.
CiS whose ottlc s had be n the eentr s of Innov tlon in the Ilrsl years of Ihe cerHury Were about 60 years old at tile I1meof the R.evolullon and plain I no longer leaders of change. Progressive tree-thlnkers like Leontil Benals In Petrograd or Fedor Shek.htel in Moscow became Ihe elder statesmen Of the profession during the first Soviet years. Till his death In 1928, Benois w s the central figure in balancing stability with Innovation In architectural education in Pelrograd·Lenlngrad. In Moscow Shekhtel continued to be doyen of the profession, remaining President of the Moscow Architectural Society till 1922, and active Inca rnpetition organisation and juries thereafter till his death In 1926. Some close in age to them died in Ihe upheavals, like Shekhtel's near-contemporary KekuShev, or the Petersburger Peretiatkovlch. Lldval was unusual in emigrating to his former family home of Sweden. Amongst those who lead the new protesston forward, we are observing the interaction of what were effectively four distinct professional cohorts. The first and oldest of these had been born at the very end of the 1860s or in the early 1870s, and ranged in age from 40 to 50 at the Revolution. They were well established, in some cases having been through the offices of Shekhtel or Benois, and had built independently. But they retained the flexibility to engage positively with the new situation and to find a synthesis between their established aesthetic positions and the economic and ideological priorities of the new society. The second cohort were under 40 and had solid professional experience too, but were young enough 10 seize the new theoretical cha lIenge of the Bolshevik programme wholeheartedly. They became leaders of the main movements and approaches of the avant-garde. The third, whom we may call the younger leaders completed their training just as the 1917 Revolution broke. They had all the benefits of that solid educati.onal background, but had never buill. The fourth and youngest cohort were the first student generation of the Soviet period, taught according to the new curricula which these older men created around the various theories in the 'Free' schools of the 20s, particularly in Moscow. In referring to these as the 'Russian' profession, not the 'Soviet', 1 do so advisedly. This progressive core Which lead the profession during most of the 20s was precisely Russian. Indeed, it was more against the hegemony of. this Russian-rooted elite than against their architecture that the 'proletarian' groupings of the late 20s protested. Most of those who spearheaded the attack on the avant-garde were not bad modernists themselves, but they came from other, non-Russian, republics. The first and oldest of these four 'generations' within the Russian profession of the 20s were practised exponents at Classicism or the Mademe before the Revolution, or famous as innovators with the new technologies. They were part of the artistic and educational elite trained in architecture faculties of the Academy or the Institute of Civil Engineers In Petersburg, orthe College of Painling,

Th se ar hit

SCiulplure and Archlleclura In Moscow, to atandards rIvalling Ihe best In the Wesl of thel date. Most had also trav lied or studIed abroad. Of those Who were lrnportant In thl:! 208, the oldest was Ivan Zhollovsky. 50 al the Revolullon, who was a passionate advocate of renaissance Classicism and partlculartv 01 Palladia. One year after him In graduating from the A.oademy School was Nikolai Markovnlkov, whose career look him 10 work for the railways and became the lea.dlng advocate of small-scare row-rtse development after the Revolution. IVan Fomln was a talented designer equally fluent In craestcrern and the Modeme. At the turn of the century his Academy ttalning had been broken lor several years by expulslcn lor Involvement In sludent protests, and he visited Paris before workIng for Kekushev and Shekhtel In the interim. A.!ex.el Shchusev was another successful young Academy graduate who split his career between the two cities and could practice several styles with equal ease. Youngest of this cohort, 43 at the Revolution, was Alexa.nder Kuznelsov. A. graduate of both the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Berlin Poly technical Institute, he had published the first work In Russian on the theory of reinforced concrete design back in 1899 and was well known as one of the profession's most innovative designers of structures and services. Rising fast beneath this generation at the time of the Revolution was a cohort of architects in their upper 30s, poised to make their mark. Amongst former Benois pupils at the Academy was Vladimir Shchuko, aged 39, with some inventively eclectic apartment buildings to his name, some Moderne interiors, much theatrical work, and some fine Empire for Russian exhibition pavilions in Italy. Boris Velikovsky had graduated from the Institute of Civil Engineers eight years after Kuznetsov, and already erected several buildings in Petersburq and Moscow. Amongst his collaborators in the latter had been the three Vesnin brothers, Leonid, Viktor and Alexander, who were riSing stars of the Moscow profession. Though trained in Petersburg, they had increasingly figured in the prize lists of the Moscow Architectural Society's competitions during the last ten years. Between the Vesnin brothers in age waslhe Moscow educated Nikolai ladovsky; whilst the Vesnins became leaders Of Constructivism in the 20s, he would lead the rival ideology of Rationalism. Other importanl future modernists in this cohort were the Moscow-trained Panteleimon and Ilia Golosov, and the Civil. Engineering Institute graduates Andrei 01 and Alexander Nikolsky. Still in their 205 at the Revolution and distinct from this cohort in their lack of building experience, but subsequently contributing to theory and practlce in the avant-qards, were some highly talented architects born between 1890 and 1895. Backgrounds and education were more varied in this age-group, but strong creative partnerships between these and members of the slightly older group were one ot the distinctive features of the profession in the early 20s. In this third cohort we have Moisel Ginzburg, later co-leader of Constructivism with the younger


Vesninsj he graduated trom the Riga Polytechnic in 1917 after a three-year course at the Milan Acad· emy. EI Lissltzky's educational career had been very similar, Also forced abroad by Russian educational restrictions on Jews, he graduated trom the same Riga Polytechnic one year later than Ginzburg, after a first degree in Darmstadt. Vladimir Krinsky finished the Academy in Petrograd in 1917, and like Ussitzky would later be closely identified with LadovsKy in Rationalism. Nikolai Dukachaev was another tuture Rationalist leader who just completed his education as the 1917Revolution brought studies to a hall. Konstantin Melnikov finished the Moscow College in the same year but had managed to get building experience already; like his peers he would soon be back teaching in the reorganised schools, in this case with Ilia Golosov as his older partner. lakov Chernikhov also belonged to this age-group, but a fragmented educational career put him somewhat outside the mainstream, These new recruits to the profession of 1917 knew the old 'styles' intimately, as their final diplomas showed. In the 20s they would argue together fiercely over the principles that should generate a modern Soviet architecture, but they were united in regarding It as an essentially new phenomenon, nol a reinterpretation of old canons, Within a year of the Revolution their lormer schools had been reorganised on freer lines by Government decree. Soon they were back there, especially 10 Moscow, passionately deba ting their new theories with colleagues from painting and literature in little 'research groups', even as they started teach ing the next generation in the studio. The oldest of this fourth generation were born in 1893 or soon afterwards, and found their higher education disrupted by the hostilities of Revolution and subsequent Civil War. A lew struggled through to be amongsl the very first graduates of the new era - students like Georgi Simonov who graduated from the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1920, or Georgi Gaits and Nikolai Kolli who lett the reorganised Moscow school, Vkhutemas, in 1922. In general, however, this youngest of the four cohorts had been born arou nd 1900. Professionally, they were the true children of the Revolution, Their whole training as well as their early professional experience was conducted under the new conditions. It was shaped by the new social programme, and limited by the new economic and technical constraints, The new multi-disciplinary school, Vkhutemas, had been lormed by amalgamating the Moscow College with the Stroganov Applied Arts School, and under Kuznetzov such luminaries as the Vesnlns and Ginzburg taught at Moscow Technical College, MUTV.From the new curricula here emerged young stars like lvan Leonidov, Mikhail 8arshch and Andrei Burov to join Constructivism, and Mikhail Turkus, Ivan t.arntsov or George Krutlkov to join Hatlonalism. After a period of chaos Leontii Benois's leadership got the former Academy school back to work in Petrograd and in the later 20s Its graduates ranged from the lormal speculator of Constructive deSign, lakov Chernikhov, to the builder of some of Leningrad's best modernism, Rationalist supporter Armen Barutchev.

I stress these age differences because they are fundamental to understanding the dif1erences of emphasis and argument within Soviet. modernism in the. 20s, Informal teaching, free debate and open competitions enabled young talent to blossom rapidly. but very different levels and kinds of experience were being brought to bear on the problems by people 01 these widely divergent backgrounds, and this is reflected in the range of approaches. In respect of kinds 01experience, we also have to recognise the diNerent spatial experience brought to urban architecture by students from rurat, peasant backgrounds. Most small Russian towns and villages were no 'more Ihan a loose, low-density straggle of freestanding huts along a broad unsurfaced track. Here as in the wide·open countryside, a building forms a powerfully three-dimensional event, rather than being an object compressed and neutered 10 accommodate itself to the presence of others. Thus the two greatest formal Innovators of the avant garde, Ivan Leonidov and lakov Chernikhov. brought to architecture a primal, almost carnally brutal sense of form from childhoods spent in the formal environment totally different !rom the cubic matrix of the European city, which Moscow and Petersburg increasingly resembled, and which their Western-oriented teachers tended to see as essential to a modern urbanity. Melnikov too, though picked up by a middle-class patron in his teens, spent his formative years In Ihat primitive environment and essentially peasant milieu. As fellOW professionals these people of very different social and spatial origins tltted In with each other well enough In the melee of the 20s. As personattlies however, these three not only retained the fiery personal Independence thai makes difficult colleagues: their buildings also had In common an independence of form that makes them spatially unneighbourly within the general fabric ot the city, The result was a marked formal difference between some of Russia's original avant-garde modernism and contemporaneous work in Europe. If we consider the origins of architecture's new language, as opposed to its spatial and social dimensions, then we are looking at quite another area. of pre-Revolutionary actjvlly: to art. It was Tatlin's early 'counter-reliefs' which first explored the way new materials might generate new artistic form. II was Malevich's 'supreme abstraction' of form in a four-dimensional space-time that provided the formal innovators of many different post-Revolutionary trends with their 'clean slate' for building up a new formal language tram first principles. There is no space here to describe the detailed history of how ideas originating with these artists became developed, sometimes through small scale design work, sometimes directly, Inlo phil.osophies ot architecture. I shall merely outline those stages which help to clarify the orientations of the resulting architectural philosophies, and give references to publications where further detail can be found.
From Art to Architecture




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installation ill [rant of tlu: Mllir & Mt,,.t'llee.1 deportment .I'ION, M as/·oll', Ma» Day J 911 .• ,·iil, pl'llIillflipity stotlstirs and the slogan 'Th« revolution ('(/I/~' /J\'C''YQJ1C 10 the

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J' of Ih" revotution, 1927

The Revolution of 1917 presented Ihe architectural professIon with new briefs. which were essentially concerned with helping 10 structure the mass



p pulation according to the Bolshevik programme. lis main social priority was the introduction of cooperative and collective ways of living that would free women lor useful work and make better use of scarce resources, as well as fostering the new political consciousness. II took several years of Civil War to win power over the whole Russian continent and this almost destroyed building materials industries like brick-making, timber-cutting and cement production. Only when they revived a bit in 1924 could any new building be started. Till then, there was no real work for architects: just some exhibition pavilions or street kiosks, small building repairs with scraps of black-market materials. Where peasants could cui timber for themselves there were some new wooden huts. Architects could only dream on paper. Most artists were busy contributing to public celebrations and propaganda about the new regime. But the serious innovators among them soon started forming into discussion groups and 'institutes' to debate the theoretical underpinings of a new art for the new society. Some of these are very important for the development of ideas in architecture. The first important year for theory was 1919. In Leningrad, Tatlin designed his Monument to the Third International to demonstrate a new conception of the 'revolutionary monument'. The statement he issued, entitled The Work Ahead of Us, was of seminal importance for the future relationship between the plastic arts. The 'functionless' counterreliefs he did as 'art' in the pre-Revolutionary years, he said, were the 'laboratory scale' preparation of a new formal language Ihrough which to respond now to the new society's requirements for materia I objects. What were formerly 'painting', 'sculpture' and 'architecture' would now become part of a continuum of work with real materials whose end product was functional. From these studies of materials must come a whole new set of 'disciplines' as the designer's tool, which in their different way must be 'as rigorous asthe dlscfpllnes of Classicism.' After this very influential statement Tatlin himself did not playa great part in the collectlve development of these ideas. The action shilts to a group which came together in Moscow in 1919 for just that purpose, of finding a new kind Of synthesis or common practice between the plastic arts. Its aspiration was embodied in its title Zhivskulptarkh, literally Paint-Sculpt-Arch, which soon became a slighlly more formal research and discussion organisation called Inkhuk: the Institute of Artistic Culture. Inkhuk's programme was written by the now 55-year old Kandlnsky, and was a natural development of the Ideas he published a decade before in On the Spiritua.l In Arl. 'The firsl part of the programme' he wrote, 'consists of an analysis of the specifIc properties or each different artistic medium. The poinl 01 departure Is to be the psychologic-al response of the artist 10 the properlY - for &)'ampflJ, red Is known to excite activity.' This phrae 'P9Y hologlcal re ponse' Indicates Ihe untJl\lrlylny IIHJU Infonded. \fIorl-lllij Group lobI! h d 10 lnv sUgat 'th, pm:;lflr: prfJP rllr 'Ill pufntln(l. <I ulplur and

architecture, with the latter group lead by the 40 year old architect Nikolai Ladovsky. His 'work-plan' for the group was 1: the collection of theoretical studies and the existing theories of architecture of all theoreticians, 2: the extraction and assembly of relevant material from the theoretical treatises and from research In other arts that has a bearing on architecture, and 3: the exposition of our own theoretfcal attitudes to architecture.'! 'The painting and SCUlpture Groups are working in parallel' Ladovsky continued, 'and also the G.roup of Objective Analysis', of which he was a member, 'where at present it is the prlnclples of construction and composition that are under top priority discussion.' It was from this group that the ideas would emerge Which defined the two main avant-garde architectural groupings for the rest of the 20s. The artists of this Objective Analysis Group, who included the most radically innovative abstractlontsts, were aware of the emergence of a new creative principle in their work, which differed significantly from the principles in which they had been trained. It was not their abstraction itself which new, but a more self-consciously programmatic way of creating a form that involved 'building It up', literally 'constructing' it, rather than composing the work as a single perceived image.2 For avant-garde architecture in particular, this debate marked a turning point. Those who still believed in the primacy of the old-established notion of 'composition', and still sought to develop the psychological and perceptual direction established by K.andinsky's initial programme, were to become Ihe architectural Rationalists, led by Ladovsky and his colleague Vladimir Krinsky.In 1923, they created the first new architectural association of the post Revolutionary period, the Association of New Arc hitects, 0 r ASNOVA, to propag ate th i 5 Ratio na ll st approach. The artists, centred around Alexander Rodchenko and Alexei Gan who were convinced of the special importance of the new principle of 'construction', became the First Working Group of Constructivists. The Ccnstructlvlst architectural group, the Union of Contempora.ry Architects or OSA, was formed in late 1925 when soma of these artist-designers IInk.ed up with the architects AI.exander Vesnin and Molsel Ginzburg. AS NOVA and OSA were the two main groups of what we may call sclentillc modernism. Alongside Ihem were a range 01 Individuals pursuing Variants of a mora traditional path. Some 01 this work Is stylistically mod rnlst, some 01 It stili historicist. Others adopted various POSUIOIlS in between. I shall look first at Ration IIsm and COMtructlvlsm lhen al Ihe most important ollhese ethers.

14/h anniversary of the revolution, 7 November 193.1.' procession of MtMcow building workers bearing (J model of one of the cily' s new housing blocks,

Nikolai Ladovsk», project for Communal House. 1920.


Vladimir Krinsky, 'Temple oj Communion between ations':
Zhil'skulplOrkh, 1919.


Popov. ROli(III(f/i.s/ Arehitec-

turc studio under rinsk»: portsmlln",' hostel for ttu: .111/11/"1101;0110/ Red Stadium, Mo.~("ow,1924.

ASNOVA and Rationalism
The work 01 Ihls group wa. based on ideas about the psychology 01 perception, In particular the Impact and reading 01 form. adovsky and Krinsky built vlrtualty nothing, but were axtr mely tntruenllal as I ochers. The Rue Ian art and arch it ctur schools had b n organls d Broun th conc pt of 0 ontlnuum 01 plos\l arta Jarmul t d In


hi , ulpt rkh od InkhuK, and most archltects of n nI I dId t ching. Ladovsky and KrInsky \ T P ttl ul rl powerful In the Foundation or '8 'I' ourse at the big Moscow school called V hutsmas, teaching all students the fundamentals of tormal composition, rhythm and expressiveness of form. They also taught an architecture studio, centred on their conception ot Rationalism. Ladovsky said: 'archltecturat rationalism stands lor the economy of psychic energy in the perception of spatial and functional aspects of a building' \ and he contrasted this to 'technical rationalism', Whose priority is the economy of materials. On the process of designing, he taught that: In planning any given buildins, the architect must first of all assemble and compose only space, not concerning himself with material and construction. Construction enters into architecture only in so lar as it determines the concept of space, The engineer's basic principle is to invest the minimum of material to obtain maximum results. This has nothing in common with art and can only serve the requirements of architecture accldentally." 'The architectural structure of the city', they said, 'directly influences the consumers of architecture by its appearance and by the way whole groups of structures are linked in a spatial system Ihat evokes a particular attitude in the ordinary person'. Thus they declared: The Soviet state, which has put the principle of planning and control at the cornerstone of all its activity, should also utilise architecture as a powerful means for organising the psychology of the masses. However, unfortunately, the objective level of development of the humanitarian sciences, the completely inadequate development of the science of art, and the insignificant results thai have emerged from modern psychology, do not give us the possibility to fully appreciate that psychoorganisational role which Ihe spatial arts can have in Iife.4 Research in this field would 'give the Soviet architect the possibility to solve urbanistic problems by methods which are inaccessible to the Western architect and planner: In their so-called Psycho-Technical Laboratory at the Vkhutemas ASNOVA tried to do such researcn, with strange equipment for 'testing' people's perceptions of forms under d.iflerenl conditions of vision and movement. Their work was based on that of the German psychologist Hugo Munsterberg, Nothing very concrete emerged to be published, but Krinsky's teaching programme on the basics of form was very influential, and their architecture students produced highly inventive projects. It is clear here that the Rationalists are more concerned with external form than with details of internal building organisation. The contrast with the Constructivists' approach is already very clear as early as 1923, if we compare Krinsky's project for a skyscraper on Dzerzhinsky Square in central Moscow with the Vesn!n brothers' project for a Palace of Labour nearby, both regarded within their groups as seminal schemes. As KrinSky's own

description makes clear, his tower was no more than soulpture: another vertloal 10 balance that 01 the Ivsn Belltower In the Kremlin. Llssltzky's famous 'sky-hook' project had the similar Intention of providing points of 'orientation' end 'activation' in the eltlaen's perception of the 'new' Soviet city.s The Vasnln brothers' Palace of Labour scheme was later desorlbed by Ginzburg as 'the first concrete arohitectura'i manfr·eslation of Constructivism'. 'For the very flrsl lime we see here the embodiment of the vllal principles 01 our new approach to Ihe solution of archilecturallasks. This work is uniquely Important and valuable for lis NEW PLAN' he said, which 'is not the old type 0'1 stereotyped symmetrical and ornamental image', but 'attempted the creation of a new social organism, whose inner life flowed not from stereotypes of the past, but from the novelty ot the job itself.' The approach 10 the e.x lerior wa s s imliar, with a. •rei nforced co nc rete framework' providing 'a simple monolithic threedimensional expression of the Palace ... that flows logically from its internal conception." OSA and Constructivism I have described elsewhere the various stages by which the ideas of Tatlin and Inkhuk were developed during the middle 20s into the approach and specific 'design method' of the Constructivist archltects.? The most important texts were Alexei Gan's book Coostructivism; published in 1922, and the writings of Moisei Ginzburg, starling with his book of 1924, Style and Epoch, and leading on into a series of theoretical papers in the Constructivists' journal Contemporary Architecture, or SA, during 1926-27, It was Gan who first strongly identified the key ideas of Constructivism with Marxism; who drew attention to how the old capitalist buildings were hindering social reorganisation, and therefore how 'correct' buildings could help it. It was he who demanded that Constructivists' 'dlsctpllnes' must embra.ce everything from the largest factors of political principle to the small details of how materials can be manipulated and the relationship between them, and who focused on the problem of finding that correct intellectual logic for the design process which he called konstruktsiia. It was Ginzburg who then pointed to the machine as the proper source tor this overall logic, He also saw the machine as a model for generating the spatial organisation of new building types from their social briefs so thai they could become catarvsts or 'condensers' of the desired social changes. As Constructivists, he said, 'our work ... consists above all in the creation of a materialist working method, .. which would guarantee us the creation of an integral, unified, holistic architectural system. '8 Design was no longer to be what Gan had called 'the communication ot one's own fantasies.' In a socialist society ltwas to be an open, collective process to which specialists and laymen would contribute at appropri.ate points. None of Ihis was to eliminate either Ihe architect, or Ihe role of creativity. As Ginzburg wrote: There Can be no question of any sort of an artist losing creativity just because he will know clearly what he is aiming for and in


n C, nO.1080A


Llubov Popovn, detail rlJ her 'construction: whuh jormcd /ilt stage-set [or Meirkhold' \ 192]

production of 'TI't' Earth In Turmoit

Alexander Rodchcnko. 'spaual COIISlruClioIlS' oi standard timber elements, early 2().\


what consists the meaning of his work. Thus subconscious, impulsive creativity must be replaced by a clear and distinctly organised method which is economical of the architeet's energy and transfers the freed surplus of it into inventiveness and the force of the creative irnpulae." The procedures 01 that working method were described by Ginzburg in a paper in SA in 1927.'0 What matters here are its main features, first: that it was a linear process, based on the sort of linear determinism derived from the model 01 the machine; second: that it tried to embrace every factor Which influenced the building task and its context: polltical, technical, economic aesthetic. Every particular deslqn problem was subject to the 'general characteristics of the epoch as a whole'. These were the fact of a collective client and a new way of life; the fact that architecture was part of a larger state plan; the economic need to operate through norms and types; the ideolog.ical requirement to operate through 'one single monistic method'. 'Using the laboratory method', any particular design problem was first 'dismembered' for closer examination and tnen 'reassembled'. Stage one involved generating 'the basic spatial diagram of the building', which was that 'social condenser, through analysis of the 'flows' and 'needs' of social processes inside it, the environmental requirements, and 'revolutionary rethinkng' of how the technical means available might be used, Stage two demanded that 'the material forms crystallised as the social condenser be examined in terms of the problem of perception, so that the useful activity of the condenser is enhanced by the user's clear perception 01 it.' This stage embraced topics investigated by the Rationalists, but the Constructivists treated it as only one part of the process of determi ning buiJding form, not as the most important factor. Stage three involved more detailed examination of 'the elements of architecture which are the objects of perception: surface, volume and the volumetric co-existence 01 bodies in space'. It stressed the importance of those 'types of transformation', like cutting holes in surfaces, changes in the relationships of parts or in their material, thai offer means of making formal response to a change of the brief. This was the area to which much of the Constructivist leaching about abstract form in Vkhutemas was directed, in particular the serial and combinatorial ideas first developed in the artistic work of Rodchenko. This was also the area explored In great detail by lakov Chernikhov, in Leningrad. Hewas not a member of the Constructivist group, nor involved with many of their larger concerns His work complemented theIrs by analysIng /11th particular rigour the 'constructive' formal language which charactertsas the machine, and exploring its lrnpucauons for spatial organisation In arc hltec lure," h:lU" lour Involved detailed examination of 'the parllr.UI&r procan 0 ot lndustrlal production which t~INIl tiT Ir lamp. on Individual components and (Jrg&nhfm IIIllhltl tho blJlldlhq', 'Flo-pes mbly' would ItJf rI pr(;(jlJu 'f> I("~'(~/JI~JlJlldlng . , , Iracd 11'010

handed-down models of the past: 'Form is a function, x', wrote Ginzburg in a key phrase of this paper, 'which has always to be evaluated anew by the architect in response to changes in the form-making Situation.' The mathematical language reflects one of their lessons from engineering: thai mathematical precision is necessary in understanding properties of both materials and spatial organisations, and that when mathematics develops further a genuinely multivariate opllmisalion of form would become possible in architecture. Given Ihe very short period in which they were able 10 operate, and the amount 0·' fundamental research demanded before such an approach could be viable, it is remarkable how much rigorous work on these lines the Constructivists did manage to do. By late 1929, the urgent industrialisation programme of Ihe First Five Year Plan put a stop to such long-term pursuits and the whole modernist programme of which they were part. Despite that, the Constructivists' 'functional method' was an important teaching and working discipline that produced some highly innovative design work, In competitions, in work for official bureaux and In student projects, they generated models for many new socialist building types, of which the new 'transitional' housing types were among the most important. Amongst students, as ever, there was a tendency to design 'in constructivist style', rather than pursue the method towards genuine spatial innovation. Others - and Ivan Leonidov was the most important - designed for a far more advanced level of technology than existed in the Soviet Union in the 20s, and was much criticised within the group and outside it. OSA had local groups in several other cities besides Moscow. The largest of them was in Leningrad, and led by Alexander Nlknlsky, but they did not achieve much building there. Other Modernists The most important of the other Soviet modernists, and indeed the avant-garde architect who actually built most, was Konstantin Melnikov. In Moscow, he is famous for his workers' club building.s, for his own lillie house and lor his city bus garages. Melnikov was closely connected with the Rationalists 01 ASNOVA, but only informally. He was not a man who llkad either groups or theory. Even less did he like the Constructivists' emphasis on method and the mathematical approach 01 engineers. The opinions 01 Metnlkov and ilia Goiosov, with whom he taughl a studio at Ihe Vkhulemas In the very early 20s, place them in a middle position between the 'scientific' modernists and the tradItionalists. In the slatement which launched theIr teachln.g programme In 1923 \I1ey asserted that: Ar nttaeturat research snoutd consist 01 the applicatIon 01 well mastered prinCiples 01 study to uie bast monuments 01 hIstorIcal archltectur , ComposItion, as an exerci e In Ihe prlnolples whloh have been mast red Ihroug h axparlanca and by axperlm ntal d tnotlslralloH, Is Ih Bohl vern nt 01 B mat hlng b Iw 011 I' uv Inlulll " lIud Ih

Illustration from Conremporary Archlrecrure. SA. no 3, /926: the

engine as model for Constructivist design.

Moise; Gjll~hllrg. late 1920s.

Konstantin H.-imk,)I'. "11'11 II()II~'·' IIrl,w'(lI'. 192~ :'1' finished IW11,1I? from ,lIT(1.',< 111('street ;\,'UIII (I/h'l


task posed.'12

Ilia Golosov came to occupy lillie but tended in order an to to cannot be He wrote SensitivUy Yel artistic

also asserted achieved and artistic intuition

that 'architectural knowledge through


Konstanun Mellllkm·. Rusokov
1';",11' .WOII

It is easy to see how Melnikov
lsola,ted position, oversimplify the positions

through intuition develops

MoscoII', J9~7·29.

must also be present. knowledge."? with orthe

of others

reject them. In a lecture Most widespread that architecture context ment of parts, The Constructive transformed structural into

0119.26 he said: , . is the view since

The Constructivists, that. II was merely ganisation would genuinely liberate the

as we have seen, agreed their Intention that rigorous energies for

after completion: and Ilia Go/OSPI', ZIIII' Wt,rkel'$' Club, Moscow, 1927-29. corner view, photograph 1989

and mistaken. Is style,

style in this
establisharchitecture is to to be master

of the knowledge-based architect's inventive

parts of design raw 'social theory in the a Konstantit; Mt>!m'1.(JI', club /(1,- worker» oIIIIt' Kurhul; HI/bbl'r Foe/an', .'I'( (J~'('{)I\', 1927·']9: pllll/ogrtlpil mid 1920..

means only the sculptural trend the treats

part: for making1he

condenser' like

into 'architecture'. method, Golosov's structure of design, still current of the 19th-century involved 'When making composing

as if , . , architectural techniques.

practice necessity

the Constructivists' concept

fOllowed the underlying Rationalists'

Since the engineer which never he can

opis give

erates on the basis ot mathematics, an incomplete complete For himself, science, answers. As a result, architecture,

Moderne, where the first stage
crude functional refining a structure that form aesthetically. of whatever we define to distinguish kind. devoid from

form, and the second stage involved size' said Golosov, MASS from FORM. of the most subsubis is ot any inner meanany particular

engineering is a volumetric act of of this approach

will never produce

he says, 'architecture art, II exists can produce

it is essential
Mass rudimentary jective



as the handicraft such torms

as any volume


and only the development

to building Perhaps statement 01 Russian

as we call of this on last Ideas he

ing, is not resulting architecturaJ content. of FORM. jective true

architecture',13 the purest was his demonstration house, handicraft own based

Idea. Being without

an architectural

moss is totally The opposite 01, and

free in the shapes

It adopts.

about rational ising traditional building." later gilve of 'the main spatial of his most important Melnikov House: designs EQUAL light, market: THE 01 their power as images. NESS 01 loadings, New Sukharev Rusakov Club:

techniques which each




The descriptions indicate

responsible perceive becomes an

to the meaning Inner

which has brought

Idea generating

II inlo existence.

To perceive meaning wllh term


FORM is to

the source


For example: VALUE AND EVENtraders CAN BE air and heal;



a mass it becomes
01 01 what which is

an architectural

It Is an ell pression
ol1er examples the principles

III/) r.;"/IJ,\''''', 1.1,1'\' !I'm kers Cillh, MfJ.II'oll', 1927-21), ('(/1'11"'- detail, {,"mOl/mph 19X1J

Melnlkov's Golosov When clearly


2000 small

design Golosov

concepts discusses

ALL HAVE CORNER SITES; TRANSFORMED or 1200 people: Dulevo beautiful Club: sitting with ANTENNAE now everyone in a can WOODLAND; housing: VILLA; project: CAN every HEAR person in an A NATURAL thinking but the was those be was reunAS IF IN A for 350, 450, 550, 775, 1000

means here by architectural in design,

thought'. the emphasts and form, of of

are 10 guide the architect aesthetic. In analysis one of the perception

01 architectural highest

mass in



Model workers FREE·STANDING Palace of Labour audience VOICE.'$

must go to the principle this principle in some

of MOVE-

live in a three-storeyed·complex

MENT. In every mass or form a correlation forces expressing is always composition tions relation tion of of present way,

of MOVEMENT Meaningful largely in depends


in architecture masses and forms

on a grasp of the properties new architectural Melnikov arrived talent believed It depended briefs, on exactly must to their repose movement. masses

of the configura· employed,

These concepts represent bold and attractive about the socially process entirely chance which by which traditional. factors the

or dynamism. direcAchieving achieving finds HARMONY harmony its starting being as just Cornpo sitlnnal

at them

Each structure amongst amongst innovation point Here given again

will have a dominant means

of personal architecture responsible.

and inspiration

Constructivists and

all the movements. in architecture we see

placed if socialist responsive equivocal

was to be socially Melnikov

in the rhythm

of masses." preferential ernphasls treated

about this: sequence applied design. and whatsoever in the initial Very what much is still No some

There is no obligatory tor the above processes stages depends broadly of work on the known

to what

the Constructivists others,

one toplc aesthetics


The notion of dynamic design,

of lhe new movements and the only where

on any intuition

as a balancing

was a strong one built has

theme In Ginzburg's most famous balance

Style and Epoch. it
He and

as 'creative

imagination'. wilhout

Ilia Golosov's

work of any kind is possible lion 01 any building, preliminary Ihatlhe detailed of course,

on the concepand economic composition the and technical

In Moscow,

was the Zuev club,

be said thalthe

of the forms is more than others. less varied projects,

stUdy otthe technical spatial treatment and


from some viewpoInts number Melnikov's. coherence vocabulary is much Almost

features of the task In hand. But II can happen take shape In the architect's work on the economic has started,

did an enormous but his 10rmal inventive depend than

of competition

mind before

all his deslg.ns cylindricollec-

for visual

upon a single


cal vol.ume [uxtaposed

to a rather disparate



III 1\ tho e who mus! b

,t u III



nat lor Ihr Amon", .... a I 1111 t 111 I' 19 D. n w Ideal, and W lIh II light lor 11 utlrolonl counted Among I the Ingly. Painting and seurptur have lamporarlIy departed from architecture and now have to Justify Ihelr presence ag811_ln IIle today It Is primarily economics that drive u forward, and economics is rooted In those same needs which make hum nity turn towards building. Style Is not lhe product of the particular tastes of a few people. Style Is a system how Ihings are deoorated, which of can be et-


il,l\dlng :0 I 1 In d rnl Is 01 th 205 are thre th r ,h1\ t 01 the lightly Ider 9 nerallon, nt mp rarles of the vesnlns nd Goi090V, who had perlence from before the Revolullo~ but were stili only in their early 40s when bUilding tint d gain in 1924. They were enllrely sympathetic with the new regime. but their less theoretical and polemiC approach 10 the problems of design meant that Ihey stili operated Irom the old established Moscow Architectural Society, MAO. The most distinguished of these three was perhaps Grigorii Barkhln, who Is principally known for his only Moscow structure a! Ihese years, the Izvestiia building of 192.5-27. Immediately atter the Revolution he was involved with adapting Russian peasant housing traditions and European Garden City ideas to the new Soviet situation. His approach to and practice was summed up in his later memoirs thus: However theoretical, or even at times abstract the problems with which I had to deal, I always believed that both one's analysis and one's conclusions must alwa.ys be closely intertwined with live practice, and with the urgent concerns of the present moment. As I see it. thls is entirely appropriate to architecture which is simultaneously the most abstract and the most practical of all the arts." This honest pragmatism and balance combined with talent and experience to make 8arkhin highly respected in teaching and the profession. Boris Velikovsky was a contemporary of Barkhin's whose approach was likewise rooted in solid experience of building, but who associated more closely with Constructivists. He ha.dworked with the Vesnin brothers on office buildings before the Revolution, and in his headquarters for Gosstorg of 1925-27 he had three of their Constructivist students, Barshch, Vegman and Gaken, as his collaborators. Continuing where the pre-Revolutionary architects had left oH with the boldest of their concrete framed office buildings, this was perhaps the most rigorous expression of a frame and glass modernism actually built In the 20s in the Soviet Union, with interior spaces that genuinely demonstrated the modernist conception of flowing space and multi-directional light which the modern frame could otfer. A man who has to be counted amongst the modernists, though even older and more firmly rooted in eclectic and historicist practice before the Revolutionlhan Barkhin or Velikovsky, was Alexei Shchusev, Pres.ident of MAOlrom 1922 to its dissolution in 1930. Af1er graduation he had quickly established himself in Academy circles by scholarly restoration work on ruined provincial churches. In Moscow he had designed new religious and philanthropic buildings in the Modeme style derived from simple medieval Russian stone architecture and where appropriate he used more elaborate historicist styles, both Russian and Classical. Indeed it can be said of Shchusev that he was always contextual: he deSigned in the style that was appropriate to the place and even more, to the time. Th us he decla red In a lecture of 1926:

ttons VI"ikl!l'~ky wllh


ther tuxurtant, or poorer. At the present time, we cannol aspire 10 the luxuriant. We must merely give form to thai which derives dlreclly from construetlen this architecture? of the simplest of lorms. Is Does it represent its demise

Tinc , Or"fJlli.\llIil1~ W}/

Oenl'Jlli Veg"1011 1 rk / Uill Malll; vII 'ell •. lflldql/urll!l',1 Ior Ih r)~~ ' . J'
" •. 1,


MI';~col\'. 1925-27· drtui/"rl
nan, p/J(}/o/i"lJpil




or lis IIOwerlng? Simple trealments are closer to the latter Ihan the termer, If we proceed from Ihe demands of today, we must take account of the fact that right now, the most expensive materials are brick and glass. All contemporary design, based on the simple forms of concrete, brick and glass, therefore shows itself not to be economic. On the contrary: all these aspirations to produce something economiC crumble to dust as a result of the high cost of plate glass. There is no way we can talk about architecture in today's context." In another speech that week he took a more positive approach to the need to redefine the nature and role of architecture, himself preaching that 'high construction costs ... are why we need a new approach to designing and to the architecture of a building'. 'The architect's ability to sotve spatial and volumetric tasks' he declared, could save 'the building technologist and the economist' from just thai 'blind amateurishness which our epoch of social change is trying to eliminate.'~2 Thus Shchusev may be described as a pragmatiC modernist. His buildings are generally too lacking in formal and stylistic clarity to be masterpieces. The exception is perhaps his Lenin Mauso.leum in Moscow's Red Square. As a leading planner the other dimension of his contextualism was an insistence on the consideration of formal aspects of the site, and the final MaUSoleum Is unquestionably masterly in that respect. Classicists A man whose name is oiten linked with Shchusev's as a father-figure of the Soviet profession is Ivan Zholtovsky, who was five years his senior. Certainly they worked together as planners of Moscow when it first became the capital again in 1918, and both believed firmly in the traditional prl nciple that any new buUding must respect its urban context, but otherwise their architectural philosophies were very d iffere n I. Where Shchusev could be negatively described as a weathercock, Zholtovsky consistently adhered to the Renaissance design principles in which he believed, and through which he had practised before Ihe Revolution. A brilliant and charismatic teacher throughout the 20s, he considered Renaissance architecture the finest material for training


....... -


Alexei Shchusev; compelilJ(l/1 pr(J)trl for (he Lenin Library. Mosc(j~ 19:, first-floor plan,

Pel lore


Alexei SI1r1l11ser, Len ill M(llISO/rum.
qUOIT. Mos('ow. rOlllpl(trd 111l'

19W: SW/ill, \ orMIIi!Ol·ond,lIIl<'r.1

as Red Armv troops ana rail , • 14 \'Ooy/Q.,I, through Red Square. j a,


sa/lire from lire

kSpllFil (


. t's eye in proportion and composition. the archllec articularly concerned with the application Hewas paesthetic principles to . dus tri I arc hit ecIn ria I o! those S • b ildl . ne of the main areas of ovtet UI 109 In ture, as 0 . .' veral electnc power-stations to designs the 2 O s.·Se . . If and his students in vanous parts of the by hlmSe onstrated the value of this, notably his eoun Iry dem own Moges in MoSCOW, uill 1927. The rather flat b . Ism of his extensions to the State Bank In ClassIC· ., MosCOW 1927-29 was perhaps appropriate to lis of xt but the Constructivists attacked it for conIe , . 'propagating the ideology of passelSI: an,d ecl~ctics', Equally alien to all the modernists deslqn philOSOphy was his Insistence on the continuing Imporlance of the facade. However many of the youngstudied or worked under him to great advantage because of his empha.sis on proportion and tne traditionally trained eye for balance. The other important Classicist of the 20s, Ivan Fomin, adopted precisely the opposite stance to Zhollovsky. An exact contemporary of Shchusev, he had worked with leading Classicist architects in Petersburg and Modeme designers in Moscow before the .Revolution. His Red Doric and later, Proletarian Classicism, were based on a belief that the propor1ions of Classicism must change as new materialsgenerated different structural dimensions In building, but that Ihe formaJelemenls which expressed the underlying principles of trabealion, solid-and-voidetc, remained valid. Where Zholtovsky was happy to abandon columns in his industrial building, for e-xample,but considered the important featureof Classicism to be its proportions, Fornin stretched his simplified Classical elements into entirely new proportional relationships, but believed passionately that the key elements of the formallanguage must be retained for their inherent 'internationalism" and 'democracy'. In his strippeddown form, Classicism would speak in a voice appropriate to the prolelarian state, He presented his argument thus: The standard and discipline wh ich are so essential to Classical architecture answer in f\JU the needs of our own new way of life, and also of our new constructional practices and building materials, amongst which reinforced concreteoccupies a large role. The repetitive rhythm of the column, on ~acades and inside the building, are entirely In aCCord with the uniformly repetitive frame 01 a reinforced concrete structure. There is no reasonto Suppose that the joyless look of nakedconstruction represents the ideal of a reinforcedconcrete building. elas .. SICISm can teach us the appropriate language.This is why it is extremely timely to lOokbackwards, to achievements of former epocl1s. owever we do this not in order to H rei peat Il1e old. Retrospectivlsm Is no! Ihe r gh\ path f or architecture In a revolutionary epOCh. Wedo II in order 10 use .a decisive and reconstruction of Classicism as the aSlslor ou 9tul f . r Own, new, Soviet revolutlonary ,e or this poch.'23

The Garden Epoch At the opposite end of the appeal 10 tradition in the 20s we find those who stressed the merits of dispersed, small-scale development of the type which traditionally characterised Russian towns. We have seen both Barkhin and Melnikov from different points of view in favour of active development of the traditional one-tarnlty house, though both of them were prinCipally concerned with the development of a new large-scale architecture of concrete. The leader of the movement which most explicitly continued the arguments and campaign of Ihe pre-Revolutionary Garden City movement was Nikolai Markovnikov, a Moscow architect born, like Zholtovsky, in the Jale 1860s. Like Zholtovsky he was not only highly experienced, bul a teacher of architecture and urbanism who had influence far beyond the circles of those who followed his own particular design philosophy, His relationship with the Constructivlsts was a example of this. Reviewing the first issue of their journal, SA, in 1926 he wrote: If we progress only on paper then it becomes all too easy 10 find that we have not moved forward in the direction real architecture must go, but are Jeft aside, or even left behind. Our front-line practitioners nave stili not taken note of the already widely pronounced slogan that construction must take account of economics. As a result they produce projects abounding with highly fragmented walls, with protrusions and overhangs, that are economically impossible because they lead to high costs of building housing accommodation. New forms in architecture can be achieved only through new modes of construction and out of new materials. Both 01 these will enter our practice with great difficulty and slowly, through the same son of gradual development that produced such objects as the motor car and the aeroplane. There is no way in which we can foresee the form which the final results of this development process will take.~· For the primitive conditions of the Soviet Union in the early 20s, Markovnikov believed in a. rationalisation of the traditional low-rise cottage housing, In some cases, as in the Sokol development buil! 10 a plan by Shchusev in 1923, some of the houses were built with new materials like experimental Iypes of hollow or foamed-concrele block, Other projects, not built, demonstrated that dom kommuna or 'communal house' type of social organisation need nol be a monolithic block of expensive concrete or masonry, but could take the form 01 a low-rise courtyard using entirely traditional small-scale construction. One thing that Markovnikov shared with the Constructivists was a concern to examine Ihe real properties 01 a building form or urban layoullhrough the hard realism 01 mathematics. Thus one 01 the most important episodes In Constructivlsm·s history of public arguments over Issues of principle was the bailie between aarencn and Markovnlkov over the relative economics 01 his scattered cottages or their compact Integrated housing blocks 'under todav's condlUons'. Taking into account the

Fomin, competition pmietl for Narknnuiazhprom, M(),tt'o,,", 1924.. CUI/riyal' t screen [acing north towards


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ollomlcs of bulldln~ and servicing, pre tUng _ women work rs' time budgets, transportation technologies and the collectivist lifestyle, both of them believed that mathematics proved their form the most economic. They differed, however, in the fact thai the Constructivists believed that the methods of the engineer would enable the architect to produce a constant series of 'correct new forms' as circumstances continued to evolve and change, whereas Markovnikov saw the lessons of the car and aeroplane as evolutiona'ry rather Ihan revolutionary. The Soviet architectural profession of the 20s was relatively very small. That was one 01 the problems of the massive building programme that was launched under the Five Year Plans that began

1.0 get going In 1929-30. Collaborator of Shchusev and sparring partner of the Constructivists, Markovnikov serves as an important reminder of the extent to whloh the key figures, focused largely in the capital of Moscow, were in close contact. The vigour and fertility of the avant-garde resulted not lust from the high level of cross-fertilisation and competition amongst themselves, but from the urgency of the situation around them. It resulted equally from the presence within their tight-knit professional environment of this range of quite different philosophies of a Soviet architecture, equally passionately held and sha.rplyargued, and also producing some distinguished and inventive buildings.

Ttie Construcuvist design method, pag« [rom (ill arucle, The form of th« 11I!I"or,luIlIJ and the methods of designing it' by Ihe engineer Akashe» . as published In SA, /926,110 J, P 66. The s/ogalJs read 'Archlfect! Arc )011 cutting 0111 every gramme 0/ rna/erial thai does 1101 actually carry a static loading P'. and 'ArchiltrCl! - pay attention: mls is {he method of functlonal thinking .'

N Ladovksy, '0 programme rabochal gruppy ed, Maslera 1975, 1986 and 10 M Ginzburg. 'Konslruk!ivizm kak metod laboratomoi i

ark.hitektorov Inkhuka, 1921', in MG Barkhln, sOllelslcol arhil8klufY obarlchjfekture, vol 1, pp 345-347. 2 S Chan-MagomeQQv, Rodchenko, contains transcripts 'a construction'


pedagogichesk:oi raboty', SA, 1927, no 6, pp 160·166. 11 C Cooke, 'Chernikhov: Fantasy & Construction', Arenttecturst Design, 9110, no 55, London, 1984. arkhitekturnogo Novala eds, izucheniia po programme I Kokkinaki

Nikolai Markovnikov, cottage housing types for Sokol Cooperative Garden Settlement, elevations of a log type and a masonry type. cJ923. Full use of the roof as habitable space was nOI traditional in Russia. This section was identified as angllisky konedzh, the English cottage.


12 'Nakaz Strigalev,

01 Iheir discussions. their Avant

The sheets




on which each member presented 'a composition' to help clarify tained in tile Western part of the Costakis see; A Rudenstine, ed, Russian George Castakis cotlectlon, 127. 3 N Ladovsky, 'Iz protokolov zasedaniia London/NY



Melnllcoll, in

ideas are conCollection, Garde Art, The 1981, pp 110· kornrsstt

Moscow 1965, pp 93·94. 13 'Arkhitektura: Kokkinaki lek_tsli v tekhnikume kinematografii' & 5trigalev, eds, ibid, pp 98-99. and the Constructivists: two apin avant-qarde arcnttacture', 1965' in Kokki nak! & Arkhitektura vom SSSR, der

14 C Cooke, 'Melnikov Architectural 15 "Sur'rlada

proaches to constuction

Design, 5/6, no 47 1983, pp 60·63. svo ikh proektov

mivskuJptiukha 1919' in Barki'll n, ed, op cit, pp 343·344. The best study of the Rationalists' fdeas is, A Senkevitch, 'Aspects of spatial form and perceptual the doctrine of the Rationalist psychology in movement in Soviet of Pennsyl-

Sirigalev, eds, op cit, pp 239·240. 16 K Melnikov, 'Oformlenia proetka', no 5, 1963, P 35. H 'Aus Handschriiten Zwam:iger 16 ibia. Jahre' I Go.ossows

Nikolai Markovnikov, rationalisation of traditional limber and brick construction by reduction oj scantlings and siorey heights, and use of roof volume for habitable space, 1924.

arc itecture in the 1820s' Via 6, University vania. 1983. pp 7S-115. 4 'Pervaiadeklaratsiia', sovetskoi arkhftektury


in 50 Chan Magomedow,


1929,ln, V Kha;z.anova,ed,lzistorli 1926-32, Moscow, 1972, P 125. issue of

der sowjeti schen Arch iteklur, Wie n·Berl in 1963, p 561. 19 Ibid. 20 AG Barkhlna, GB Barkhin, Moscow, 1961, p 122. 21 A Shchusev, 'Letskiia: stroitel'stvo naselennikh

;; Both projects were published in the only IzvestifrJ ASNOVA, produced in 1926. 6 M Ginzburg, 112-113. 7 !togi i perspektivy',

SA, 1927, no 4/5, pp of the


in Barkhin, ed, Mastera, vol 1, pp 170-171.

C Cooke, 'Form Is a lunctlon,

x: Ihe dellelopment

22 A Shchusev, 'Letsklla ekonomlka.fachntka

t 8.rkhitektura'

constructiVist architects'design method', Architectural Design, 516, no 47, 19B3, pp 34-49. 8 M Ginzburg, 'Konslrukivlzm no 5, pp 143.145. v arkhlteckture",

SA, 192B~

In, Ibid, pp 169 170. 23 IA Fornln, "rvorcheskle pull scvetskel arkhltektury I problema arkhltaktumcqo nasledstva' In BlI.rkhln, ed, MlJstera, vol 1, pp 129··132. 24 N MarkO'lnlkov, 'Novyl IHkhlteklurnyl zhurnal',

9 M Ginzburg, "Iselevala ustanovka arkhiteklur",', SA, 1927, no 1, pp 4-10.




no 9, 1926, pp 654-655.







December 31,1920 The tounoauon on whIch our work In plastic art OUr craft-res ed was not homogenous, and every connsclion between painting, sculpture and arcrutec ure had been lost the result as individualism, Ie the expression 01 purely personal habits and tastes; While the artists, In their approach 10 the materiel. degraded it to a sort 01 distortion In relation 10 one or another [Ield 01 plastic art In the best event, artists thus decorated the walls of private houses (individual nests) and left behind a succession of 'Yaroslav Railway Stations' and a variety of now ridicutous forms What happened rom the social aspect in 1917 was realised In our work as plctorial artists in 1914, when 'rnatenals. volume and construction' were accepted as our foundation, We declare our distrust of the eye, and place our sensual Impressions under control. In 1915 an exhibition of material models on the laboratory scale was held in Moscow (an exhibition of reliefs and counter-reliefs). An exhibition held in 1917 presented a number of examples 01 material cornbrna-

lions, which were the results of more complicated investigations into the use of material in itself, and what trus leads




the mutual

retauonsrup between, This mvesuqation ol material. volume and construction made it possible for us In 1918, in an artistic form, to begin to combine materials like iron and glass. the materials of modern Classicism, comparable in their severity with the marble of antiquity. In this wayan opportunity emerges 01 uniting purely artistic forms with utilitarian intentions. An example is he projee for a onumenl [0 the Third International (exhibited a he Eigh Congress), The results ot trus are models which stimulate us to inventions In our war of creating a new world, and which call upon t e producers to exercise control over the forms encountered In our new everyday lite
VE Tathn

T Shapiro I Meyerzor P vinoqradov

OPPOSITE PAGE' Vlodimir To/fill, mudd of the MOl/limen! to Ille Third lntcrnational, on show ill Tatllns suidio ill Ihe ceramics department of
Iht' [ormrr AI30VE: hal/gil/K AClJdemy of Arts (Free

Studios), Petrograd,

1916 of materials:

"[',,1;11, {Jar/rail.

LEFT: Tatlin, , orner relief (Jf

iron, aluminium, primer",




March 1921 The task of our working @roup ISto work in the direction of elucidating the theory of arohltecture, The productivity 01 this work will depend on Ihe very rapid working out of our programme. the clarification of the lnvestlqalive methods tQ be used. and of the materials which we have at our disposal. as supplements, in the work. The plan at work can be broken down into three basic points 1: the assembly of theoretical studies and the existing meortes of architecture of all theoreticians, 2: the extrecnon and assembly 01 relevanl material from the meoreucatueauses and from research achieved within other branches of art, which have a bearing on arch irae ure, and 3 the exposition of our own theoretical attitudes 10 architecture The end-product of this work must be the compiling of an illustrated dic!ionary that defines precisely the terminology and definitions of architecture as an art, or Its Indtvidual attributes, properties eta, and the relationships between architecture and the other arts. The three elements of the work plan relate to the past, 10 'Whathas been done': to the present, and 'what we are doing'. and Ihen to 'what must be done' in the fulure, in the fietd ol iheoreuca: toundations for archltecture. The commission which It will be necessary to sel up for working out Ihe detailed programme must develop the loundatlons lor the programme we have proposed. Tile task we are facing involves the study of the elements. attributes and properties 01 architecture This is where we must begin the Investigative work, on the one hand, With the absolutely central properties of architecture, and on the other. we must investigate those of Its properties which because they have a general family relationship 10 It, have been studied already by other Groups within lhe insutute fie within Inkhukl Top of their agenda right now IS the invesligalion 01 constrUClion and composition For architecture, Ihe mOSIImpor anI elements are space, construction, form, and its other elements follow 8f er that. Here In condensed torrn is the schema for the programme But certainly we have no need 10 confine ourselves dogmatically For example the presence of results 01 Investlgallons of questions that are not currently prograrnmed might permit us to deviate Irom e ammeuon of questions In thiS order lhe theory of architecture is a sCientific field And I! would seem to require first of all a hterary eXPOsllion in order [0 establish lis concepts

and terminologies wiLh the greatest possible precision. But we must not eliminate graphiC representation as one of the means of proof II astonishes me that there can still arise amongst group members questions such as 'why is space to be studied as a first prtorny?' In such a case would it not be better to turn to our relatives in art, where they will maybe explain to you 'why' Spatiality bel(:lngs excluSively to architecture, but architecture itself does not concern itself with Investigating it, and uses it very badly. The dancer or the actor work In space. It is from the theorists of these arts Ihat we must work on questions of space and movement Petrov touches upon two categories of question' firslly. the questron of perception (01 architectural action). But this ISa field of psychology and philoscphy We cannot set up an adequately broad mvesugauon 01 the question 01 percepuon. since we are not adequately competent in the question of psyChology We shall have 10 limit ourselves here to ax.omauc givens, posited by the spectausts on Ihese ouesuons Secondly, Petrov, In essence, is carrying OUI I1lrnsell a bald classilicetton of Ihe properties 01 archnec ure and nOI according to its charactenslics but according to purely accidentat symptomatic features such as columns, bases, entablalures etc But what IS Important in Petrov's words is the once again underlined sloe of perception and his reference 0 the Umversity as an architectural product Would not an exarnrnanon of tms from the pomt of view of its organic and mechanical charactertsucs be an exarmnanon by analogy But questions ot analogy are questions of aestneucs There what IS being examined ISa reincarnation of tne individual. where tor example a stone lying down calls forth, by analogy, a feeling of rest and a standing stone, an aspiration upwards, and so on. Restlessness, peace and aspiration are questions belonging to a special science. but not to aremlectural research And the latter already gives. albeit temooraruv. sclenliflcally founded truths, and not analogous comparisons We are not rejecting psychology, but we say thai we are not sneclansts In II The same IS true with mathematics But there IS a held where we are Pylhagorases. and that Is architecture And here we need defined premises 10 build on These premises. even II only for today. must be Immoveable. otherwise proof is doomed to rapid rum Such premises and directives 01 a 9 neral ype are what our programme provides.

mid-20s Basi« Course III/del' Ladov: ky

Krinsky, Space Discipline: threedimensional ctasswort: OTi display in the studio, vladimir Krinsky, competition project for the ARCOS building (AngloRussian Tl'£ldillg Company] 1924. Krinsky. project ft>t' (I Tribune, 1921. Various students finder Krinsky, exercises ill the manifestation of mass and weight with the subject 'Silicate pavilion fIJI' (he USSR', Vkhutemas Second Course, /92"'-25.




March 3, 1926 Even il only (0 an elememary level, Ihe architect must be familiar with the laws 01 perception and the means by which II operates, In order to uutise In tns practice everything thai contemporary scienuhc knowledge can offer Amongst the sciences which are facilitating the developmen of architecture a very senous place must be given to the stili young science 01 psycholechnics. Ttus Subsidiary scieace can undoubtedly look forward to a very large field 01 activity II has already acnieved recoqrutron for Itsell In many fields of technology ILS Influence becomes dally greater. as a result of the tact that It IS thrOWing bridges between so called pure science and practical technology Amongst people of allairs the first to have recourse 10 II were representatives of the vast mdustnal and commercial companies of Amsnca, In I e serec IOn of employees, and Ihen trading people used It In [he adverllsmglield, and then teachers used II In selecting and determining Ihe capabthtles of their students AI Ihe present lime there is no field of human activity to which psvchotechrucs is not making a claim In the field of aesthetics the well known psychologist Munsterberg works year by year In tus Harvard labors tory Tile following studies which have a ralationarup 10 architecture have been carried out there EQUlhbnum 01 Simple forms (Pierce), unequal diviSion (AnqUler) symmetry (Pullsr), repetition of spatial forms (Rowland) verueai clvlslon (Davis) and so on. Tne work which I and subsequently also mV colleagues - have earned oul in the leld of architecture in Vkhutemas Since 1920, vetffied by the methods of psvcnotechmcs, will help in creating a scienn IC state-

ment 01architectural

pnnc.ples on the baSIS of ration-

ails I aesthetics The most correct approach to solvmq this question Will be the organising of a psycho-techrucal lanoratory lor Ihe study 0 questions 01 rauonal architecture through ASNOVA To affirm the timeliness of a posinq of thrs problem I can do no bener than quote the works of Munslerberg, Psychotechnics cannot create artists but it can give them all a solid starting point from hleh they can achieve the aims to which they aspire by the most scientifically correct means and by the same token avoid certain dangers T'1rough developing osycnotecnnlcs across the oroades rom it can in future pose its demands o composers hUst always afffrming that genius ,'/111 Ind by unconscious means those things ,'/h en se-ance works out With great difficulty Ou Ie apa t rom the purely sclentilic importance which 'he Norlo:01 sue a laboratory can have, its activities m i a so have pracucatunportence in everyday architect I I oracuc SI c a taooratcrv could ehrrunate so many of those rrusunderstandtnqs which arise in the evaluation of Qua Ila\ ve aspects 01 architectural work as a result 01 the absence of any agreed termmology even amongst soecra ISIS I IS only too well known that chance and accicen predominate In the evaluation of competition projects There can be no ehrrunahon of Ihe passion that mutua mcornprehenson causes between teachers and nupils until he laboratory'S work has been sel up properly In hese and other cases the psycho-technical laboratory can playa large supplementary role

Lar/l1l'.dy t:! ul, rqlllpmrllf lor Ihr p svcho- Tt'~h",cal L"b"roltl/1 in

~(AllIl/efll(JS. 1926: lell. Pro t;omrl

(liter tllv: space-o-mnrrt, "Ppd(dIUl dCI'isl'd for 'mOlillit ,'pallal proptrllfl (If form', a/mw. Oglnzcmeier (lin-tul/y' t'SI;m(}!illl!-hY'II~hr /IImr/ rI/I/lllwrus lirl'l,lfr/ for 'IrSlin~ m~.1 estimatinn of I't1i1ml<'.1



April 1922
The tempo of modernity is fast and dynamic, tl1€ rhythm IS clear and exact, straight-lined and mathernatlcal Malerlal and SUitability 10 function determine the structure of an object crsateo by a contemporary art st.

SIUd.y 01 these clements must he given priority by the

I,view all these elements as matenallsed energy, as possessing, dvnarruc properl (movemenl, tension, welghl, speed) which must be efleclively regulated by the artist. In the same way thai every part of a machine is materialised in a form and material that correspond to Its strength and force, to the way it must act within the given system, and therefore us form and material cannot be arbltrarhy changed without damagingl the operation of Ihe whole system, so in an object made by an artist every element is a materialised force and cannot be arbitrarily discarded or changed without destroying the operation of the given system, that is, the object. The contemporary engineer has created brilliantly conceived objects: the bri.dge, the steam engine, Ihe aeroplane, Ihe crane, The contemporary artist must create objects equal 10 them in strength,. tension and potential on the plane 01 their psychological and physiological action on the human consciousness, and this must be the organising basis 01 his work.

[rom Contemporary Architecture. SA. 1926. I/O 3: file aeroptane (./5 mode! [or Consrruclivisf destgn.

It i,S unimportant whether the object IS useful (/seJesoobraznvl) and utilitarian (like engineering structures and everyday objects), or only useful (as laboratory work for the task of solVing the problem of new contemporary lorm) Every object created by a comemporary arust must enter lite as an' active force, organiSing man's consciousness influencing, him psvcnologica11y arousng In hiM an upsurge of energetic actiVity It IS clear that objects created by contemporary artists MuSI be pu'e constructions without the ballast of 'Iguration, and rr'iJst be built according to the prmcipte of Ire straigr't and me ge'Ol'Tletrically-curved., and on ''leonnclple of economy with maximum movement. Since the constructJon (konSi(uirovanie) of every object consists ot ar exec; combination 01 basic plastic elen61'1ts[maleria. COlour line. plane. 18ktuta, - the t'ealmen, and resultant texture of the surtace) the





Apri I. S, 1921

Study of the styles wruc have e isled In past rchltec lure is necessar Style IS not the essence of arctutseture, however, and what really matters is to disllnguish true artistic spirit from st Ie and matenal values. A free arrangement with contrasts and movements IS the essence of the artistic p'OCeS$, and content, which ust be e amined Independently from style and which in essence can adopt an spedfic form, is entirely independent of style. Thus the study of style does not offer a path to understanding the essence of architecture. That is wh it should nOI be seen as part 01 the course of study of architectural structures. The stu y of traditional architecture must undoubtedly enter into the programme of teaching on architecture but under no circumstances should it be taught on the Ie el of Its external appearances as style. It should aim to convey an understanding of its essence: of the principles for building up masses: of the placing of masses and of the ways of perceiving them: of the relationship of plans to elevations; and of functional suitability of form, Thss IS the only viewpoint from which historical architecture should be examined in a foundation course of architectural design. They should have been given the necessary factual information on the classics of archrtecture and such topics as the orders in advance. tl1rough conventional lecture courses of the kind used in all architectural schools as the main means for leaching classical proportions in particular. The study and knewledge of proportions as such is necessary in the early part of architectural education, but must not be based exclusively on the examples of the classics. In these artistic works which constantly repeat the same overall structure. as do Greek temples for example. students can work oul for themselves the more Of less constant relationships of different parts of the building. Bulin the study of proportions in general, we must not be led only by those orlnelples, since the sets of proportions necessary for certain given kinds of

deSign work musl be created afresh. They cannot always oonlorm 10 a delhuuon at tile retauonstup 01 elements til I has been established Once and for all

lllu GO/fUO\', Z,lel' war« ' us dub Mo~c(jw f927·29. pirms Q/lht ' mam leve!s

I consider that the programme which has currently been accept d for the ()35IC course of archuectural sludy does not satisfy the above mentioned pnnciptes therefore I propose to replace architectural drafting exercises by the study of how architectural form IS structured. in accordance with lhe following schema: Programme lor conducting architectural training In the First Course: I General concepts of architecture, its tasks. and its Significance in the lite of humanity, 2 The architectural mass: The concept of architectural mass. The placing of masses. The relationship of masses. The scalar qualities of masses. 3 Architectural form: The concept of architectural form. How form depends on content. The relationship of forms. The scalar qualities of form. Cornpositton 01 simple architectural structures in terms of their plan. elevations and sections, 4 The architectural treatment of masses and forms: The significance of a different architectural treatment of one and the same mass. The manifestation of scale in a mass through the Ireatment of its parts as architectural details. 5 Means of expression: Manifestation of the powerfulness of a building. Manifestation of the grace of the building. Manifestation of the idea of the .building. Compositions of a Simple piece of monumental architecture showing plan. elevations and sections. 6 The significance ot spalial relationships, 7 Rhythm in architecture


ilb: .




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December 13, 1922 es we can observe a certam trend of In rscent tim aesthetic thulklng In the architectural world, wh~ch tself mamly and principally In a negative expressas I . allltude 10 ciassrcal arcl'lItectural forms as possible models for the present nrne We are seeing the search for new forms more suitable lor our own age. We archltecls of today have too long been the slaves oj the claSSICS, and lor too lang have forgonen that the forms of social life, Ihe customs and beliefs of Ihe peoples of our age are In no way similar to those of prevIoustustoncat epochs. There IS therefore no baSIS 101 proooSlnga reuse of ancient hrstoncal forms lor the fUlure, because repetition 01 that which IS outlived, in an of today or of the future, can only destroy its rauonahtyand Its SUitability 10 purpose In respect of our creative principles, our many csntunes of slavery have stamped us with Inactivity. We lIVeas It were outside lime - outside contemporary life. Its current IS flOWing past us. The grandiose structures of our lime are being erected whilst we look on Ufe is moving forward With gigantic steps. requirIng of art. as of architecture, thai it lulfil its purpose Everything IS embraced by Ihe flow of life, everything lives In time and there is no place in progress for those who are deaf 10 the lIVing impulse of the community arid who exist outside time. I! arch! eeture is seen as the art of making contemporary aesthetic forms accessible to all, of embodying almost all the other forms 01 art within itself. then contemoorary architecture is In a very sad state. In essence. II does not exist at all There is only the Imnallon 01 classical architecture Irying to express I self 10 con emporary bUildings We architects. as acuve people In our field. have not up till now been creators of new forms organically connected with the present epoch. We were reproducers of classical forms and proportions which were essentially alien 10 us but have become a symbol of truth lor the contemporary architect and reoresent his only source of Inspiration. I am not Inclined to insist however that claSSIC and l'listorical forms in architecture are absolutely negative tOI Ourlime and [hal application of them now is always an absurdity. bu I am convmceo It IS unarguable and urgently necessary to establish the degree to which lhese forms are applicable In the bUildings of our time It is b' o VIOUS hal classlcal forms may be applied to theextent that they incorporate fundamental prlnclples '1lhiChhave absolute validity for all lime. Thus the Columnas a supporting pillar remains a baslc element In bUilding So too do the arch and Ihe vault or he pediment as a result of a double-pitched roof 'and so n ()IhVlhllstbuildings utilise Ihose constructional elements
(: IO(m~

necessary to distinguish the form which is an aesthetic expression of something constructrve, (rom forms which are merely abstracted or decorative elements. In tus country we possess a great example of how the application of antique forms in architecture can be avoided. That example is given us by the old bUIldings 01 the Russian people Despite the fact thai classicism was dominant in Europe during the period when the Russian people were creating their architecture, and despite the Influence of Western culture on the whole fabric of life here, Russia created architectural forms that were entirely distinct from those of classicism. under the influence 01 her own way of life. RUSSian historical churches have forms that are absolutely unique .. which are structured, however, according 10 eternally unchanging laws 01 the aesthetic structuring of masses in space. Herein consists the main aesthetic value ot what the Russian people created In its great periods of bUilding Russian culture was gradually displaced by that of the West, and to the extent that the latter became established on our SOil, Russian people like their Western neighbours became slaves to classrcal forms An individual quickly spots the easy victory and (allows such a path at he first opportunity. Thus the Russian people 10Sl their aesthetic individuality and everything hard-won by their own great intuition and invention was thrown to the winds. The values incorporated in the products of their own creativity were thrown 10 the mercy of fate as they starting rolling down the slope of easily-won. irresponsible achievements, The architecture 01 the present and the lu ure cannot be built upon slavery and subordination to the history of art. Lile demands of us, contemporary architects. an altogether more fruitful activity in the spirit 01 our own time. It demands products in full accord with the lechnology and the social structure of lite today. What then are Ihe requirements that must be made 01 the contemporary architect? Above all he must so create artistic lorms Ihat they respond to the place. the lime, and the spirit or Idea of the thing which IS being created The architect must be freed from style. in the old sense of Ihe word, and must himself create the slyle Which emerges as a result of a oorrespondence between the arohlieo ural forms and the content or purpose, the Idea, Which they serve We should not be working for Ihe applause of the crowds, but lor the serious evaluation 01 our activity We must be working to achieve a solid baSIS for our work In prlnclplas (hal can become the foundations tor the rena.ssanc 01 archllecture that IS meanmgful and expressive. In harmony with Its epoch We should not be actors-out 01 historical srohn cture, but create s of torms that are rational for Ihe age in whioh they arose.



retain a validJty However il is always


"-N( M LF




November 1923 I draw your auennon 10 one orinclpl . whlch ls ouielv architectural. and IS sell-evident In its definition. namely




devi ,11 the illltotllU
Slr8IlL)ll] to

(1 us soinc S of lroll lion for Ulib same .. lion 01 sculptural form has an eHect
wo recuive, DIVing grealo( overall tho 101111of the buddlny
11113 vaults of

on Ih~l imprassion

thts: any bUilding. In preoucmq an Impression 01 SPl110 kind on us will have a greater fl ct I surprise on our
feelings if e perc ive that its aotu 1 dlmel1sl ns r far smaller than our impression lea us to balle . 1h< I IS what one might call an artistic Illusion of Ihf) parts 01 the buudinq, combination concept interes ing and IS achieved the design to define not through Th rhythmic ol those parts, but maml but'lffiult by an aestheti questl ns are

I he pleasant

irnpt SSIOIl w ~J(J1 lrom

HOnlo, BY7anllwn

.M\d til' II1Hli VHI pI riod is expl' ined )y thiS same law

that the curv d surlnce If> IRrg r than the stfo:ughl one and therefore lho space whioh IS covered by 1\ seems 10 ue Imger
Thrs esth tic rule, with Its possibrlity for phYSical


calcut tlons of the image reinforcement
familiar and well studied The Great Pyramids ning impression



There are a greal

in Ancient
of Cheops

Egyptian produces dimensions Its stun01 a) Is

number of these aesthetic rules, and each epoch has its own; Indeed In any given epoch the rules diHer between

by the grandiose

air1erent peoples and n lions, and are often ""it each other I shall talk about those

volume (the quantity of materials): its area, its surface; volume. Amongst principle

b) its perimeter


d) its height relative to its cubic works in which trns same

things that are not atters of argument in aesthetics, which can be oemonstrated and can be physically felt. Loa illg at a column 'rom the Parthenon, I draw your attention to one aetail in particular: the flutes. Each 'lute has an outward circular continuation whose measure S unquestionably greater than hat of the column's drarneter that is than the line defining the body of the column Thanks to ttns the column seems fatter than its real size By their vertical upward movement these flutes also strenqthen the column's verticality. Thus on the one hand 11 seems that the column is falter than it really IS, on the other hand, it seems tailer. This aesthenc device harmoniousness Imparts to the column a fascinating



I draw your attention to the building I

myself constructed in 1925 in Paris, at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts, The site we were allocated was extremely small. Its overall dimensions were


mere 11m by 29.5m. In order to enlarge It. I took [he diagonal as the main axis 01 the architectural composition this being the longest dimension in the rectangle. to the design oi I would further draw your attention

the staircase. It is not broad, but because it IS on the skew it seems very large and ceremonial. I would also poi nt ou t th at as a rssu It of til is dev i ce, it tu rned out that the shifted volumes of the interior space also war ed on the elevation, by in fact enlarging the number 0 square meters of wall on the facade. The roof too was fragmented Into elements, and overall this structure of small physical dimensions had tl1e appearance of a large celebratory building, The ellect \ as enhanced by the spatl ! mast with lts red flag, whic', announ ed lts presence 10 tho whole exhibition

We come to the enlargement of volume by planes. Trus device is to be seen in at every step in the great historical monuments of architecture. In this respect, creative imagination is no! confined to any slngfe geometrical structure. In the famous caryatids of the Temple of the Erechtheion we see columns replaced by the ligures of women For centuries the sculptural pediments of the Parthenon

" • .nUll

,·It '''!III

, .• Jill.


Exhibition of Decoratii e Arts. Paris 1925

summer 1925 InterViewer: Please tell us In more detail about your aVlilon What IS the basic Idea behind II? ~elnikOV'ThISglazed box is not the Irurt of an abstract idea. My starling pomt was leal hfe; I had to deal With real circumstances Above all, I worked With lhe site mat was allocated [0 me, a site surrounded by trees II was necessary that my little bufldinq should stand out clearly amidst the shapeless masses through its colOUI. height and a skilful combination 01 forms. I wanted the paVIlionto be as lull of light and air as possible: thai IS my personal predilection and I think it reasonably represents lhe aspiration of our whole nation. NOI everyone who walks past Ihe paviuon will go inside it But each of them will all the same see something 01 what IS exhibited inSide my building, thanks to the glazed walls, and thankS to Ihe slalrcase which goes out 10meet the crowd, passes Ihrough the pavilion and enables them to survey the whole of its content from above As far as tne Intersecting diagonal planes over

lhe route are concerned. may they be a disappointmen! 10 lovers of roo s corked up like bottles I But this roof is no worse than any other _it is so made as 10let in the air, and you keep out the rain from whatever direction it may fall. Interviewer Bul don't you think [hat all this glass and this strange roof make your pavilion much too lightweight? Melnikov: You are really saying tnat you would prefer somethmg more heavywelgh But why should a building whose lunctJon IS emporary be given false attributes of the everlasting? My pavilion doesn't have 10 keep standing for he whole Ii e of Ihe Soviet Union. It is quite enough for l\ 10 keep standing until this exhibition closes. To put it briefly. the clanty 01 colour, the Simplicity of line. Ihe abundance of light and air which characterise hiS pavilion whose unusual leatures you may like or dlsli e according to taste, have a Similarity to the country frail" which I come But do not thmk, for goodness sake. thai I set out to build a symbol.

Konstantin Metnlkov, Soviet Pavilion des Art« Decorarijs. Paris. 1925: competition project, 1924. elevation. The complex plan had a circular element extreme left, and the entrance route divided about (J pedestal with statue o] Lenin. right, obscured in this view.
at the E.11)O.rilioll

AS OVA and he tionalists
Rationalism Constructivism Compared Building Projects - 1923

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Bulldlng~ tJy A
Memb rs l









a; Arm€FI Barolchrl,/,idlJrGilur Iosi] Jlft'r.<Qn ond /OAIl' Ru~onrhiJ..

I; rL

c: (:\(l1U-.m,[

'" ~lrllU nt.


'''''i''·(~1.I' c ,1,-,1 11.. Bnrlll.-hFl', Giltrr, Mcr~,'n. Rllhonchrk. ra, ,r" '/11 <in" rubu, I, t.'~, f .... ~ (1I1Ir.('.\ f , \ ~:\.I • f.-I,/'Id.! t ntn ,..ld, J .;,] -, 1 I ~H'UI:U.('.~t, If'\lltk"'~ I'hf;"?'.! I;r- '
<JSU ,\t'llfllCli.\/llu'o,r




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BUildings by ASNOVA Members - Moscow



u, b: /JfJlliil I, Il/IliJ/.~ I'J;!7


'Ib 1'11:(

11111""lilian fir '.I' ('/ /", ' ir

"'1111" II) (Jfll'f'IlIlIIrllllll


lIma ~I" 1INU {'I/J~

c: Dimitri .II arkov, Daniil fTldm=~ \ 'lndimir Fidmn«, ('(1II1{'l'lIIum 1" II hn 1/),' J <""I/ LIII/ fin \1"" ".. }p: /il'l IlIIgl /11 r.l/h" lIlt d: .\,'<'1"''' Mage pa""UII\'< ",J: Andrei R Iwin, Lil/IIP, l{/II'.~dai(l•.llaria h£llgllllu, IriUa,1 Turkus l'f Ill, (,mll'(lIl1lm (""'" • III .. SIIlI,' Thcau« 0' 11111".1.\lull. wtivuie« Khllf til /y_;O l,h,'llef 'i) model flla/l,' 11: ,\1nrl;,,,,, Fridman, Fidmau. Lt",~» atv L WIll" 11/1"" ~'lllll,/ \I~,(



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III 7wllllld


"J II1/"111

J 1/111/ 1'<'''/lft _{III

1'.' I IIrlll' Kaplun

. Ir,'I1.1II1t.: rumlnru:'

i u» "f .\ vtosu rI: (,c{Jr~i Krll/ikl!", ill/I_\' Lavrov and 1I/('lIlill "Of/III' I "III/If II/UIII {II "I' 1/ 1m th« W'" ,//1 flJ A "/11\11 <II /f) iii JlIII I o] /1/1 h"II'I/I~ d/.lll/[ I 1IIIIr 1/'" pin» ""1/1, /1m} t III 111m 1111 to! [a« 11111,'" flluMlI/1i 1': «rntra] 1/1'1' with PII/II/{ bmldmv» f: ii' "n ,JI I/{" "J nIlld, I

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OSA and the

Buildings by OSA Members - Vesnin Brothers

-_-- --a .. Ve,\'JI ill II ro1/1 ers, fir, II" Olfil'( 0/ OR ,l'flllll.l. FUI'III/t' oft/If' MOl'CO» Ccturol Post O/fin", lOll prrsl'fc'

tivr. b: tell/lid l'l'snin, fl/'Uj(n jor II da.hll, /90, . perspective C, II es« ill JJ rlllhrrs.wL·ll1'IIJ~ ,!tnpJill
TO/IJu(, {,,,,/II in Great Aill<',\/,ems!o1w J 9/ fl- J 7, 1'1""(1/10/1 1/: ompctition pI OJfl'l [or I/lf Gosunvi OWl/' (n"uil,IIIOPPIll( remrct, NI·IIlII-f\'(lI'.~llriJIJ. /9/4,

c: Leonid



fIJI \ 1\

1''' Simul',







a: Vesnin Brothers. devclopmcru projec! [or \lr R 1 ,\f J( " [0[.'
prrspoctn:« 0' til, I: 11, b: \f .1IIsim ((>' D1 r <In III ,,=h r. \ ol".eor(ld. p« rspc, m,
c: ProJt:1."I

,9 ~ .., -r

h. Dinamo

department More


: ~ r..rn·.~ (I"'. IO} -T"

pcrsp« tivc


(I; \ iktor I'l'~njfl. (IItllltJlt'Ch(llu .II/fl'·' -I'I'"'{,/III" ptant in ,\ dlnl' \ 0\'11.11od, II)} • /Il 1'1111'",;1< b: Alrxundcr I f~lIill .. 1"11/1' StIJ(I' {, }.; Chi \'/,'1'1"" '1'/,1,1' I lit Mlln II h


I hIlI

• .1,/1

/0,:,111/' /'11\

I ill.Jlr.

M'/,I' ,m 1()2? c: I esnin II rnthers, 11,1/",,11 111I/ll'lI/lII{ {ll,mlll, ,/I I.. 'I/NnI,' 11)2.' './

a: VesnilI Brothers, C(JlllpUilirJl! project for Moscow offi' e.1 £If 1/1< newspaper Leningracskaia Pravda. 1924: f(1II1' dCHII;fIIl:J. b: per pectivc, c, d: firs I and f!rOlmd-/1nnr plans




'It ..... ,•• ,.,.,.,





Yesn!« Brothers,


projecr [or the 1.81111/ Lihrur> MII.leQK. lerona I anam /918 pcrspecuv« of main cnmmrr hall b. c: eraund and firu-floor plan d: n orlcrs doh 01 /Jadm //I 8" II J91R perspecuv, e: C nmp('frf/IJII projc« r jor rhr Lrlll" Ltbrurv perspecnv« f: Cluh {fir the SOC/til' l~ F,)rmrr Potnica! Pnsoncrs .ifT.lllmm



en/folia vep«."IWIII!/rnpll 11187 g: P' rspccttvc (hwldin.~ mil) parllu/lr execuscd]



inin Brothers, Paluc« ofCutture

of rh" Pm/ewrsl..y ";'\/1';<'1 (If M "Sf (I" 19J/-37 isometric drawing of the ...tiote ("11111(111'\ tthrutrc. right, 11m hnilt} b: muin entrance tn Iuvrrs and ,wdiwrilllll.l'!rologral'h J98~




Willll'" Garde»


obscrvatorv dtnn« "\"t'r "11,, I(lg 1'(11'11• J987_ d: jI".1'I1/rw/ jiJy,·r. pitOit'lt:"Clplr (If lit. 11)31Js.

Buildings by OSA Members - Ginzburg






a: Moise; Ginzburg, /Joponmelll and communal huusinv btock for rlJi! Suu«
insurance B,1r(,OIl. Gostrakli.


1926-27: street

b, c: \'il'I1 of rooj terrace from adjacent building; photograph' J 92- ,-axuuometric,

















a: M oise! Gin:.burg apartmem aruJ communal hOUSlnff hlm!!{lr 1M Sta« Insurance Bureau, GOSlra~1 , Ijllsw. buill 1926·r- upper comer.from
SITU1, photograph

HC -

b: typica! iioor plan
c: Gin.=/)urs cnJ(Jlwg Ilis Nosco« loll

jardin, J9~d: spoce-saving foldin




a: Moisei Ginzburg. compel/lion project for fill! Orgomenro/ Headquarters, Moscow. 1926: perspective bod: section, showing central top-lit space, plan uf second and third floors, with offices and drawing office, groutld·f1oQr plan, showing exlribilioll space for orgomentol macbtnes. e.]: Moiu.i Ginzbur'fj with V Yladimirov and A Pasternak, competition project/or ileadquartcr.s 0/ the Russo-German Trading Company. Russgertorg, Moscow. 1926· perspective. isometric.

with 1 Uilillis compethion projeCf for the House u/ Government of tile Ko:aLh Republic. Alma-A ta, 1928 (firs: prt:e: built 19?9. 3 J l: axonometrie and ground plan

a, b: Moise; Ginwurg

c: cUTaway axonometnc

l'iell oJ bfld~i and rear of (JllduoriufII.

d. If: first and second-floor plum.






· _._.--l.


a: MoiseI' Ginzburg with I Mllinis, competition project[or the House of the Kazakh Republic, Alma-Ala. 1928 (first prize: buill J 929-3 J ): union through entrance, ouditorium and
/}I'i(/Rr: 'court' IillkfnR to officf!~. WI/I!

mountains b,>hintl. b: perspect i 1'0 towards ent ranee c-h: six phnlogl'aphl~ of the model,






at Alexander Nil/of ky ",illl Lazar Kllitlekrl 'I III, HIgh('/' oopcranv
Itrl/zz(llIi/lf }7l1l1r~

I 93(), ,~r/llme/ IIm/ blor): b: sections throngh classraoms, lOp.


"1 /"(J('hi/l~

and auditoria, centre, sul« elrvauon, c: modet 11';111 "'11('11;111: ucrummodn1lfJII, /('/1 (mel student hostel, rigl«, of
whole rit'I't'/opm('1II d: Isomet 1';r

Younger Mo ConstrUctivist
Andrei Burov


a; Andrei-Burol tIIlJIJd Jain br~tJlII~ complex, buill as film Sfl for Ei.rl'flllCm'S

'The General Lmr'/rl'ltf1:>(J fQ:!9a/irr talin's illfl'n'i!/mun as 'Old and ,\(>'0 'I.

1916: dewil. b: Audnn 811rl1l', rir:ll1. Willi Sagel EiSI'IIS/t'ill. <'<'111ft'. and LI' CtI,bUSlrJ d/lrill,~ tlu: 10fll't'.r 1'ISII 1<1 Mlm (Ow ut October lQ1 • e-n: Film sri for 711,' GI/IWII Lint' )<1 ~'fillsfrom th« ~"(,,,rill.~ .~I/IIIII/P' IQ]O. in {'IIMi. hed ill, jQ10.111)50







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n, II: \ndni Burn", _ t, darJ .:>00P(_ '.\011 "I" «er» (. «( "'pa,'III, >.1 1,Ir thr ,'lrTfmr vouu. ptan» and .'fCt". i, ';.'1;. t· : CII1i> I ompir \ [or thre '0 ron. ~ (," IIi. ( '111111 OJ p,,. 1 I r.,1I'.' 'n \1I rucrs, 11,',e,,, 1<.::' ., a~.' [: persp«« Iii < 0) 'ld < " ,,1('.1 "UI~' PU" "1,"11 cntran (' to the
,1/I,lItO"III', ,Illr,lII,


..., y :

'(J11()nU';n~ ..

Ivall Nlkoln v

«. I P.(l11 IV ,Iml"




tlJ lit,


'10' trumr» I <lm/Ill'l'/fllllr. " 1111, /JIIJI//lfl' .',fOSt ,,,. 191"

)1II1U"'/ 'I

II, (lb"//1 .,hal"

ralnn I , JIIWIIJ!i 1I(1/Ih "'ml a".! I"." him t (1 ronm.una! jl cdtn QIIt}
"'IJII",wIJa, r: suu: 10K' r

hi", /,

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111110 toll" /" I 'II '( urll .. 1J 1

p',ot, pit I QX d: ,£,1( lit I l/lOiI UI ' I.: 1'11(,{1 I rnvn "'"1<11/1,,, librerv, I tnt atltt /111/1 i ro<jIlIfIJ (' (l1I1.\,d Id"JI'\
IIIIIII~(" UI'"U "J''''TI/lI~ Imm!: r ' sl ....,.1111: cabms, /0, onrntau m.llnd .wull' carr, /1 I," ras! fllfr ' Inral I


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0: han Niko/ael'

communal hnustus;

cnmplcx for trulnee:s and rlpprt'mh

"jl/lt' Tevtil« tnstttutr, MOJ('{/Ii 192V30. /Jut,'r ("(>lllt'r u!mullI nmr/I'lInl [ram porte coehere oj IIWIII entrance, pltol(/,~mph IWIli. h: pli(ll(Jg"'I,/t rlllri"..: .flrlRt'.t of ("O',Slnlf/WII. /lIrj~ill,~d'l( IIIJ1'lit mIn 1110 iII «(1111 {,I'CH d. c: t'(HI [ar« <I) "01111111111<11 /!1m k wuh dining , "0111 III ground pm., (//1(/111'0 PI I,,, .1 ,If librarv studv carrrts IJIl<JI't' d-J: han Nilwl,u,' and fI(Jla/y Fis nt» under supervisto« ()J \1~.\'nnder"'lIllll'l'o,', All UIII,l/j rf""ltl/l", hutrnt tnstituu: MO,Ir'Ult'.


f ('1111'(/1 ""i/dlll,~, 1V:!,~' ,'1"1'1111011, fI' r',I'{lN'//I" , I) '(/IJ,\' ,/Uri ,\/'( 11<11/,\ rom [ SA /1)28 /Ill.'

/or' II,,· /''li I'fllld "f Ilti,\ /lIIl1dllll/ lI'fl,\ III,' 111111' mlt/SIi' , l'f)"I'Il'lIIill)j SIlI'it'l I/Im/I''''',\II/ 1/1 MOMA',I 'Intornotuma!

1·,/JlI>lIIrlll, N"fI YOIt /9)2

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[I I .
_I_I __






Ivan Leonldov

Nikolai Kolli


.. _



a: Ivan Leonidov, compctttion projeCJ for rile ProleI/tTIs() Distnc: Palace of Culture, Moscow 1930. e/cf<Jlitln ilnd partial section of file I{05S octivuus'

b, c: Nikolai Kolli. Mos/{!r~ Deporl·


mell1 Store for lilt' DOlli/(II _~fart(r. 19_8: perspective- grOlU/J-jl(I(II' ploft: d: Corbusier witl: Ami,..! Buttw. 1m. Gl'or. i GOIIS, rcmre and Vitolo! holli. right. elurillg his visi) /0 MOS(OH In October /9:!8. Kalil tiller lO'orkrJ til
Pari, and Ma.fcolI· as chitect [or Cllrbllsin's
/lpe(l·I.<m~ ar-

T. (,/lIrl/oIol'/:

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Konstan in elnikov


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AllltudfJ To The Hod Melnlkov a"d tho Constructlv/~ts

a b: The bed IlS minimal and temporal functional equipment: Constructivist students in VkJwlemO!1. designs for space-saving, dualpurpose beds for workers' hOllsinS. published in LEF 192.: Alexander Galaktionav, bed which folds ;11111 side·lahfe hy day

c, d: ikolai Soboler. bed (hal slide.1 together /0 [orm an armchair h) day
e: The bed osfo:ed celebra,tor), pedestal; Konstantin Melllikol'. O"'R house and SINd;o. Moscow. 19~1-~9. interior ,·iell of liu: bedroom 0.1 designed. with parents' olld SOli'S beds separated (mI." hy a screen wof/. to allow air circulation ill rile spacious room, and beds permorll'111i), built ill all solid S(lI/r/(~d pedt'slolt.


/" '------11
, I. I ~,




(I-e: Kanstaruin Melniktn" Rusakov' Workers' Club, Moscow, J92i-29:
'Auditoria can b€" Ir(iTlS},lrmcd fn six

difJerem sizes of audience - e ("ration and seaton. plans, per pectiv« d: Drawings "lid period P"o/!J!!£uph< of the Ru.wJ:o\ Clu/l,md Burrvcstnik Club, /9:!~-31), (II th« exhibiuor: :'I1{)1'\\;l-P,lrili1. /90{)·30. ~l,'s, II>. 19."il, (ppel' It"'llt'ill~ is \leimi;,'" s diagrasn "f h,)I, 'A uditor«, c.1n 1)( 1I<1IIsfol'IIIed /(1 r 350. -l:O •• n, ~-'i WOO .u 1:!VO f',·,'pft·' ill rl,( Rusako,
Lm"cr .Il'11l1'ill,'I " .'/1'/>;,',1/ \1clni/.:m'


ovnposue, Idlll pian ,~(, 'ion: and t'I"\'(lI"'" otthc BU'"ClOl" • lien the 1 1'11/, 11'1.' behind 11'11111 blo, ~ ,mJ ,I', ,llm"lIlrd t"",11 1.>1\ cr 1\ ,/ S 'l.ill' I\",II/,f


Ilia Golosov



~ ~" 7·: -:'.7- ··9
.....•• !11'



.... '"



(I, b: liia (JI'li(J!I)". rlJmp,""II"" {"UjI" I for the hf'Udquortf',. fJllhF Nil- or;l'rnwn '/ rud!flK ("mpoll ku ~n(J" M,JllfJ .... IfJ21i (l1'(·P"I/I." /(rIJuna floor pta« a C fJmpnlll',,, prol"ci I'" II" I rfllll IIf1UJf' oj Ih,' !'1"'(lI" I UIIOW V";lIrll"llIh 1924 P,,"PO'{ Inr: d:'1I'{J'h/ll~dltJ~rQm IJnlhnnc 1J1111~IIU1I rhvthm« 0llllm.", pmpflrtilin • hllTl:LnI tat mill I'",~nt uj UN hum tura! ma rs, rr IU/I"fllh'fH III .erurai anti h"rlI<lIIlul movrmrnt IIj mQ1I1'1 ,"If , , /1)11

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40M8 T_ReTHnaii
M. A.

6. iI. WII""M~

a: Ilia


with Boris Ulinich:

competition project for the Hous» of Textiles. Moscow. 1925: perspective. b: Ilia Golosov: competitio« project for the House of Soviets, Khabarovsk, 1928 (buill /928-30): etevatio«. c, d: Competition project for the Palace of Labour. Moscow, J 923.' elevations. e: Electrobank imiiding competition project, Moscow, 1926: perspective.

Ilia Golasov, ZIIII\' workers' dub, /927-29: perspecnve b: interior I'iew, corner stair ris;"gjrom firs/to second floor, pholOgroph /1},'19 c: corner l'il'l~',p}wlI1graph 19&1 d: grOlmd and first-floor ptans. e: corner stair risingfmm glmllld /Q first floor, pI/Olograph 1989.



Grigorii Barkhin

a, /1: (;rif(orlillork/J{n, I ,,\1 1'" ,. ...I"/I'"X pmJN'1 fur thr Slalr (1(,///1 IfI NOVfJ,I/blrtlt, 11)29 unmetr« oj who!«

romplr« prrsnrruv«

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[rnm lu»


II: a hoc: hi t


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d, P." ·\10/1" II(III~ HI Vnti/uf IIIl1f II" lind pm,r "Iar!

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Ilml matrr ia], stores

R: (I Y"UN otovira! 1111111/0" 11111{II Sak), ( runra, /1)27 fllIIlll 1928 30/ IIltl/11 1'/1' I'tJ uon II: ssomutrs: <If !II hol« complo»

V likov ky Ku net ov Golosov
Boris Vellkovsky

a: Boris l'elikol'sky ....lh Mikhail i Barsbcb, Georgii Vegman and ,WariQ Gak en, Headquarters for lire SIOI€
Trading Organisation. Gosmrg

Moscow, 1925·2~ pcrspccuve oJ origina! srhemc 11'1111 cenlrollr>lI'cr,
later prohibited bv hcir:hl /r111.daTion, II: Moill "II'I'OIiml me," after

r: id« "'{'''ofioll witl, 10'#111Aljrcd Barr. Dirertor of MOM'I, '1'1'1\ )'r>r~, described in /0_7 as ',<!I'amh"at /)(1 In'/I it'S, , pirlllngraph, 1088 d: viI'II' oj rntral cin-ulanon ,<pan'

e: Cnnrretc frame under



Bor/s VeUkovsky Panteleimon Go/osov

a: Boris Ve/ik(ll'sky, workers' 11l1II.l';lIg. Mrl.\"t"fl ..... 1925 phm"Xraplt soon aftl'l" rnmpletlnn b: ttoris Ve/ikav/lky with Atexander (lad viktor Vell"I", apartment and ('flmm,Jrt'iu! blli/flitlll for II; Kur.llI.'t!iOl'. Most"rl ..... /910. 1'/UI/fJgrnph, 1985 e, d: PanteleimlJn GUi050V, compctition projer! [or th« i.eni« f.llJrllry.

Mosco ..... 1928: p('rSf"·CIII'('.






- ---





Alexander Kuznetsov

a, b: Alexander Kuznetsov lI'ilh \' and G Movctian.Lvan 'ikolae» and A now/_)' Fisenko, All Union Electrotechnicnl IIISliIUl~, Moscow, 192 -3() nHl photographs (If final sta ees of completion, published ill SA 1929.
c: Alexander Kuznetsa», \>lose,)}\,

Textile institute, Ih,O/ Laboratory, 19~6: perspective d: 1/ oadquartcrs of the Russian
Polv:« hnical IIde1\', \1(ls((Jw, 190400: IIm;1I <'il'l'(m(III.I'I"'I().~IW'II. 19Fr

e: .'1111.1;01>1111,1;11,11 ,tor



Cdllt'l1t tlf f1fllit-d II"I~ 11oscoll 1(j 13-14' .II/HIIICI' a/ angle of

Leni n9 raders
Alexander Gegello Georgi Simonov

0: Alexander Gegello, DL Krichtl'st)' arid A lexander Dmitriev, Gorky
Palace (lJ Cui/lin'. Leningrad, J915·

27: mail! elevation, dC/ail oJ
[enesiration and stairtnwer, photoliroph 1989. b: main elevation, phlJl(1l1raph 1989. c: Georgi Simonov, Cneducotiona!

Schoo], Tkarhr! Stree«. Leningrad. 1927·29: gymnosium and chongill;: room block. centre, with taboratones.
lef), and classroom block, right. photograph 19 . d: gymnasium and rlIOfl,~ill.g room h/ork. pllOltlgmph 1988.


Alexei Shchusev

. ~.....'n, ; ( .- .....



..... __!


••. .

" ......

.. , '[""L; .i .. _ .... ,
• ~ ..... , "Ii



1 t ... .'

b: Alexei Shchusev,

Convent oj

Martha and Mar),. Moscow. 1908·12:

perspective, interior, c, d: Anatomioal tnstinuc for IIJe First SIUII' University, M(I$C"Qw,1926: perspective and plans, e: Serond /emportJry limber mausaleum for VI Lenin, Red Square, 1924;


f: 'October Revolution' workers' club, KllWII Station, Moscow. 1925·28: interior of auditorium


a, b: Alexei Shchusev, competitio»
I!roje« , jllr Iii,' entrat Tt'/;'~r<lph, MO_I"'lJlI', 1926: pcrspecuv«, ground[loor 1111111. c: ('''IIIIn'lili()1I I'n!jl'c/ [or the



IIJ tndustr»,

1925: I",rs{,<'c/Il't' whole COII/plr.! d: /H',.I/u'('ril'" f!J rllllrl),(}rd





II:: :::_I~ ~ci':



- - ~-Alexei Shchusev, hotel-sanatorium ill new Matsesta. Caucasus. [927-2 rooftop terrace of guest-roam bloct: soon after completion.



b: perspective. c: Plans and section. d: Main hlocl: of guesr ro()ms wider

construction. e, f: Detail» of exterior, comptetio».




: lie pion. e: Headquarters oj . Commissariat of A K_oopmsoyu:.lall'r J928-3J:genllral .81"1clI//IIre. Moscow d: C orner derail well' pi 1olograph 1985 . • .' I' . P totograph, /985.

project Jar IIII' L:~e.l!'C:omplltilion Moscow • /928 pers Library In za: .., whol« com I _ peeuve l'II'Wat/' b S. P II];.

a: Alexei Shcn

r EHE':>A lib H bI'~ ..



.Ivan Zholtovsky and Pupils

0: {VOl!




business offices [or Gavrit Tarasov,
Mo.\'('OW, 1909-12. deloil oj main street

elevation, b: Povilians nf III" Muchillf·/wllding IIIIiIMlry, Ati-Russia« Agrirultura! and
lIollli;cl'(JfJ1Ildu.w·;I'.< Exhibition, Moscnw, 1923. c: Georgi ColIS and A texan der Shvidkovsky, prnjert [nr a bank


Novosibirsk; 1926. entrance hall,


b: Iva" Z}lQllovsky wilh Sergei Kozhln, Boiler Hous» of lilt Mlm::ow Centra! Power Station, 1927: perspective, sill! pholograph.

c: Ivan ZllQllo~~'ky, State Bank
hnilding, Moscow, 1927-29; derail, ph Olograph 1987.

d; Ivan ZhQ/(o~sky, project for rebllilding of the Sovie: Siale Bank,
Moscow, 1927. Page of attack on the

'4000 ODDruble' affirmed projec: from Ihe Constructivists' jOllrnal SA. no 2, indudillK press cllliing from Mossoviet s Srroitel'srvo Moskvy September j 927. The COIlS/fuell"isIS recognise il as being of siXllificanrly higher architectural quo/I/), than current attempts to produce a
'monumentai modemism'; bill to them

it is precisely tts quality which makes
the official decision 10 approve (his project 'purticularly dangerolls to our society' .for 'Zho/IO\'sky ol/tmpu 10 justify his complete alienatlon from our lime arid epoch by a philosoph)' of imperishable form and by Ihe qualil) of his restorotionist products,' In their I'lew. this is 'the praclieal propagalion of the ideology of passeists', Ir is a

'negative anempt to lie 'he Soviet
U nion 10 principles from the Italian R ella tssa IIce and outlived forms of lilt XII and XVI centuries'; by om: 'who does rWI believe if! lire truths of his own epoch and has IJ(1/ Ihe creative capucity 10 create its " ....... alues':


a, b: Georgi Galls, Sergei K ozhin and faclOry
Mik.IUJil Parusnikov, cotton-spinning at /vtllllf'evka for the MOSCf)W Knitwear Trl'SI. 1928·29: perspective, en/ranee hall. e, d: Georgi Gotts and Mikhail

Parusnikov, DoliN house 01 lire Kiev Power Statio», 1929. perspective flf main street, e: main structural [rame under construction,

Ivan Fornin


," O .....,U \

Bbl C"I: _.8tu:
8 "\PfI .... 1

,,' L >:tC;.,.l...'\df








Al'urlmelll Housmg development, SI PC/('I',\'/mrg. J 912: detail of elevanon. b: Competition project [Of the SOI'iel Puvilion at the J 925 Exposition deliArl! Deconuifs. Pam, /924 end elevanon. e, d: Nell Campus /or the PoI_WI'l'imica{
1II.\'Iilll/I' 11I1I'tl1101'O·\

rentra! hUilrlillg,jirsl flo"" plon of en/Ira Ibuilding. e: PUSPI't'lil'{' I!fprepor{JlIlry[arull) for

28: (JI'I"I(I('clil'I' of

'oznescnsk, 1926-

worker entrants (Robfakl.
F --,






a: lvan
MU,I('()II' ('(JIJUlfitll'('



/If tlu:





oJ Ow IJul'I'.



1'1215·31):side clrvatou
IJi1"/'JIVUph Srm()/Or/IIIII

Oil/II .\WII/.;('I'ICh


hJ c: pn·,\p(I{·lil·;.1 I'i,"n intr: main



romplcnnn. AA Snuruov,

If: Ivan ,.")111111IIml M! Rostavtcv,
1I(1111e(/ jnr

!.hel,·zllt/\'lId,'k I 'J21j' JI""Ifi,~I'(JJlh lOOIJ af/e/" ('ompln/oll e: "'WI Fomin I)/ld,\ll! /(I)s/OI'I(!I' . Sanatonum 'f'1I/ '111/11. tnahsono» ,. Ki\{fII'fJd,J... IV29 plwlrIl(rtlflh soon aftc,

a: Iva" Fomin with A la Langman, Dinnmo Company complex. entral MU.I'cm". 1929-31: Department store and
offir« bind .. pllllltJgraph SOOIl after "I}//lpl('linll. b: elevation UIlIrJ Dzerzhinskaia SIrI!L'1 (le]! hatu] parr emly pUI"II,I' constructedi.

c: rovered walk under !rr)f/,rit'.qsoon after




..,.-~-" . ...~.:..,- ~

Fomin ...UiI lila Langman I Ilmp/n. (1'111/(1/MfI,\uJII' fI""/()X"'II/i "J /W?8 ,,1111,\'/111/1 aml I/Jli"I'I. 1,11. (mil IIIII/.I'IIIM. n~hl II: lJ{HIIIIIII'11I IWI/MIII: /!I'I/illd (/('flat "11<'111 strn if, jJ<I/","PC'I1/V('
0: IWIII Ihlllllilli







, 'Oll/fllt'li",!


Vladimir Shchuko

0: Vladimir Shchuko, Markov S apartment building, 51 Petersbllrg, 1910: COli temporary photograph, b: Vladimir Slrcllllko Vladimir Gelfreikhand, Nikolai KQIIi. restaurant ill the Foreign Section, AI/Russian Agricultural and Handicraft Exhlbition. Moscow ..1921. c, (I: Vladimir Shchuko , eompetinon project Jar rile Soviet Pavilion at the

1925 Exposilioll

des Arts DlkoroJi/s.

Pans. 1924: perspective towards main
entrance, side e/el'olioll.



a, b: Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir Gelfreikh, locul transfnrmrr srauon of the 1I(J(klu}I'sky 1''''''1'1' 1111;(111.
S/lW'/' L<'/IIII!irod.


general "h'h L\'OOIl Cl..{ICJ completion, entrance SOOIl a/'er completinn
c: ph(!/ogrtl{lh. 198

d: Vladimir Shchuko and Ytadimir Gelfreikh . Lenin Puloc« of Culture, Leningrad, c!1.F!7· 1'11/('(1/1('(' If) rlncmo . Ili1()lfIgrarir. f 088 e: 1'(,(11" ",!I" corm: 1('''1'0'-(" photograph. 19, 8



a: Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir Gctfreikh, project jor Textile H'arh'fj
e/II/), M{)s"()I\', 1927: pcrspcrtiv«, b: Cit)' TlINHr,' III RI/.\'/(II'·n/l·DolI, I ()JO·J I (buill 1932-351. {I 1'(.I]II'r'liI't' view 11Y dav

c: ""'''~/){!{'li\'!' l·it'H' by lIii/hl, d: tnterior of main ouduonum


N'kolai Markovnikov

M~H 1 3T

IIOOKBA 1&25-26


.OtKAIi. a: Nikolai


pro{1a 01 for

two-storcyod terrae» of' semi-

collertivised workers' 11i)U,I,/II}: with communal dilliflg room, 1925, ground and [lrst-flonr plans, b, c: Housing Iype 60 illllmIJl'r.jl}r
SJ)k{J1Garden Setttement, MfI,f('(/W, 1925·26: pho./ogrop" soo« af/{lr CQmp/('fl{IJI. grrumd-j7rmr plan. d: f/r.).u~ing Iypi' S8 in th« Gerard

biackwork: system. for Sokol Garden Seulemetu, Moscow, /926. pIJotn8mplr ~(JQnafter completion. e: Proposal for a two-storeyed 'Communal house of eeonomrc type' compared tht high-rise 'Commui nai house of th« favourite economic type - a model .... ich is without h economic /oum:Wllofls and therefore represents Of! impractica! arrhitl!('lUrol lantos), , 1928.


B 3p~BaH~





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1111 fI""~ 11M 1111/1 11M MI"iI roW , 1 1111

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111111".1 \ , 111'.11,

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ISBN 1-85~90-071-3



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