You are on page 1of 152

Architectural Drawings of the R u ssi a n

Architectural Drawings off the Russian

Essay by Catherine Cooke, with a preface

by Stuart Wrede and a historical note by
I. A. Kazus

Russian avant-garde architecture of the

revolutionary era stands as a unique and
influential chapter in the history of mod
ern architecture. Conceived during the
tumultuous period from 1917 to 1934,
when political and social revolution con
verged with radical revolution in the arts,
much of the workstructurally daring
and often Utopianwas never built. It is
now known principally through the
powerful and vividly executed drawings
that are the subject of this book. Illus
trations include works by Ivan Leonidov,
the Vesnin brothers, Konstantin Melnikov,
Moisei Ginzberg, and some thirty other

Catherine Cooke is a consultant editor of

Architectural Design, London, a Lecturer
in Design in the Faculty of Technology at
the Open University, Great Britain, and is
widely known as a specialist on Soviet
architecture. In her essay she explores the
milieu in which these architects practiced
and built, their close relationship with
avant-garde painters such as Kazimir
Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin, and the
competitions for such projects as the
Palace of Labor, the Palace of Soviets, and
the Commissariat of Heavy Industry. Her
account also explores the ongoing debate
in the 1920s between the modernists and
the traditionalists, or Socialist Realists,
and the logic of eventual conservative
reaction as Stalin consolidated his power
in Russia.

The remarkable drawings reproduced here

are from the A. V. Shchusev State Research
Museum of Architecture in Moscow, the
principal repository of such material in
the world. The publication of this book has
been occasioned by a major loan exhibition
organized by The Museum of Modern Art,
the first presentation in the United States
of works from the Shchusev Collection. It
is also the first time that all the most
important drawings of the Russian avant-
garde period in this collection have been
exhibited outside of Russia.

Essay by Catherine Cooke

4' '

r' mi
,.-v ,<

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York



1 * f f!S :i *3*' ass':SfiJ;

. =' .7 J - ft; . .: S i.-: >W >'

11 is

w^ fKKhhMrn

Architectural Drawings of the R u ssi a n

Arc uiVe

Published on the occasion of the exhibition

"Architectural Drawings of the Russian Avant-
Garde," June SISeptember 4, 1990, organized
by Stuart Wrede, Director, Department of
Architecture and Design, The Museum of
Modern Art

This exhibition is supported by a grant from

Knoll International, Inc. Additional funding
has been provided by Lily Auchincloss, The
International Council of The Museum of
Modern Art, the National Endowment for the
Arts, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Copyright 1990 by The Museum of Modern

Art, New York
All rights reserved

Photograph Credits: Plates from the

A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of
Architecture, Moscow; text figures courtesy
um C. Cooke, except nos. 10 and 26, The Muse of
Modern Art

Library of Congress Catalogue Card

Number 90-61320
Clothbound ISBN 0-87070-556-3
Paperbound ISBN 0-87070-556-3
Abrams clothbound edition ISBN 0-8109-6000-1

Edited by Janet R. Wilson

Designed by Janet Odgis & Company Inc.
Production by Pamela Smith
Type set by Sarabande Press, New York
Printed by Eastern Press, Inc., New Haven,
Bound by Sendor Bindery, New York

The clothbound edition distributed in the

United States and Canada by Harry N. Abrams,
Inc., New York, A Times Mirror Company.
Distributed outside the United States and
Canada by Thames and Hudson Ltd., London

The Museum of Modern Art

1 1 West 53 Street
New York, New York 10019

Cover: Ivan Leonidov, Palace of Culture of the

Proletarsky District of Moscow. Center for
Physical Education, 1930

The Museum ot Modern Art Library

6 Preface
Stuart Wrede

9 Images in Context
Catherine Cooke

49 Plates

128 A History of the A. V. Shchusev State

Research Museum of Architecture
I. A. Kazus

131 Biographies of the Architects

140 Selected Bibliography

143 Trustees of The Museum of Modern Art



The work of the Russian avant-garde The accession to power of a revolution base to sustain these visions into built
during the years 1917 to 1934 consti ary government that set about trans structures. Perhaps, as in the case of the
tutes an extraordinary chapter in forming the social order gave the archi Futurists in Italy, the country's tech
twentieth-century art and architecture. tectural profession an opportunity, nological backwardness was liberating.
From the outbreak of the Bolshevik rev through competitions and commissions,
olution to the avant-garde's ideological to redefine architecture's social and Central to this spirit of daring innova
demise under Stalin, it was a period cultural role. At the time these develop tion were schools such as the
when radical changes in the arts ments captured the imagination of VKhUTEMAS with their open and
converged with social and political modern architects internationally who, experimental teaching program staffed
revolution. especially in Europe, were still function by leading members of the various
ing within an essentially conservative avant-garde groups. Equally if not more
Like most of its compatriot vanguard bourgeois social order. Among those radical than the Bauhaus, the
movements in Europe, the Russian who did work in Russia were Le Cor- VKhUTEMAS was from the outset con
avant-garde drew inspiration from the busier, Hannes Meyer, and Ernst May.
ain siderably more involved in the tr
innovations of Cubism before World
of architects than was its German
War I. And like these movements it While this confluence of artistic and counterpart.
fostered an intimate collaboration and political revolution retains a strong hold
cross-fertilization among the arts. Not on our imagination, it is not enough to
only the fine arts and architecture but In her essay for this catalogue Catherine
account for the continuing powerful
also photography, films, industrial Cooke has admirably presented the rich
attraction of this architectural work.
design, and graphics thrived in this ness of the theoretical and ideological
Rather, it is the formal inventiveness
period. The Russians had their own debates both within the avant-garde as
and high aesthetic level of the projects,
unique talents in the artists Kazimir well as between its members and the
as well as their range, that capture our
Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin, both of emerging Socialist Realists. The argu
attention today. Germany was perhaps
whom had a direct influence on ments between a "rationalism" based on
the only other country in the 1920s
architecture. formal, spatial, and psychological con
with an equal number of architects
siderations and one based on structural
committed to modernism. But unlike
and functional concerns, as well as be
their generally "sachlich" approach,
tween modernists and traditionalists,
much of the Russian work displays a
seem to have a certain current rele
conceptual and structural daring that
vance and cast the present-day
in the finest examples, such as the de
architectural debates into perspective.
signs of Leonidov, ascends to a spiritual
realm. Their work, however, belied the
lack of a modern technical and material
Inexplicably the first standard histories for exhibition. The A. V. Shchusev State I am most grateful to the Shchusev
of modern architecture by Siegfried Research Museum of Architecture in State Research Museum of Architecture
Giedion, Nikolaus Pevsner, and Henry- Moscow, from whose archives we have in Moscow for so generously lending us
Russell Hitchcock left out the Russian been so generously allowed to select this unique collection of architectural
avant-garde. Even Reyner Banham's drawings for this exhibition, is the drawings and to Igor Kazus, Acting
seminal Theory and Design in the First largest repository of such material in Director, and Alexei Shchusev, former
Machine Age of 1960 barely touched on Russia, indeed in the world. While the Director of the museum, for their enthu
the subject. The difficulty of doing re Shchusev collection is not comprehen siasm and support in making the
search in Russia at the time and the sive, it is a most representative exhibition possible. I am equally grateful
climate of the early cold war may have collection of the avant-garde architec to Yevgeny Rozanov, Minister of the
been partly to blame. The work was not tural activity of this period and includes State Commission on Architecture and
rediscovered in the West until the 1960s some of its finest work. Segments of the Town Planning, for his support.
with the publication of books such as collection have been shown in Europe,
Anatole Kopp's Ville et revolution but this is the first time the original It has been a particular pleasure to
(1967), as well as the 1970 landmark drawings are on view in the United work with the curatorial and admin
exhibition, "Art in Revolution," orga States, as well as the first time that all istrative staff of the Shchusev Museum.
nized by the Arts Council of Great the most important drawings of the My thanks to Lev Lyubimov for his
Britain at the Hayward Gallery in Lon avant-garde period in the collection have efforts in coordinating the work at the
don. Since then an increasing number of been seen together in one exhibition. museum, to Marina Velikanova and
articles and books in the West, and also The work of some thirty-five architects Dotina A. Tuerina for helping to review
by Russian scholars, notably S. 0. Khan- is represented in the exhibition, another the drawings in the archives and for
Magomedov's Pioneers of Soviet Archi important testament to the scope of this preparing the initial checklist and
tecture, have helped provide a fuller and remarkably creative period. architects' biographies, to Karina Yer
more detailed picture of this work. Akopiar and Irina Chepuknova for
showing me the drawings on my two
Despite this increased attention, the initial visits and for so kindly introduc
projects of the Russian avant-garde ing me to the avant-garde architecture
architects have become familiar to us in Moscow.
mainly through grainy black-and-white
photographs. Not until recently have any
of the original drawings been available

Special gratitude must go to Kevin Emily Kies Folpe, Museum Educator/ In my own department I am grateful to
Roche, who first told us about the draw Public Programs. Their efforts have all Marie-Anne Evans and Ona Nowina-
ing collection at the Shchusev and then been invaluable to the success of the Sapinski for their unfailing support, and
generously provided the support for a exhibition and related events. to Matilda McQuaid, Christopher Mount,
first exploratory trip to Moscow to re and Robert Coates for their help in the
view the material. For their essential assistance in the production of the exhibition.
preparation of the catalogue I am grate
At The Museum of Modern Art I am ful to the staff of the Publications Finally, of course, an exhibition and
grateful to Richard Oldenburg, Director, Department: Janet Wilson, Associate catalogue of this scope are not possible
for his efforts toward the realization of Editor, and Pamela Smith, Associate Pro without the commitment of an en
this exhibition. James Snyder, Deputy duction Manager, as well as Harriet S. lightened sponsor. I wish to thank
Director for Planning and Program Sup Bee, Managing Editor; Tim McDonough, Knoll International, Inc., and its
port, and Richard Palmer, Coordinator of Production Manager; and Nancy Kranz, chairman, Marshall Cogan, for the
Exhibitions, contributed vital admin Manager of Promotion and Special Ser enthusiastic support of this exhibition.
istrative support for the project. I also vices. It has been an equal pleasure to
wish to thank Sue Dorn, Deputy Direc work with Janet Odgis, the designer of I am most grateful for additional sup
tor for Development and Public Affairs, this very handsome volume. port from Lily Auchincloss, and also
and her staff; Jeanne Collins, Director of from The International Council of The
Special thanks to Catherine Cooke for Museum of Modern Art, the National En
Public Information; Waldo Rasmussen,
the main catalogue essay, which ele dowment for the Arts, and the Trust for
Director of the International Program,
and Carol Coffin, Executive Director of gantly places the architectural projects Mutual Understanding. The Contempo
in the context of their time. In addition, rary Arts Council of The Museum of
the International Council; Ellen Harris,
she has served as a most valuable ad Modern Art has kindly provided support
Deputy Director of Finance and Auxili
viser to the exhibition. Igor Kazus has for the related symposium.
ary Services; Aileen Chuk, Adminis
also contributed an informative history
trative Manager in the Registrar's office;
of the Shchusev Museum and its collec Stuart Wrede
Jerome Neuner and the exhibition
tion. Andrew Stivelman has provided Director
production and framing staff; Michael
translations from the Russian texts, Department of Architecture and Design
Hentges, Director of Graphics; Joan
biographies, and checklists. Magdalena
Howard, Director of Special Events; and
Dabrowski, Associate Curator in the
Department of Drawings, has been a val
uable consultant on the Russian texts.

Images in Context In the social upheavals of the Russian (fig. 1). The expansion of industrial de
Revolution in 1917, the architectural velopment, the attempts to bring the
profession lost many of its most promi essentials of modernity to the predomi
nent clients, as aristocratic families fled nantly rural population, in the forms of
from Petrograd and millionaire mer literacy, numeracy, primitive agricultur
chant dynasties disappeared overnight al machinery, and electric power, were
from Moscow. A certain percentage of to be the major campaigns of the later
the professional middle classes also left, twenties.
hut the majority struggled to make an
existence, and where appropriate to On the eve of the First World War, how
make themselves useful, in the upside- ever, Russia's economy was growing
down world that followed. As was again faster than that of any other in the
to be the case twenty years later under developed world. Embryonic middle-
the purges of Stalin, most architects echelon, professional, and proletarian
were adaptable enough to be able to con groups were forming within the popula
tinue to design and, when possible, to tion but numerically hardly constituted
build. Buildings, like medical care, are "classes." What that growth might have
always needed; changed social condi meant had history been different is, of
tions and reduced technical options course, a matter of speculation. What
offered a fresh challenge within which happened in reality was that the grow
by Catherine Cooke imaginative and entirely professional re ing embryo was aborted. It was to be a
sponses remained valid. Behind the whole decade through the First World
screen created by the seductive work of War, the Revolution, and the subsequent
the avant-garde generation, therefore, Russian Civil War, then the mass famine
lies an enormous and important conti and privations of 1921-24 before econ
nuity in architectural practice between omists could speak of the building
the pre-revolutionary years and the industry "waking up again after ten
1 twenties. years asleep." Most of the damage to
the building stock of towns and cities
Russia had been very little urbanized was done during the Civil War, partly
before the Revolution. Its only set resulting from hostilities and partly
tlements worthy to be called "cities" from the gradual dismantling of build
were the current and former capitals, ings by an urban population seeking
St. Petersburg (renamed Petrograd in firewood for winter survival. Industry
1914) and Moscow, each having about stood still and the population froze and
two million inhabitants. Their nearest starved as the Bolsheviks who had
rivals, in cultural, artistic, and profes taken Petrograd and Moscow extended
sional sophistication, were Kiev and their victory over the Imperial forces,
Odessa, with populations of just over the so-called Whites, to the rest of the
half a million. In terms of structural Russian continent.
technique, buildings as advanced as any
in Europe could be found, but these Even more serious, for the long-term
pockets of advanced building were ex recovery period which the avant-garde
tremely small. The image of the modern generation would face, was the damage
city and the industrial environment those ten years brought to the building-
that generated it, which were such real materials industry. Many of the techni
inspiration for American and European cal preoccupations and obsessions with
modernism, were in general no part "economy of materials" that recur so
of the Russian population's experience frequently in avant-garde theory were
generated as much by terrible shortages


i J UM-,!.LUIJil
as they were by the influence of modern That, however, was before the hostilities,
ist aesthetics and design morality in before the destruction and deskilling of
Western journals, when these filtered the "ten years' sleep" in building. When
into Russia again after the Western El Lissitzky returned to Moscow from
Entente lifted its blockade. Germany in 1926 to publish his pro
posal for "skyhooks" around Moscow
The change in social priorities was made of "non-rusting high-tensile steels
professionally a much easier problem such as are produced by Krupp" and
to handle than the technical obstacles. "glass which is transparent to light but
The devising of new types of buildings obstructs the heating rays of the sun,"
and spatial arrangements was, then as he might just as well have been specify
4 ever, a major element of architectural ing platinum and diamonds (fig. 3).
skill. In pre-revolutionary Russia, social Public authorities were already despair
change of a different kind had been so ing of the architectural profession's
rapid that this was a skill in constant "glass mania," as more and more mod
use within the architectural profession ernist proposals sought to bring health
as a whole. The middle-class apartment and light to workers by using sheets of
block, the office building and commer plate glass set in bold concrete frames.
cial headquarters, the philanthropic or And this was in a country where almost
cooperatively funded communal-housing
block for urban industrial workers, the
"people's house" (precursor of the work
ers' club of the twenties), the big urban MOCKBA.
secondary school for the proletariat's KpacHaflnjiouiaflb.
sPlace Roui
children, and the open institution for
the higher education of workers: all
were socially innovative buildings,
within the Russian context, of the two
2 decades preceding the 1917 revolution.
Even that staple of Western architec tfll
tural practice, the custom-made family
mansion, was as new in Russia as the
rich commercially based middle-class
client. In the hands of someone like
Moscow's great turn-of-the-century mas
ter, Fedor Shekhtel, these showpieces,
planned for domestic convenience rather
than classical propriety, were at least as
innovative as spatial and social building
types, and as aesthetically shocking to
the establishment of their day as were Fig. 1. Moscow, Red Square, with Kremlin,
right, looking toward St. Basil's Cathedral,
early modernist exercises erected by the ca. 1905.
avant-garde. As part of the social state
ment being made by the new clients,
many of these residences incorporated
the very latest Western-standard
environmental conveniences, experi
mental materials, and structural
techniques (fig. 2) 3
no glass of any kind suitable for win
twenties were no more characterized by
dows existed on the building-materials such mutual regard than Western archi
market, let alone plate.
tecture was in the heyday of modernism.
In retrospect, it is interesting to note
When building resumed in the middle
not only the arguments supporting vari
twenties, there was no shortage of the ous stylistic directions but also the
oretical and practical programs for
terms of the case against modernism.
dealing with these frustrations. The
most interventionist were the Con-
structivist architects, who demanded The latter are remarkably similar to the
modernized techniques for those mate objections to modernism voiced fifty
rials they did have, notably concrete. years later in the West: that its build
Donkeys were still the chief power ings were joylessly "industrial" in mood,
source in building work, even on pres ignored the cultural heritage, and there
tigious Moscow sites. Cement mixers fore failed to communicate with the
and cranes must be imported from Ger myths and aspirations by which the
many or America, they demanded, "to general population lived their lives.
replace our wooden machines from the
5 age of Leonardo da Vinci" (fig. 4). Their In Russia some of these failures of com
student member Ivan Leonidov believed munication were the result of deep
that the building-materials industry Pig. 2. Fedor Shekhtel, mansion for Stepan differences in cultural origin between
should be producing what architects Riabushinsky, Kachalova Street, Moscow, the general population and the profes
190002: detail of the garden facade. sion and also among the architects
wanted for their projects, not the other Photograph: C. Cooke.
way round. With a genius for pris- themselves. Some were the result of a
matically simple, essentially Suprematist theoretical battle within Bolshevism
spatial composition, he postulated a itself over the proper source of a pro
level of high technology in his projects letarian culture. This combination of
that left even Lissitzky's proposals look factors produced the strange alliances
ing technically and structurally modest; that restored to prominence in the
in so doing, Leonidov offered powerful early thirties the conservative, pre-
6 ammunition to the avant-garde's critics. revolutionary generation of architects
as executants of the aesthetic of the new
The social priorities of the post- dictatorship.
revolutionary years were clear and
agreed upon, or at least accepted, by the
The architectural profession
architectural profession as a whole. On
of the twenties
the other hand, the style in which such
objectives should be presented, the lan
Within the Russian architectural profes
guage that would most effectively convey Pig. 3. El Lissitzky, "Skyhook" project: one of sion of the twenties, we may observe the
the revolutionary social message, was a the "horizontal skyscrapers," 1923. Prom
Izvestiia ASNOVA,Moscow, 1926. interaction between what were ef
matter of heated debate. The pluralism
fectively four distinct groups. The first
of today may help us understand the
were middle-aged members of the pre-
arguments on various sides, but the
revolutionary profession who engaged
diversity in the Soviet Union of the
positively with the new situation but did
twenties, which is so well represented
not substantially change their aesthetic
in the Shchusev Museum's collection,
positions. The second were those under
cannot be properly described as plural
forty, also with solid professional expe
ism. Pluralism signifies a democratic
rience but young enough to seize the
acceptance of diversity as the natural
reflection of legitimately different politi
cal and philosophical viewpoints.
Russian architectural circles of the
new theoretical challenge of post- Fomin, forty-five, was a talented de
revolutionary society, who became lead signer equally fluent in Classicism and
ers of the main professional trends of art nouveau. Shchusev, forty-four, was a
the avant-garde. The third, whom we specialist in Russian traditional archi
may call the younger leaders, completed tecture and decorative arts (fig. 6).
their training just before the Revolution,
benefiting from that solid background Directly behind this generation at the
but lacking the opportunity to build. time of the Revolution was a cohort of
The fourth and youngest were the first architects in their upper thirties, poised
student generation after the Revolution, to make their mark. Among those in
enrolled in the "Free Studios" of the Petrograd was Vladimir Shchuko, age
Fig. 4. Typical Moscow building laborers
laying a reinforced concrete slab, ca. 1925. twenties, particularly in Moscow, who thirty-nine, who had some inventively
were taught the new curricula created eclectic apartment buildings to his
by these older men, based on their credit. The rising stars of the profession
various theories. in Moscow were the Vesnin brothers
Leonid, age thirty-seven (fig. 7), Viktor
I describe this as the "Russian" rather and Alexander respectively two and
than the "Soviet" profession advisedly three years younger who for ten years
because the so-called "proletarian" had been figuring increasingly often on
grouping that emerged in the late twen the prize lists of the Moscow Architec
ties to spearhead the attack on the tural Society's competitions. Between the
avant-garde groups was substantially Vesnin brothers in age was Nikolai
comprised of architects from other Ladovsky. The Vesnins became leaders
Soviet republics. Wot bad modernists of Constructivism in the post-
Fig. 5. Ivan Zholtovsky, mansion for themselves, they were as much opposed revolutionary avant-garde, while
industrialist Gustav Tarasov, Alexis Tolstoi to the professional hegemony of this Ladovsky would become leader of their
Street, Moscow, 190912. Photograph: C. Cooke. rivals, the Rationalists.
Russian-rooted elite as they were to the
style of their architecture.
A bit younger than the above men,
distinct in their lack of building experi
The oldest of these four "generations" of
ence before the Revolution but subse
Russian architects included practiced
quently contributing equally to the
exponents of Classicism, eclecticism, and
theory and practice of the modernist
the Russian art nouveau, so-called mo-
avant-garde, was a cohort born around
derne, before the Revolution. Firmly
1890 and graduating just before the
rooted in the social elite, they them
October Revolution of 1917. Back
selves constituted an artistic elite
grounds and education were more
whose education at the Imperial St.
varied in this age group, but strong cre
Petersburg Academy or the Moscow
ative partnerships with members of the
School rivaled the best then available
slightly older group were one of the dis
in the West. Most had traveled or even
tinctive features of the avant-garde. Here
studied abroad. Of those whom we shall
encounter as front-line professional
leaders of the twenties, perhaps the
most notable were Ivan Zholtovsky,
Ivan Fomin, and Alexei Shchusev. The
Moscow-based Zholtovsky, age fifty at
the outbreak of the Revolution, was a
passionate adherent of Renaissance
Classicism, particularly of Palladio; he
practiced widely and since 1900 had
taught at the Stroganov School (fig. 5).
we have Moisei Ginzburg, co-leader of Members of the generation born about
Constructivism with, the younger Ves- 1900 were the true children of the Revo
nins, who finished the Riga Polytechnic lution. Their whole training, as well as
in Moscow in 1917 after an earlier their early professional experience, was
three-year course at the Milan Academy. conducted under the new conditions,
,,>* . < JU i shaped by the new social program, and
El Lissitzky's educational career had limited by the new economic and techni
been very similar; he graduated from cal constraints. From the Moscow
the Riga Polytechnic a year after VKhUTEMAS in particular created by
Ginzburg left, after taking his first de the amalgamation of the Moscow College
gree in Darmstadt. Vladimir Krinsky and the Stroganov School to bring all
finished the Academy in Petrograd in two- and three-dimensional arts into
Fig. 6. Alexei Shchusev, project for the Church 1917 and, like Lissitzky, became closely one curriculum young stars such as
of Martha and Mary convent, under the identified with Ladovsky in Rationalism. Ivan Leonidov, Mikhail Barshch, and
patronage of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth
Fedorovna, built on Bolshaia Ordynka, Moscow, Konstantin Melnikov graduated from Andrei Burov emerged to join Con
1908-12. From Ezhegodnik Obshchestva the Moscow College the same year and, structivism, Ivan Lamtsov, Mikhail
arkhitektorov-khudozhnikov (Annual of the Turkus, and Georgi Krutikov to join
like his peers, would soon be back in the
Society of Architect-Artists), no. 4, St. Petersburg,
1909, p. 135. reorganized schools teaching, in his Rationalism, and Georgi Golts to pursue
case with Ilia Golosov as his older part the teachings of Zholtovsky.
ner. Iakov Chernikhov belonged to this
age group and was also soon teaching I stress these age differences because
as well as studying, but a fragmented they help greatly in seeing behind the
educational career put him somewhat mass of names to the reality of the ar
outside the mainstream. tistic and professional scene of the time,
and they are fundamental to the stylis
To a man, these new recruits to the pro tic diversity represented in the
fession in 1917 knew the old styles exhibition. For all the new "equalities,"
intimately, as their final diploma pro for all the speed with which the free
jects in school had shown. In the post- debate, the frequent open competitions,
revolutionary years they would argue and the open studio structures enabled
Fig. 7. Leonid Vesnin, project for a dacha.
together fiercely over the principles that talented newcomers to rise meteorically,
From Ezhegodnik Moskovskago Arkhitekt- should generate a "modern" architec the work of the leading younger archi
urnago Obshchestva (Annual of the Moscow ture, but they were united in regarding tects does not emerge ex machina. It is
Architectural Society, MAO), no. 1, Moscow,
1909, p. 20. it as essentially a new phenomenon, sui the flower of inspired teaching by expe
generis, not a reinterpretation of the old rienced people, deeply rooted in the
canons. Within a year of the Revolution aesthetic traditions of the best European
their former schools had been reorga and Russian architecture.
nized on freer lines by government
decree, and soon they were back in these Playing against this, however, and an
schools where, especially in Moscow, equally important stimulus to innova
they passionately debated their new the tion, was undoubtedly the different
ories with colleagues from painting and cultural conditioning supplied by stu
literature in little "research groups," dents innocent of most urban aesthetics,
even as they taught the next generation whose basic aesthetic structures were
in the studios. formed in rural, peasant milieus. Thus
the two greatest formal innovators of
the architectural avant-garde, Ivan
Leonidov and Iakov Chernikhov, brought
their primal, almost carnal sense of
form from childhoods spent under the
tough, tutorship of peasant life, in con Precisely because Russia immediately
stant hattle with rude nature, innocent after the Revolution was for several
of the intellectual constructs of urbanity years an isolated world, feeding off its
until well after their formative years. own resources while the Bolsheviks
Melnikov, too, though singled out by a gradually extended their conquests, and
middle-class patron in adolescence, had Western powers tried to cut their supply
his earliest conditioning in a similar lines, the internal conjuncture gave
background. These people of very dif unique coloration to artistic develop
ferent social origins fitted in with one ments. Internal intellectual battles and
another well enough during the melee of alliances were being worked through
the twenties, although Melnikov, within the larger revolutionary process,
Leonidov, and Chernikhov retained the and many cultural shifts that paralleled
Fig. 8. Sergei Maliutin, interior of the theater fiery independence that does not make Western developments, or others that
at Talashkino, ca. 1902, looking toward the
proscenium curtain. From S. Makovsky and easy colleagues. represented belated cultural moderniza
N. Berich, Talashkino: izdeliia masterskikh Kn. tion, were propagated with passionately
M K Tenishevoi (Talashkino: products from The third stimulus to architectural
the workshops of Princess M. K. Tenisheva), political and ideological rationales.
St. Petersburg, 1905, plate 150. innovation perhaps the crucial
medium of liberation was the work of
The traditional relationship between art
the artistic avant-garde, which far more
and architecture operated in pre-
strongly than the architectural profes
revolutionary Russia as in the West,
sion had laid the foundations for its
whether in Classicist circles around the
formal revolution before the political
Imperial Academy in Petersburg or in
shake-up of 1917.
the Slavophile movement that protested
against it in the later nineteenth
The new relationship between century. This relationship was strength
architecture and the plastic arts ened in the influential arts-and-crafts
colonies of rich patrons like Sawa
In the Soviet Union of the twenties, as Mamontov or Princess Tenisheva at
in Europe, the formal languages of the Abramtsevo and Talashkino respectively
new architecture developed in close con (fig. 8y. Here mutual learning could
junction with and indeed were often take place across the conventional
led byexplorations in the two- and boundaries of artistic and craft disci
three-dimensional areas of the fine arts. plines, and activity flowed naturally into
During the years when Russia was cut theater, opera, and fine art publishing.
off from Western contact and even liter Both of these patrons financed such
ature by the Civil War and the Western ventures as Sergei Diaghilev and Alex
8 Entente's blockade, the Neo-plasticism of ander Benois's journal World of Art.
Mondrian and Vantongerloo established Firmly rooted in the Abramtsevo colony,
the formal grammars for the architec for example, was the most important
ture of van Doesburg and Rietveld in artistic confraternity in turn-of-the-
Holland. Likewise in France the Purism century Moscow, which linked the art
that Corbusier and Ozenfant juxtaposed nouveau architect Fedor Shekhtel,
to the complex spatial structures of Cub writer Anton Chekhov, theater director
ism became the test bed for Corbusier's Konstantin Stanislavsky, and the Sym
own essays in concrete. Social and intel bolist painter, sculptor, and ceramicist
9 lectual linkages between painters and Mikhail Vrubel.
architects were, of course, a normal fea
ture of traditional artistic culture, but
the move toward abstraction in modern
ism generated relationships that were
far more profoundly symbiotic.
In its own context this was a genuine bits of timber and metal which he called
spiritual and aesthetic symbiosis, but it "counter-reliefs" or "selections of mate
was naturally anathema to those ex rials" (fig. 9). His principal concern, in
cluded from such cultural elites. The the improvised alternative art shows of
boundaries were not just social. They Moscow and Petrograd, was to outshine
were reinforced by blinkered teaching his older rival Kazimir Malevich as
even in the relatively freer schools like innovative guru within their newly
the Moscow College (from which Tatlin abstractionist avant-garde circle.
had been dismissed for lack of aptitude) Malevich's innovations were, of course,
and by a very exclusive exhibitions entirely different in media and philo
policy in the established galleries (on sophical intention. Where Tatlin
which Tatlin had expressed himself in declared his new subject matter to be
the press, as well as to Benois just the interaction of "real materials in real
10 before the First World War). space," Malevich's concern, in his
painted Suprematist canvases, was to
At that stage Tatlin was a young painter create a new system of painterly forms
who had been to Paris, had seen that communicated the sensation of
Picasso's three-dimensional collages, and pure energy and force in the cosmic
was now producing assemblages from space that "is within my own skull"
(fig. 10). Tatlin did not say much.
Malevich addressed his public and
colleagues in long, philosophical, and
poetic ramblings. But between them,
this extraordinary pair of talents
created the two foundations, even the
two formal and spatial languages, from
which avant-garde architecture (quite
apart from much else) would build most
11 of its radical propositions.

By 1920 the thirty-five-year-old Tatlin

was no longer just the young sailor-
painter with a police record for "revolu
tionary views." After the Revolution he
had become a major figure in the new
official artistic and cultural hierarchy
set up by Lenin's art and culture com
missar, Anatoly Lunacharsky. Tatlin
now had the chance to spit at the pre-
revolutionary establishment he had so
despised, and to powerful ideological
effect. In a statement on his Monument
to the Third International, he said that
before the Revolution "all foundations
Fig. 9. Vladimir Tatlin, Hanging Corner Relief, on which the plastic arts stood were at
selection of materials, iron, aluminium, and odds with each other, and all the con
primer, 1915. From N. Punin, Tatlin: protiv
kubizma (Tatlin: against Cubism), Petersburg nections linking painting with
(Petrograd), 1921. sculpture and architecture had been
lost. The result was individualism, i.e.,
the expression of merely personal habits
and tastes. When artists addressed ma
terial, they reduced it to the level of
something they could do eccentric
things with vis-a-vis one or other
branch of fine art. So at best the artist
decorated the walls of private
12 mansions of individual nests."

Referring to one of Fedor Shekhtel's

masterpieces in Moscow, richly deco
rated with thematic ceramics from the
Abramtsevo studios and paintings by
the great Konstantin Korovin, Tatlin
mocked that artistic fraternity for "leav
ing us a series of 'Iaroslavl railway sta
tions' (fig. 11) and a multitude of other
forms that now seem comical." While
the Revolution had discredited this
work, it had merely effected a social
catching-up process in relation to his
own, which had "already taken material,
volume and construction" as its very
subject matter back in 1914. "The
purely artistic forms" resulting from
that "research into material, volume
and construction" represented, said
Tatlin, "laboratory models" for the solu
tion of "utilitarian tasks" posed now,
after the Revolution, "in our task of
13 creating a new world." Suitably
Pig. 10. Kazimir Malevich, Airplane Flying, entitled "The work ahead of us," this
1915. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Purchase. statement encapsulated the crucial idea
of the new relationship between the dif
ferent scales of plastic art, integral
rather than accidental, and effectively
set the agenda for the whole modernist

Among the artistic avant-garde in Rus

sia after the Revolution it thus became a
central principle that the proper func
tion of those practices and crafts
previously called "fine arts," addressed
to a bourgeois market, now lay in for
mal research for the larger spatial
constructions required by the masses of
the socialist society, that is, for build
ings, urbanism, and the organization
14 of the whole environment. Precisely
such, an idea underpinned Lissitzky's Revolutionary engagement
concept of the "Proun" as the "inter
change station between painting and ar Faced with enormous distances, a politi
terate chitecture." Following on from Tatlin, cally immature and mainly illi
the Constructivist architects described population, the victorious Bolsheviks
their research into formal and spatial faced real problems in communicating
configurations as "laboratory work" for to the still unreliable masses the nature
full-scale architecture. Alexander of the new regime and the battle that
Rodchenko, who carried forward the had been fought. They engaged artists of
thrust of Tatlin's ideas among the youn various persuasions who would collabo
ger Moscow artists, would talk of his rate, using all the visual and symbolic
Fig. 11. Fedor Shekhtel, Iaroslavl Station, little assemblages of wooden blocks as media that were available. Sometimes
Moscow, 1902, drawing of main elevation. From elements of a "spatial inventory" for ap the results were highly innovative;
E. Kirichenko, Fedor Shekhtel, Moscow, 1973.
16 plication in larger functional tasks. sometimes they were no more than a
Malevich moved into the three- change of content in a form that was
dimensional world of his arkhitektoniki culturally well established.
with a similar intention (fig. 12). This
principle became the basis of their The Russian Orthodox Church had for
teaching in the new schools, as well as centuries forbidden the making of
of their own practice. To such an extent human images, so it was traditional to
did this view become an orthodoxy erect buildings rather than statues as
across the whole spectrum of aesthetic monuments to great victories. Thus
creeds in the early twenties that leading some of the very first building designs
avant-garde artists who uncom after the Revolution were actually pro
promisingly insisted on art's unique jects for "monuments" advertising the
function as the reflective spiritual essay fact of the political takeover. In the
left Russia for the bourgeois West while major cities, particularly Moscow and
they could. The most conspicuous to go Petrograd, traditional mass street fairs
were Vasily Kandinsky and Naum for Shrovetide and Imperial coronations
17 Gabo. were reworked into a new medium: the
revolutionary festival. City squares were
Much of the fecundity of the modernist decorated with ideological symbols and
architectural avant-garde in Russia de slogans, and workers' groups paraded
rives from its dual origins in these two with floats mocking Tsarist counter
groups, from the cross-fertilization be revolutionaries, capitalists, and leaders
tween the vigorous new generations in of the hostile Entente powers. (Today's
the architectural profession and its May Day and November 7 parades are
18 explosively creative peer group within the continuation of this.)
the other plastic arts. Certain alliances
The two earliest works in the exhibi
had already been formed across this
tion exemplify the enthusiastic
interprofessional divide among the
contributions of younger architects to
younger members before the Revolution,
most notably the close friendship be
tween Tatlin and Alexander Vesnin. In
general, however, it was the common
tasks in the immediate post-
revolutionary years that threw them
these two genres of political consolida him Corbusier's executive architect for
19 tion immediately after the Revolution. It the Tsentrosoyuz complex in Moscow
is unclear why a competition took place is already displayed in the splendid
in 1917 for "a monument to revolution "monument" he designed and built just
ary heroes in Helsingfors" (Helsinki). off Red Square for the street festival cel
(Finland used the Revolution as its ebrating the first anniversary of the
opportunity to get free of Russian domi Revolution (plate 2; see also fig. 13).
nation.) But Vladimir Shchuko's Lest any workers should fail to under
extraordinary triumphal arch, half stand the symbolism, the white block of
Classical, half Egyptian, is a typical the executed project was clearly labeled
Russian "monument" of that genre "Bands of White Guardsmen" (Tsarist
(plate 1). Its heavy monumentality was loyalists) across the crack created by
characteristic of many such projects of the Red Wedge of Bolsheviks. (Lissitzky's
the early twenties. Nikolai Kolli was a famous poster on a similar theme dates
20 Moscow architecture student who had from the following year.)
worked for Shchusev, among others,
before the Revolution delayed completion During the regime's first year, a network
of his studies. The talent that would of arts administrations called IZO was
later, as a young Constructivist, make set up by Anatoly Lunacharsky's
Commissariat of Enlightenment,
Narkompros. IZO became a meeting
21 ground for all generations. In Moscow,
for example, figures as different in age
and culture as Zholtovsky and Tatlin
played leading roles from the beginning.
When ambitious city architectural and
planning bureaus were established in
1919 in Moscow and Petrograd, Luna-
charsky personally recommended
Zholtovsky to Lenin as head of the Mos
cow bureau on the basis of his proven
commitment to IZO. "Although keeping
out of politics and not a Party member,
he has proved his loyalty to our Soviet
22 regime," Lunacharsky wrote. Soon
Zholtovsky was joined by Shchusev, and
they assembled an office of young archi
tects whose work had attracted their
attention before the Revolution. Among
them were Konstantin Melnikov, Nikolai
Ladovsky, Nikolai Kolli, Ilia Golosov, and
Leonid Vesnin. In Petrograd, Vladimir
Fig. 12. Kazimir Malevich, Arkhitektoniki, Shchuko was appointed to lead IZO's
mid- 1920s. architectural activity, and Ivan Fomin
headed the planning bureau, with elder
statesmen like Alexander Benols as con as monuments" his Monument to the
sultants. In Moscow particularly, under Third International (fig. 14). Seeking
Zholtovsky, the city planning bureau easier working conditions, he went to
became the kind of public office that is a Petrograd to build the model. Meanwhile,
focus for open discussions as lively as in in Moscow young architects and
any teaching studio, where bright young abstract artists made a first attempt to
architects could quickly gain confidence come together across the old profes
in their own potential. As these names sional divide in a group they called
24 indicate, the office was an important Paint-Sculpt-Arch: Zhivskulptarkh.
launchpad for the architectural avant- The resulting architectural "investiga
23 garde. tions" showed the role played by Cubism
in building a first bridge across the pro
While Malevich went to Vitebsk and fessional divide toward an architecture
formed his UNOVIS group (Affirmers of that rejected not just the formal lan
the New Art) in the art school there guages of traditional building but the
with Lissitzky, Tatlin was running very notion of stability on which they
artistic and cultural affairs for IZO in rested. The typically Utopian theme
Moscow and developing his famous con dominating their explorations was a
tribution to the tradition of "buildings Temple of Communion between Nations,
for which Ladovsky's young supporter
Vladimir Krinsky contributed several
25 ideas (plates 6 and 7).

Probably under the influence of their

painter colleagues in Inkhuk (the Insti
tute of Artistic Culture in Moscow),
which replaced Zhivskulptarkh with a
speed characteristic of those unstable
years, the language became more planar
and more clearly structured. Thus
Krinsky's works from 1920 (plates 3
and 4) are closer to the contemporane
ous work of artists like Liubov Popova
or Alexander Rodchenko, with whom for
a while they converged 26 The next year,
1921, saw them part again when experi
mentation and debate had clarified in
their minds how the new notion of "con
struction," derived ultimately from the
inspiration of Tatlin, differed as an aes
thetic principle from the traditional
notion of "composition." "Construction,"
many believed, crucially embodied the
spirit and philosophical essence of the
age, and of their new world in particu
lar. Each had taken his own stance on
Fig. 13. V. I. Lenin speaks from the tribune in
Red Square on the first anniversary of the the role these "constructive principles"
Revolution, November 7, 1918. From a should play in his future work within
memorial volume, Lenin 1870-1984,
27 Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. the new ideology. These debates were
to be a watershed in the development of
li' ! " ' avant-garde architecture, as the two
camps that formed the adherents of
"construction" and of "composition"
contained the embryos of the Construc-
tivist and Rationalist groups in

The topics of this early work by future

Rationalist leaders Ladovsky and
Krinsky begin to reflect the new social
circumstances. There is a festival bridge
decoration celebrating the Communist
International from Krinsky (plate 19),
*/|l4CTb and Ladovsky contributes a scaled sec
n\ ctpou tion of his communal-housing project
ne f
(plates 10 and 11). But the point was
made with a Krinsky work (plate 8),
which prefaced The Museum of Modern
Art's 1988 exhibition "Deconstructivist
Architecture," that the structural refer
ences here are determinedly anti-
constructive. With a Civil War raging
around them, economic stasis, and the
building industry reduced to a tabula
rasa, who could say where "realism" in
construction lay?

It is clear from this group of works that

expressive potential is the focus of inter
est. Generally the expressive medium is
form, but some items, such as Krinsky's
bright gridded "structure in space"
Fig. 14. Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the (plate 26), represent the supplementary
Third International, model in studio, 1919. importance accorded to color by the
From N. Punin, Tatlin: protiv kubizma (Tatlin:
against Cubism), Petersburg (Petrograd), 1921. painters in this group. When the
VKhUTEMAS school was created in
Moscow in late 1920, the members of
Inkhuk took over the crucial basic or
foundation course, akin to the Bauhaus
Vorkurs, which was the common prepa
ration for students of all artistic and
28 design disciplines. The collection of
schoolwork by the student Ivan Lamtsov
(plates 12-15, 18), completed under the
direct tutelage of Ladovsky in 1921-22,
shows the full range of set exercises,
from those devoted purely to the formal
expression of such sensations as weight
and mass to first extensions of this
work in the direction of making "build
ings." Lidia Komarova's responses to the
same exercises a year later (plates 16 ing rather than speeding their action,
and 17) make an interesting com but this marvelous collection of Vesnin's
parison; where Lamtsov remained with sketches (plates 30-34) provides a
Ladovsky and Krinsky in Rationalism, unique close-up of what some of the
Komarova would end up with Vesnin avant-garde's architectural projects
29 and Ginzhurg in Constructivism. might have looked like had they been
built. Indeed that same year the first in
As these two doctrines crystallized in vitations to think larger even modestly
the early twenties, another area of artis to build were emerging.
tic work the theater played an
important part in the development of a As the twenties progressed, Soviet so
new architectural language, in addition ciety's efforts to restructure its public
to providing gentle propaganda for the organizations as well as everyday life
revolutionary cause. Here, too, the early led to widespread demand for new build
Soviet work built upon an area of ing types. Architectural competitions
Russian cultural life that had been became one of the main stimuli and
particularly vigorous before the war, showcases for innovation in these areas.
where participation of the most pro The professional organization that over
gressive painters and architects was a saw most of the competitions was the
normal result of the synthetic aspira Moscow Architectural Society (MAO).
tions of such pre-revolutionary Through war and revolution the now
movements as Symbolism and the World elderly Shekhtel had remained its presi
of Art group. Just as Vasnetsov and dent, but as the new world came to life,
Korovin had led the way from Abram- Shchusev replaced him in 1922. That
tsevo, and Benois with Diaghilev, so autumn MAO announced the first major
Shekhtel, Shchuko, and Alexander competition for a state building of the
Vesnin had followed. After the Revolu new regime: a Palace of Labor, or work
tion, young emerging Constructivists ers' parliament, to stand just north of
such as Vesnin's companion, Liubov Red Square. It was to celebrate the crea
Popova, and Rodchenko's wife, Varvara tion of a new unified state, the USSR,
Stepanova as yet unable to design the after the end of the Civil War and, in
useful furniture or buildings to which Stalin's words as Party secretary, "the
they aspired extended their artistic ex triumph of the new Russia over the old."
periments in "constructing" things to It must show the West, said another
frameworks, stage equipment, and Party leader, Sergei Kirov, "that we are
abstract costumes for the dynamic pro capable of adorning this sinful earth
ductions of new-wave producers like with such works of great architecture
31 Vsevolod Meyerhold. as our enemies never dreamed of."
Ladovsky and his colleagues refused to
Typical of these collaborations of the enter the competition, though some did
early twenties, the play itself was bour projects privately. They reckoned that a
geois, and only the interpretation was jury composed of Shekhtel, Zholtovsky,
"revolutionary." For producer Alexander and the World of Art critic Igor Grabar
Tairov's 1923 presentation of G. K. would make it a waste of their time.
Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thurs
day, Alexander Vesnin created a mecha
nized Western metropolis that remained
the avant-garde vision of the future city.
The actors hated the structure for slow
Faced with a hrief that called for enor and Rodchenko contributed, while
mous auditoriums and accommodation, Shekhtel did the pavilion for Turkestan
and the revolutionary monumentality in the non-Russian section, and Ilia
obviously expected, most of the entries Golosov designed the playful, spatially
could be described as "bulbous expres quite complex little quadrant-shaped
sionism." It was indeed a tamed version building of the Far Eastern republics
of that genre by a Petrograder, Noi (plate 22). Shchuko from Petrograd
Trotsky, that won. Here we have two in did the foreign section, including a
terestingly contrasted schemes: a rather boldly modernist restaurant complex
34 well-articulated example of that type by (fig. 16). The published records do not
Andrei Belogrud of Petrograd (plates 35 make clear whether such student de Fig. 15. Ivan Zholtovsky with Nikolai Kolli
et al. Courtyard view of the Machine Building
and 36), who had become rector of the signs as Georgi Golts's little bandstand Pavilion at the All-Russian Agricultural and
Academy School when it re-formed from (plate 23) or Lamtsov's bottle-shaped Handicraft Industries Exhibition, Moscow,
beer kiosk (plate 24) ever were built, 1923. From M. Ginzburg, Stil i epokha (Style
the "Free Studios" in 1921, 38 and the and Epoch), Moscow, 1924, plate 3.
Vesnin brothers' entry, which got third but the drawings convey the exuberance
prize (plates 37-41). Applauding the of the exhibition as a designers' event.
latter's "attempt to create a new social For the development of avant-garde
organism, whose life flowed not from architecture, the most important build
stereotypes of the past but from the nov ing was Melnikov's pavilion for the state
elty of the brief itself," and the "simple, tobacco trust, Makhorka (fig. 17). He
logical three-dimensional expression" of later described it as his "best ever build
35 that externally, Moisei Ginzburg would ing," which one might question, but
later describe the Vesnins' project as its dynamic volumes caused a sensation
"the first demonstration of our new and were a steppingstone to his next
approach" and "the first concrete archi exhibition pavilion, for Paris in 1925.
33 tectural action of Constructivism."
The year 1924 was a frenzied one for
As part of the campaign to revive small- competitions. Monuments remained
scale industry and trade under Lenin's in demand, and Fomin's design for a
New Economic Policy, a major Agri memorial to the revolutionary leader
cultural and Handicraft Industries Sverdlov exemplifies a continuing type
Exhibition was held in Moscow in the of inventive but still classically based
summer of 1923 on the riverside site of monumentality that characterized
today's Gorky Park. It was everyone's much architecture at this time. Lenin's
first chance to build something and death in January of that year caused the
therefore generated enormous enthusi revolutionary city of Petrograd to be
asm and interesting collaborations. renamed Leningrad and heralded a
Shchusev and Zholtovsky did overall spate of competitions for memorials and
planning and supervision, although buildings named for Lenin in major
young students such as Kolli and Andrei towns all over the USSR. Among the
Burov, as well as the older Golosov competition projects for a Lenin House
brother, Panteleimon, took prizes in a of the People in the textile city of
competition for some aspects of the Ivanovo-Voznesensk was one by Ilia
layout. Zholtovsky's main official pavil Golosov (plate 50). The great leader's
ions showed that even the cheapest first temporary mausoleum on Red
timber could not upset his talent for Square was a modest wooden structure
harmonious proportions and classical by Shchusev, quickly replaced by a sec
ordering (fig. 15). One of his pavilions ond temporary version, also wooden,
had "constructive" relief decoration by where Lenin's embalmed body lay under
the young artists Alexandra Exter and
the Stenberg brothers. Elsewhere Popova
36 a glazed sarcophagus by Melnikov. newspaper Leningrad Pravda on a site
Under the chairmanship of Lunacharsky, only 6m by 6m, located on what is today
the Commission for a Permanent Pushkin Square. The challenge of such
Mausoleum for Lenin then launched a compactness and the requirement for
multi-stage competition for a masonry "an expression of the building's agita
38 building that would "fit into the archi tional character" produced three
37 tecture of the Square." The main wonderfully inventive and dynamic solu
reason for the competition boom, how tions from the emerging stars of the
ever, was the revival of the economy to a avant-garde: Melnikov, the Vesnin broth
point where new building might again ers, and Ilia Golosov. Melnikov, the
be contemplated. The outburst of design youngest designer, produced a typically
activity by the young avant-garde in quirky scheme (plate 46). Around a cen
response to the rising crescendo of com tral core of vertical circulation, six
petitions reflected the growing maturity lozenge-shaped volumes would rotate
of a self-confident new generation of independently to produce a constantly
architects. changing silhouette. Perhaps more than
any other design by Melnikov, it shows
A competition was held to design mod the influence of Tatlin and the dream of
est Moscow headquarters for the Party high technology. Golosov's building used
more conventional architectural means
to achieve its dynamism, with faceted
elevations produced by the complex star-
shaped floor plans, the shifting stair
case routes inside, and diagonal bands
of graphics that follow them externally.
The Vesnins' project (plate 47) has
external elevators and exudes an enjoy
ment of movement that refers more to
Alexander's theatrical structures than
to Tatlin in its exploitation of the con
structive pleasure of the simple
trabeated frame. Two years later when
their followers had formed a Construc-
tivist architectural group and launched
a magazine, it was no surprise to find
this Vesnin project featured on the first
39 page as a canonical work.

In its modest size the project had the

professional buildability that was begin
ning to be the Vesnins' hallmark and
key to success. It got them first prize in
another important Moscow competition
that year for the headquarters of the
Fig. 16. Vladimir Siichuko, cafe-restaurant in
the foreign section of the All-Russian Anglo-Russian trading partnership,
Agricultural and Handicraft Industries ARCOS, a complex of offices, hotel, res
Exhibition, Moscow, 1923. From M. Ginzburg,
Stil i epokha (Style and Epoch), Moscow, 1924,
taurant, and retail shops on a site in the
plate 6. city's old banking and commercial dis
40 trict east of Red Square. Theirs was a
highly professional bit of planning in a
frame structure (fig. 18), and the two
competing schemes in the exhibition
show how far ahead of their rivals the Vesnins (who did not submit), Ginzburg,
Vesnin brothers were at this stage in Krinsky, Ladovsky, their colleague
approaching Western standards of Nikolai Dokuchaev, Ilia Golosov, and
professionalism, combining solid pre- Melnikov; the Leningraders were
revolutionary experience with the vigor Shchuko and Fomin. Melnikov took the
of the new aesthetic interest in struc prize with the famous timber and glass
ture among their artist friends. Young building (fig. 19) that created a sensa
Krinsky's framed building (plate 44) is tion and put the new Soviet architecture
a mere diagram by comparison. The on the world map. (Drawings for this
42 scheme by young Leningrader Alex project are in the family collection.
ander Gegello (plates 42 and 43) Here, as with the ARCOS competition,
pursues a different line. His giant order we have the drawings for two highly
of four-storied bay windows is still re contrasting projects, one each from
dolent of the romantic Classicism that Leningrad and Moscow, that well reflect
dominated Petrograd architecture just the different states of architecture in
after the Revolution. At the same time it the two cities at this date. Even better
already presages something of the at do they reflect the two approaches to de
tempt to match Classicism to the grids sign around which architecture would
of a concrete frame which his teacher polarize at the end of the decade.
fU- . Pomin would soon be pursuing more
rigorously into a theory of Proletarian Golosov's scheme (plate 49) is vigorous
Classicism. modernism from the hand of a naturally
Fig. 17. Konstantin Melnikov, Pavilion for
talented designer. It lacks the clarity of
the Makhorka tobacco trust, All-Russian
Gegello was only four years out of col a single overriding idea that was always
Agricultural and Handicraft Industries lege but would soon be playing an Melnikov's trademark indeed the key
Exhibition, Moscow, 1923. From M. Ginzburg, important role in Leningrad modern
Stil i epokha (Style and Epoch), Moscow, 1924, to his design approach but in this con
plate 18. ism. His first practical contribution text, as in the Agricultural Exhibition,
would be made in workers' housing Golosov's touches of playfulness, like his
(plate 62), where the strong garden city strong color, are entirely appropriate for
tradition of Petersburg produced some an exhibition building.
attractive low-rise work.
Fomin's starting point was equally the
1925: Modernist or Classical? determination "to make a new style,"
but it would be one that "does not have
In terms of prestige, the most important recourse to the affectations and ultra-
competition of 1924 was that for the futuristic approaches which are difficult
Soviet pavilion for the next year's to actually build, and are too flashy." As
Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in he explained:
Paris the first occasion for the new I have been concerned above all that the
Fig. 18. Leonid, Alexander, and Viktor Vesnin, Soviet state to present itself on an inter style of the pavilion should reflect the
project for the Anglo-Russian Trading Company
(ARCOS), Moscow, 1924. From M. Ginzburg,
national stage with a specially designed character of the workers' and peasants'
Style and Epoch, translated by A. Senkevitch building. Lunacharsky, who was aware government of this country. Therefore
(Cambridge, Mass.: Oppositions/MIT Press, of the quality of the design work being
1982), plate 14. my architecture has a somewhat util
done in the schools, particularly the itarian character and combines
VKhUTEMAS, as well as by designers decorative elements appropriate to ex
such as Rodchenko and Popova and also hibitions with elements of industrial
in the theater, coopted the artist and and factory building, as is clear from
poet Vladimir Mayakovsky to advise on the perspective drawing [plate 48]. The
interior display. A closed competition central figure is a worker, calling others,
was launched for a building that would and on all sides the architectural forms
"express the idea of the USSR and distin gravitate toward him, as a symbol of
guish itself from the usual European
41 architecture." The Muscovites invited
were all modernists representing the
three main strands in the city: the
how all nationalities are aspiring to
unite in response to the call of the
worker and have come together into the
43 USSR.
This project and Foxnin's description are
highly interesting as an early example
of the aesthetic rationale that would
form the hasis of Socialist Realism at
the end of the decade. It, too, would seek
a new symbolism, rooted in the popula
tion's own situation and the reality of
current politics, through a synthesis of
modern building technologies with
representational elements readily under
stood by the people. By the time of the
great architectural competitions of the
early thirties, the power balance had
moved far enough in the direction of
centralism and a new autocracy of the
Party for the supposedly democratic ele
ments of this pronouncement to sound a
false note. But in 1924 it still rang true.
The problem, however, which was cen
tral to the dilemma of the twenties,
concerned the audience: to whom was
the architecture being addressed?

The decision to use Melnikov's design

for Paris is said to have been influenced
significantly by its obvious buildability
Fig. 19. Konstantin Melnikov, Pavilion of the
USSR, Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and value for money. These factors, com
1925, entrance. Courtesy A. Kopp. bined with its dramatic formal
simplicity and lack of decorative rhet
oric, are what attracted public and
professional attention in Paris in the
midst of the various Art Deco styles of
the rest of the exhibition. But those very
features, which were increasingly devel
oped by the avant-garde in the next few
years, made it certain that "the new
architecture" would never gain easy
acceptance at home in the Soviet Union.
The roots of this situation lay deep
within the thinking of the Party.

Since before the Revolution, two views

on the proper starting point for a pro
letarian art and culture had competed
for support among Bolshevik Party the
orists. The view particularly associated

with the organization called Proletkult specific proportional systems were not
and its leader, Alexander Bogdanov, significant. It was the parallel between
insisted that the past he treated essen the post-and-lintel structure of
tially as a tabula rasa, on which Classicism and the "democratic" con
proletarian culture was to he built as a crete frame which he used to produce
new structure based on new principles. his stripped and stretched "order" of
49 Opposed to this was Lenin's view that Proletarian Classicism. To Shchusev,
the proletariat's culture, like its technol Classicism and Russian medieval archi
ogy, must build positively hut critically tecture represented a standard of
upon the achievements of its pre sophistication and embellishment to
44 decessor, capitalism. The newly which everything with pretensions to
invented "abstract systems," which he being "architecture" must aspire, to be
tended to sum up as "futurism," were relinquished only so far as poverty of
50 bourgeois distractions and positively means might temporarily dictate. To
harmful. In Lenin's own words of 1920: Shchuko and Zholtovsky, proportions
were the essence of architecture, but
Proletarian culture is not something
no single source had a monopoly on
dreamed up out of nowhere; nor is it the
"correctness"; clarity of monumental
invention of people who call themselves
massing was an equal criterion of
specialists in proletarian culture. That
51 architectural value. However apoliti
is all complete nonsense. Proletarian
cal the views of these people, their
culture must emerge from the steady-
cultural conservatism made them more
development of those reserves of
useful to the architectural program of
experience which humanity has built up
Leninism than the politically engage
45 under the yoke of capitalism.
modernists who were trying to create
As Marx had said, "Everything that was something new. Adulation of "the new
created by humanity before us" must be Soviet architecture" from the Paris in
critically assessed, and "the treasures of telligentsia was thus an unreliable guide
art and science must be made accessible to its relevance at home. Back in 1920,
46 to the whole popular mass." It is im Lunacharsky had stressed the non
mediately clear why the stripped transferability of modernism across
modernism of the avant-garde might be cultural boundaries:
criticized as "anti-Leninist."
Within the line of development of
It is equally clear why the old guard of European art, Impressionism, all forms
the architectural profession should of Neo-Impressionism, Cubism,
prove useful, as the common feature of Futurism and Suprematism are natural
those whom I identified as "the over- phenomena All this work, entirely
forties of 1917" was precisely the con conscientious and important as it is,
viction that something of continuing has the character of laboratory
(perhaps even eternal) validity lay in research But the proletariat and the
Classicism. To Zholtovsky, it rested in more cultivated sections of the peasan
the absolutes of Renaissance propor try did not live through any of the
tional systems, in particular those of stages of European or Russian art, and
Palladio. His teaching during the twen they are at an entirely different stage of
58 ties was particularly directed at the development.
refinement of proportional systems in
If not that, what? The answer came in
47 industrial architecture. Ivan Fomin
Lunacharsky's speech to the Communist
was credited with being the first, before
International a year later:
the Revolution, to identify Classicism as
just as "national" to Russia as her medi
48 eval tradition. In his reworking of
that tradition for the new context,
The proletariat will also continue the In architecture the only formally consti
art of the past, but will begin from some tuted new group to have emerged since
healthy stage, like the Renaissance. . . . the Revolution was the Association of
If we are talking of the masses, the New Architects (ASNOVA),which had
natural form of their art will be the tra been formed by Ladovsky and Rrinsky
ditional and classical one, clear to the in 1923 when they first began to de
point of transparency, resting ... on velop a philosophy of architecture based
54 healthy, convincing realism and on on the science of visual perception.
eloquent, transparent symbolism in They called themselves Rationalists, and
83 decorative and monumental forms. Ladovsky explained that "architectural
rationalism stands for economy of psy
The lesson is clear: Melnikov might he
chic energy in the perception of spatial
well-judged material for the bourgeois
55 and functional aspects of a building."
eye of Paris, but Fomin's scheme was a
He contrasted this to "technical ra
more relevant model for responding to
tionalism," whose priority is the
the cultural condition in the USSR itself.
economy of materials. The basis of their
design teaching remained unchanged
Alternative theories off modernism from what it had been back in the days
of Zhivskulptarkh in 1919:
After an agreeable sojourn in the Paris
In planning any given building, the
spotlight with Mayakovsky and
architect must first of all assemble and
Rodchenko, Melnikov returned to Mos
compose only space, not concerning
cow to build the series of workers' clubs
himself with material and construc
and the personal house which consoli
tion Construction enters into
dated his place in the profession over
architecture only in so far as it deter
the next few years. Increasingly he was
mines a concept of space. The engineer's
a lone figure as a result of his individ
basic principle is to invest the minimum
ualistic approach to design as well as
amount of material to obtain maximum
his presumption that the Paris project
results. This has nothing in common
had earned him a prestige status in
with art and can only serve the require
Moscow. The year 192526 represents a
86 ments of architecture incidentally.
useful datum in the development of the
avant-garde. The takeoff in building In 1926 Ladovsky published as his
reinforced the already polarizing atti "Foundations for building a theory of
tudes as to what the new architecture architecture" a statement first made in
should be, with the state's economic late 1920, explaining that the function
and aesthetic policies seeming to pull of design was to create " 'motifs,' which
architecture in opposite directions. At in architectural terms must be
its 14th Party Congress in December 'rational,' and must serve the higher
1925, the Soviet government finally technical requirement of the individual,
87 decided in favor of an industry-led to orientate himself in space" (the em
rather than an agriculture-led strategy phasis is his own). By 1925-26 this
for development and reconstruction of was the basis of their teaching in both Pig. 20. Nikolai Ladovsky, equipment in his
the economy. Production was back to the architecture and planning. They had a psychoteclmical laboratory, ca. 1927. From
research program under way in "psy- Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (Construction of Moscow),
levels from which it had collapsed at the
1928, no. 10, p. 17.
outbreak of the First World War; the chotechnics," basing their empirical
peasantry were proving recalcitrant, research on work done at Harvard by
and a series of campaigns were the German emigre Hugo Munsterberg,
launched presenting rationalization and and they hoped to set up a laboratory
mechanization as the keys to Soviet for their strange apparatuses in the
economic advancement. VKhUTEMAS (fig. 20) 58
In early 1926 the Rationalists were still under the title "New methods of archi
claiming that this work "must have tectural thinking" in the lead article of
great practical importance in everyday the very first issue of their journal, Con
59 architectural practice," but the sup temporary Architecture, "The social
porters of Vesnin and Rodchenko, with conditions of our contemporary world
their interest in real construction as a are such" that the problem of "individ
principle, disagreed strongly enough to ual aesthetic preferences" has given way
form a rival architectural group. Thus to that of generating "rational new types
in the last days of December 1925 the in architecture." Inclusion of the archi
Union of Contemporary Architects tect within the overall production chain
(OSA) was created under the leadership of the country meant the end of that
of the Vesnins and Ginzburg. All were "isolation which previously existed
colleagues intellectually of the Construc- between various forms of architectural
63 tivist artists and designers associated and engineering activity."
with Mayakovsky, Rodchenko, and the
6 literary group called LEF. With a reference perhaps to Tatlin, he
wrote: "Certainly it would be naive to
Corbusier had been a point of reference replace the complex art of architecture
for these architects (fig. 21) since his by an imitation of even the most
writing in L'Esprit Nouveau first filtered
into Russia in 1922 when he sent some
copies to Lunacharsky. It was one of
the stimuli and reference points for
Ginzburg's "manifesto" of Constructivist
architecture, Style and Epoch, published
61 in 1924. In his theory of historical
stylistic development, as well as his
analysis of the machine's relevance as a
design model, Ginzburg had unques
tionably moved beyond the relatively
facile and highly selective stance of Cor
busier. And in a holiday letter to his
brothers in the summer of 1924, Leonid
Vesnin commented on his rereading of
the lately published Vers une architec
ture: "I am reading Corbusier-Saugnier
but fairly slowly, and therefore more
carefully than I did last winter. I see
that there are certain questions on
which one could already disagree with
him. We have gone further and we look
68 more deeply."

Apart from properties of spatial and Pig. 21. Leonid Vesnin, Le Corbusier, Alexander
technical economy, the functional order Vesnin, Andrei Burov (front, left to right), and
other Constructivists in Alexander Vesnin's
ing of movement, and clear, essentially apartment, with one of his paintings in the
additive formal "construction," what the background, Moscow, 1928. Prom A. G.
Constructivists took from the engineer Chiniakov, Bra Sia Vesniny (The Vesnin
Brothers), Moscow, 1970, p. 14.
was the rationality, as they saw it, of his
method of designing. As Ginzburg wrote
sparkling forms of contemporary tech sometimes hinted at steel but usually
nology. This period of naive 'machine employed vast areas of glass. Another
symbolism' is already outdated. In this example of this group is the Vesnins'
field it is only the inventor's creative design for the Mostorg department store
method that the contemporary architect built in Moscow's Krasnaia Presnia
must master. " district in 1927 (plate 52). Later, with
concrete and rendered blockwork
Whatever the building type, Ginzburg becoming the technical norm for their
continued, the architect should adopt "economic structures," the work gener
the same approach, "proceeding from ally follows the stylistic model offered
the main questions to the secondary for such technology by Corbusier. A very
ones ... in a logical ordering of all the typical example is the Vesnins' head
factors impinging on the task," which quarters building for the Ivanovo-
are equally social, environmental, and Voznesensk agricultural bank, Ivselbank
constructional. "The result will be a spa (plate 53), also erected in 1927. Both
tial solution which, like any other kind buildings were conceived as accessible,
of rationally generated organism, is di proletarian versions of the correspond
vided into individual organs that have ing bourgeois types.
been developed in response to the func
tional roles which each one fulfills." The Even as the Constructivists were
first architectural result and this is consolidating their group and building
very evident in their work, as in much the elements of a new urbanism around
modernism "is a new type of plan. these lessons of engineering and the
These contemporary plans are generally machine, the unacceptability of this
asymmetrical, since it is extremely rare model was being forcefully stressed by
for functions to be identical. They are Lunacharsky in a speech of autumn
predominantly open and free in their 1926 to the State Academy of Artistic
configurations, because this not only Sciences (GAKhN) in Moscow. For all
bathes each part of the building in fresh the noisy state propaganda campaigns
air and sunlight, but makes its func that were currently presenting max
tional elements more clearly readable imum mechanization as the key to
and makes it easier to perceive the dy Soviet economic advancement,
namic life that is unfolding within the Lunacharsky declared:
64 building's spaces."
Let the rhythm of the machine certainly
become some element of our culture, but
The Constructivists' so-called
the machine cannot become the center
"functional method," developed in some
of our art . . . because it can only push
detail in their writings, was thus an
the proletariat towards individualism
essentially linear ordering of design
It is only the bourgeoisie that can limit
considerations, "each one building
itself to urbanism [as the generator of
logically upon the other," as Ginzburg
its creative work] only futurism and
said, and ending with considerations of
66 the artists of LEF.
aesthetic refinement in detail and over
65 all massing. In this latter category These, of course, were the Constructiv
their method subsumed the concerns of ists. Infatuation with the machine, Lu
ASNOVA,but, as is clear here, it was nacharsky said, "is the cry of leftist
enormously wider. Aesthetically many of
their earlier projects, as we have seen
with the Vesnin competition work, were
very strong expressions of a frame that

I 31

urbanism of Euro-American culture," applicable in the design process, which

70 whereas the basis of proletarian creativ "very much depends on intuition."
ity should be "vernacular, peasant art . . .
because of the collective principles un The basis of Melnikov's own approach
67 derlying its products." The writing was the pursuit of a single, relatively
was certainly on the wall. simple generating idea for each building
through exercise of the "creative imag
If these were the theoretical positions ination." For the Palace of Labor project,
and design approaches of the two main for example, it was the principle that
avant-garde groups in architecture, the "every person in an audience of 8,000
Rationalists and the Constructivists, can hear a natural voice"; in the Rus
what of those leading modernist archi akov Club, the transformability of the
tects unrelated or peripheral to them? auditoriums for different-sized audiences
(fig. 22); in the echelon planning of his
Melnikov, the most conspicuous exam Sukharev market or the little commer
ple, was not naturally attracted to any cial pavilions in Paris, the idea that
71 theories or groups. Before his career "every kiosk has a 'corner site.'"
took off in a different direction with the Melnikov detested the teamwork that
success of his Paris pavilion and Mos was fundamental to the Constructivist
cow clubs, he had some informal links
with ASNOVA.Both he and Ilia Golosov
had been at the founding meeting of the
Constructivist group OSA, with whom
Golosov was for a time active until he
found their technical concerns and
preoccupation with design method in
creasingly antipathetic. Golosov and
Melnikov had forged a close alliance in
the first few years of the VKhUTEMAS,
as a middle way between the extreme
avant-gardists and the traditionalists led
68 by Zholtovsky. Indicating that they,
too, had a respect for history, they called
their studio The Hew Academy and

Architectural research should consist of

the application of well-mastered princi
ples of study to the best monuments of
historical architecture. Composition, as
an exercise in the principles which have
been mastered through experience and
by experimental demonstration, is the
achievement of a matching between cre
Pig. 22. Konstantin Melnikov, trade-union club
69 ative intuition and the task posed. named for I. V. Rusakov, for workers of the
Moscow municipality, 192728.Photograph:
This emphasis on "creative intuition" as C. Cooke.
the architect's main design tool was to
remain constant for both of them and
particularly distinguished them from
the Constructivists. Most forcefully,
Melnikov later rejected that group's in
terest in method, declaring, "There is no
obligatory sequence whatsoever" that is
approach. "Creativity," he once said, "is constructed and detailed to an almost
72 when you can say 'that is mine.'" pre-revolutionary standard. Such details
Ilia Golosov's development of their early as its bronze door fittings are still in
ideas combined elements of many other superb condition today. The original
currents. With the Rationalists he be scheme had a twelve-story central tower
lieved that form must have "meaning." that led all his contemporaries to call it
The basic process of design consisted in a "skyscraper." Like various such pro
transforming "mass," which is seman- jects of this date, it ran afoul of new
tically inarticulate, into "form, which is height limitations imposed by the
responsible to the meaning that has Moscow City Soviet. Even as finally
brought it into existence." There were constructed, the building, with its
echoes of Zholtovsky in Golosov's insis smooth surfaces and boldly expressed
tence that the objective of composition frame, rose above the two- and three-
was "harmony," although his harmony storied Classical vernacular of Moscow
was a balancing of the "visual dynamics as a symbol of the new age that power
of the configurations of masses and fully expressed the dream of urbanism
forms employed, in relation to their they fostered. A building stylistically
73 repose or dynamism." similar to Barkhin's that suffered
the same height cut was the nearby
Golosov was highly prolific, and as the Gostorg headquarters (fig. 23) by a pre-
perspective of his entry for the 1926 revolutionary colleague of the Vesnins',
Electrobank competition shows (plate Boris Velikovsky, and some of the youn
51), he had all the professional control ger Constructivists. Period photographs
characteristic of the older generation. of the Gostorg interior convey the trans
But some of his formal motifs occur just parency and the dynamic movements of
too often to be genuine originality: the circulation which they, like their
glazed circular corner tower, for exam Western confreres, identified as key
ple, became almost a trademark. The elements of the modern spatial
74 best-known built demonstration of this experience.
motif was his Zuev Club, still standing
in central Moscow. Like Melnikov's A stalwart of MAO, Barkhin was typical
buildings, it has one key viewpoint that of the older professionals in pursuing
encapsulates an image of the building, modernism without theoretical rhetoric.
but for all their insistence on composi He later wrote:
tion, proportion, and harmony, most
However theoretical or even at times
other viewpoints are much less
abstract the problems with which I had
to deal, I always believed that one's
analysis and one's conclusions must be
Another important member of the some
closely intertwined with live practice,
what older generation of the avant-garde
and with the urgent concerns of the
was Grigori Barkhin, whose famous
present moment. As I see it, this is en
Izvestiia building of 1926-27 (plate 54)
tirely appropriate to architecture, which
was a job of unusual prestige for its
is simultaneously the most abstract and
time. Izvestiia, as the voice of the Party
the most practical of all the arts. 75
Central Committee, had its headquarters
Given Shchusev's age and background, it
is at first perhaps surprising to find
him among the modernists. Like many
of the older men, he would probably
never have labeled himself an avant-
gardist. Abetter term for these designers
would be "pragmatic modernist,"
and pragmatism was indeed central to
Shchusev's approach.. In a lecture given
in 1926, he reflected the inevitable
yearning of one who had built "before,"
under conditions of less exigency:
Style Is not a product of the particular
tastes of a few people. Style is a system
of how things are decorated At the
present time, we cannot aspire to the
luxuriant. We must merely give form to
that which derives directly from con
struction of the simplest forms.

Is this architecture? Does this represent

its demise or its flowering? Simple treat
ments are closer to the latter than the
former. ... If we proceed from the de
mands of today, we must take account of
the fact that right now, the most expen
sive materials are brick and glass. All
contemporary design, based on the
simple forms of concrete, brick and
glass, therefore shows itself to be not
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
76 in today's context.

For a man who spent much time in

planning work and official or admin
istrative affairs, Shchusev left a
substantial modernist oeuvre and
explored a wide range of new building
Fig. S3. Boris Velikovsky with Mikhail types (plate 58). Perhaps his master
Barshch et al. Headquarters building for
Gostorg, Miasnitskaia (Kirov) Street, Moscow, piece of this decade is the Lenin
1925-27, interior view on the main staircase. Mausoleum (plates 55 and 57), which is
From Ezhegodnik MAO (MAO Annual), no. 6, a superb piece of contextualism as well
Moscow, 1930, p. 39.
as exquisite monumentality.

Providing a glimpse of the other end of

the building spectrum, mass housing,
are two very typical schemes for dif
ferent Moscow sites (plates 61 and 63)
ikh by M Motylev, a young architect
who graduated from the Moscow College
in the middle of the war. Such blocks
were typical elements of the new resi
dential complexes that became the
Soviet norm by the middle twenties. Georgi Krutikov was one of Ladovsky's
Kindergartens, basic shopping, and students who assisted him in many
probably some collective laundry facili investigations in the psychotechnical
ties were integrated among the minimal laboratory. Within that program he con
apartments. ducted his own research project entitled
"On the path to a mobile architecture:
Typically the open space here would not its social, technical and formal founda
be treated with the garden-city care for tions." His work derived from the
detail that is seen in Gegello's earlier conviction that "today's dead, immobile
drawing from Leningrad, but such and inconvenient planning of our towns
housing represented a dramatic en must in future be replaced by mobile
vironmental improvement for workers planning based on new principles of
previously living in slum basements. spatial solution. It is already our task,
The relatively conventional apartments as the architect-inventors of today, to
provided in such structures were heav assist in the birth of such a mobile
78 ily criticized by the Constructivists as architecture."
contributing nothing to a gradual
"socialization" of the inhabitants' life His final diploma project, presented in
style or psychology. Their own design 1928, comprised two parts: sixteen ex
research in housing was aimed at pro planatory panels with collaged images
ducing complexes that would be more analyzing the problem, and his own pro
77 active social catalysts. posals for the city of the future based on
flying (plates 79-85).
Radicalism in the schools
Nikolai Sokolov had spent time in
Even as building activity reached a high Ladovsky's laboratory, too, but his pro
pitch again in the later twenties, most of ject of the same year (plates 8688)
the leading architects continued teach was done in Vesnin's studio and pub
ing. Whereas student designs of the lished immediately in their journal,
early twenties were often highly Contemporary Architecture. Criticized
diagrammatic, strongly reflecting the by some as a type of "workers' leisure
lack of real building around them as hotel" that dangerously fostered individ
79 well as the inexperience of many of ualism, his little cylindrical pods in
their young teachers, the later twenties their arcadian greenery present a
saw a flowering of imaginative student dream almost as unattainable in the
work, both in school and for the Soviet Union then as Krutikov's, and are
numerous open competitions. Through also accompanied by a lively argument
these channels many students contrib of collaged images.
uted as much as their elders to the
development of Soviet society's new Both projects were too obviously fanci
building types, including educational ful to have a serious influence. One of
and medical facilities, complexes related the most outstandingly original of the
to mass feeding such as bread factories, previous year's diploma projects in
food markets, factory kitchens, and din Vesnin's studio, however for a Lenin
ing halls, as well as industrial buildings Institute of Librarianship by the young
and, of course, housing and the plan
ning of new social districts. But none of
this hard realism quenched student in
ventiveness, as shown by two projects,
one from a Rationalist, the other from a

80 OSA member Ivan Leonidov (fig. 24) concept of the public space and the city
had already become something of a in which such a building might stand."
liability to the public reputation, even His means were boldly Constructive,
credibility, of the Constructivist archi "technically feasible and theoretically
tects. They were by now a very serious applicable." However, he went on,
and practice-oriented group, with impor "Leonidov at the same time creates
tant state-sponsored work on new something which it is economically im
housing types, for example, well under possible to realize today. Having taken a
way. Suddenly their students were being bold leap out of ordinariness, he has
distracted from reality for a world of fallen into a certain utopianism. That
high technology and platonic volumes. utopianism consists not only in the fact
Ginzburg quickly issued a rappel a that the USSR is not now economically
l'ordre in their journal. Leonidov's draw strong enough to erect such building,
ings and model were marvelous, he but also in the fact that Leonidov was
agreed, offering valuable new thinking not really able to prove that his con
in a "space-oriented architectural treat structive conundrum was actually
ment which leads away from the necessary, i.e., that this solution and
traditional conception of building, only this will solve the problem con
towards a reorganization of the very cerned." His work was "a landmark for
our future work," but "we must still
not forget about the real conditions in
which our practical activities have to
81 take place."

The sort of site planning and urban

spaces that were developing in main
stream modernist work, characterized
by the "free asymmetries" of functional
composition of which Ginzburg had
spoken earlier, are exemplified by such
gdin large buil projects of this period as
the new Lenin State Library for central
Moscow, the Soviet equivalent of the Li
brary of Congress. The Vesnin brothers'
project had won the first stage of the
competition, and their designs went
82 through several variants. All were
characterized by the same functional
planning and free massing, with exten
sive use of courtyards within the site
(plates 65 and 66). Typically more con
cerned with dramatic and monolithic
massing is the project by a group under
Vladimir Fidman, an ASLTOVA founder
member and contemporary of Ladovsky.
Fig. 34. Ivan Leonidov, VKhUTEMASdiploma
project for a Lenin Institute of Librarianship,
1987: photograph of the model. Courtesy What we are in fact seeing in Leonidov's
A. Kopp. work is the introduction of the
Suprematist formal system into Con
structivism, though neither Leonidov
nor Ginzburg spoke in those terms. It is
also, I would contend, a rural Russian
sensibility, owing much not just to
Leonidov's peasant origins but also to

' - .- .. . . , - ,- .. -

his ascetic philosophy and personal be Even Georgi Krutikov, known for his
lief in a certain purposeful discomfort, fantasist designs, felt compelled to com
even mortification of the flesh, as part ment in the architectural press that
83 of the tempering of "a true man." A "the project had to be rejected because
typically peasant philosophy, it is the there is no realistic basis at present for
very opposite of that pursuit of conve implementing a cultural combine on
87 nience and time-saving derived from this model." More orthodox critics like
Western urbanism, and from the Leonidov's exact contemporary in the
industrial-planning models of Taylorism VKhUTEMAS, Alexander Karra, attacked
and Henry Ford, which inspired Con- the buildings as "barracks," the spaces
84 structivist work. The different design as "deserts." He abhorred the project's
approaches of Leonidov and orthodox complete abstractness and dismissed its
Constructivism are most clearly con claims to "functional organization" as
trasted where they tackled a common merely "a verbal raincoat." "The workers
brief. In this exhibition, projects by the consistently demand a high emotional
Vesnin brothers and Leonidov for the content in buildings," he insisted. "They
cultural complex of Moscow's Pro- require the materialized expression of
88 letarsky district provide just such a the power of their class."
comparison. The building type was an
enlarged version of the workers' club. This was the opinion of a rising young
The site was the historic former leader of the new "proletarian" archi
Simonov Monastery, and there were pro tects' organization, VOPRA, formed in
jects in the competition, such as that by 1929, who were struggling for profes
y Zholtovsky's pupil Golts, which f sional ascendency over the by now
restored and converted the historic "establishment" avant-garde. We see here
buildings of the monastery. the battle lines emerging between the
conflicting views of "proletarian" archi
In a project of 1928 Leonidov called The tectural language that Lunacharsky's
Club of Hew Social Type (plates 72-75), pronouncements had made inevitable.
his spatial thinking moved to truly Leonidov was the Constructivists'
Suprematist scale in systems of "spatial Achilles heel. As VOPRA liked to put it,
organization of cultural services," "Leonidovism . . . embodies all that is
extending far beyond the distribution of most negative in constructivism and
volumes on a typical club site 85 His Pal formalism" (by which they meant Ra
89 ace of Culture competition entry of 1930 tionalism). VOPRA was the assertion
treated the site itself as a line of four of another kind of pragmatic modern
square territories, each organized by a ism, with non-Russian cultural roots,
planning grid of 4 by 4 squares. The whose strongholds were in the
physical-education center (plates 76 and republican centers of Armenia, the
77) was one of these territories, others Ukraine, Georgia, Tomsk in Siberia, and
being designated for open-air public to some extent Leningrad. Its adherents
meetings and festivals, a great multi were architects who saw no reason to
purpose circular "theater" for mass be dictated to by old-style Russian gen
assemblies, political meetings, and tlemen of what they considered dubious
performances, and a "scientific and class origins like the Vesnins and
90 historical sector" with libraries and Ginzburg.
resource centers. Far from being just a
local facility, his project would create "a
methodological center with cells all over
the USSR . . . linked to all other possible
institutions." Other functions specified

in the brief, such as public canteens,
kindergartens, and normal educational
accommodation were dispersed through
86 out the Proletarsky district itself.

. . :- .
As it was designed and 'built over the The six years occupied by the final de
next few years by the Vesnins, the sign and building of the Vesnins' Palace
Palace of Culture for the Proletarsky of Culture complex saw the climax of the
district of Moscow was everything that stylistic confrontation that had been
the project of their pupil Leonidov had brewing throughout the twenties. Its
failed to be. As the perspectives of the final denouement took place through
final building show (plates 67 and 68), two major competitions for prestigious
it was a classic piece of tight modernist state buildings on sites of symbolic
planning, pleasantly scaling the sur centrality in Moscow, adjacent to the
rounding open spaces and answering Kremlin. The first, and most protracted,
the brief as set. Like much of the from 1931 to 1934, was for a so-called Pig. 25. Moscow River, looking past the
Kremlin walls, right, toward the Cathedral of
Vesnins' work, it lacked the refined Palace of Soviets to stand beside the Christ the Savior, hy Konstantin Ton, designed
proportions and that extra rigor which river just west of the Kremlin (fig. 25). in 1832 as a pantheon to the victory over
Ginzburg would have given it (sadly The second, a simpler affair in 1934, Napoleon. The cathedral was demolished to
build the Palace of Soviets: postcard ca. 1905.
none of his work from this period is in was for the headquarters of the govern
the Shchusev Museum's collection). But ment ministry most important to the
it is not impossible to imagine it as a Soviet Union's whole economic effort, the
better bit of VOPRA work from this date. Commissariat of Heavy Industry, called
Narkomtiazhprom .
Even more of a loner than Leonidov,
working entirely outside the main pro
Denouement: the Palace off Soviets
fessional framework of the avant-garde,
was another highly inventive synthe
sizer of Suprematism with the formal In both physical size and ideological
language of Constructivism, Iakov burden, the Palace of Soviets was an en
Chernikhov. He had trained at the larged version of the Palace of Labor of
Imperial St. Petersburg Academy, but 1923 92 Such was the scale of the con
the rigorous program in "spatial con ception that the new Palace was to
struction" which he devised was taught contain halls for six thousand and
by him mainly to youngsters in fifteen thousand people, as well as
Leningrad technical schools rather than numerous smaller auditoriums. When
to incipient architects. In a series of the brief was issued in July 1931, it said
books he expounded his theory of how nothing explicit about style. The only
architectural form should be generated aesthetic requirements were that it
according to the basic principles of vol should be "monumental" and "fit in
umetric assembly demonstrated in the artistically with the general architec
93 construction of machines. The books tural scheme of Moscow."
did not emerge until after 1930, but
Chernikhov's work had been seen in ex Design research had actually started at
hibitions he staged in the late twenties. the beginning of that year when a dozen
His vignettes of industrial architecture, architects and teams were invited to
like his superb imaginative composi prepare preliminary proposals that
tions of "constructive buildings" of the would assist in clarifying the options
future, represented a technical sophisti and priorities. The invitation list was
cation that was then unattainable in the heavily weighted in favor of the modern
Soviet Union but gave explicit form to a ists, including ASNOVA,its recent
world that remained implicit in so much splinter group ARU, Ladovsky, the Con-
avant-garde imagery and thinking 91 structivists now renamed SASS, and the
Leningrad Constructivist leader Alex
ander Nikolsky. From the engineering-
oriented old guard were Genrich Liudvig
and German Krasin. There were only- exercises of ASFTOVAand the super- tower of a vast figure of a worker, im
three representatives of the more histor- industrialistic proposals of ARU and itating the American Statue of Liberty,
96 icist persuasions: Shchusev and the others." gives the project a pseudo-proletarian
100 brothers Boris and Dmitri Iofan, the character."
former lately returned from many years Much of the criticism at this stage was
94 in Rome. functional and well justified. Thus Among those accused of being "super-
Ladovsky was faulted because he "says industrialistic" were certainly the pair
These design teams worked from Febru not a word about how he will tackle the representing the Constructivist group,
ary to May 1931. In June the focus was acoustic problems inherent to his hemi SASS: Mikhail Kuznetsov and Leonid
sharpened when Moscow Party Secre spherical auditorium" (plates 102 and Pavlov, who was a close friend of
tary Lazar Kaganovich delivered a 103), and "he considers superfluous the Leonidov. Leonidov was probably out of
major policy speech to a plenum of the factor specially stressed in the brief that town, as he spent most of 1931 on
97 Party Central Committee, which laid the site must have space for parades." planning work in the provinces. But
down policy in town planning and the One ARU drawing (plate 97) shows a whether or not the scheme secretly
development of public utilities in Soviet scheme with parades in progress, but bears his hand, it is formally and
towns. At last, under the government's the committee pointed out that "their conceptually a direct successor to his
second Five Year Plan for economic main auditorium is totally unresolved Palace of Culture. The drawings in the
development, the basic repair and mod and its fully glazed vertical sides will exhibition (plates 94 and 95) show the
ernization of the inherited urban fabrics make it an unusable hothouse." On the building itself, which is placed on one
were to be started, as well as the major aesthetic side, this scheme "seems to corner of the site. They indicate why the
expansion of new industrial centers. In think a monument to the first Five Year committee wrote, "The building's whole
calling for "serious Marxist-theoretical Plan has to look like a factory, with construction of steel and glass with
bases for our practice in these areas," hangars, chimneys, etc., even though deliberately stressed use of unnecessary
Kaganovich deplored the lack of any they have no functional relevance technical elements constitutes a model
98 parallel theoretical base in the field of here." of technological fetishism." This made it
architecture. Architects, he said, "must an example of "the bourgeois trend in
devise an architectural formulation of Shchusev was seen as having produced architecture, which is ideologically alien
the [Soviet] town that will give it the "a realistic project," but here, too, to proletarian architecture ." But there
95 necessary beauty." This became the "simplicity of aesthetic treatment gives was worse: what these drawings of the
agenda for a competition that was one of the building an industrial character building do not show is that "the only
99 the great turning points in Soviet archi inappropriate to the Palace of Soviets." accommodation placed on the site is the
tectural history. Boris Iofan had distributed the large auditorium. Everything else is dis
accommodation at two ends of an open tributed in a great circle across the map
The preliminary schemes were exhib classical courtyard: this attracted crit of Moscow. . . . This is done in order to
ited and published in July/August 1931. icism because it was "too spread out and provide an open sports field near the
With an international open competition looks more like a conglomeration of main hall, where "mass assemblies" and
announced for the Palace, these schemes unrelated elements than a Palace of physical culture routines can be per
101 received official criticism from a special Soviets." Some specific, if rather formed in the open air."
committee under Lunacharsky, which incoherent, aesthetic prejudices were
revealed the direction being taken by clearly beginning to manifest them In generalizing the lessons of this
government thinking. selves. Ironically, in relation to the preliminary, closed stage of the
project with which he would finally competition, the committee addressed
Accurately enough, the committee de win, Iofan's "placing on his central the question of how the balance of func
clared: "The preliminary projects reflect tionality and symbolism in this building
the battle of ideological directions in should compare with what was "nor
Soviet architecture, beginning with the mally" appropriate. It was decided that
rightward aspirations to preserve the the principle of "form being determined
golden cupolas of the cathedral of Christ by the functions of internal accommoda
Savior [which awaited demolition on tion" was a "necessary, but not sufficient
site], and ending with the ultra-leftist

: - i ' ; . ,. V . :
principle" in this case because "the Hamilton shared the three-way first
Palace of Soviets must also be a monu prize with Zholtovsky and a redesigned
mental building, an outstanding artistic scheme by Boris Iofan. One Zholtovsky
and architectural monument of the perspective appears in this exhibition
Soviet capital, characterizing the epoch (plate 107), besides the project of young
and embodying the urge of the workers VOPRA member Alexander Karra
102 towards the building of communism." (plates 99 and 100). Also included is
one of the numerous pseudonymous
The committee's critiques of individual popular entries (plate 98), which unites
projects reveal how certain formal char the two vast auditoriums into one "fully
acteristics already had symbolic loading serviced version of Red Square."
in their emerging lexicon. Almost every
one had "forgotten about proportions," In March 1932 thirteen designers were
the committee said, and about "scaling asked to develop their projects further
their monolithic volumes to the human by July of that year; on his own initia
being." Familiar at least with Construc- tive Hamilton went to Moscow to
tivist jargon, they also provided a first rework his scheme (fig. 27). In the mid
positive recipe for the means by which dle of this period, on April 23, the Party
the "embodiment" of values might be Central Committee issued a decision "On
The functional method of design must be
supplemented by a corrective: an artis
tic treatment of the form. All the spatial
arts must be employed here: architec
ture (which gives proportionality of the
parts), painting (which uses color),
sculpture (for richness of light and
dark), in combination with lighting
technology and the art of the theatrical
103 producer.
Fig. 26. Le Corbusier, model for the Palace of
The international open competition Soviets competition, 1931. The Museum of
proceeded under these guidelines. The Modern Art, New York. Purchase.
foreign entrants probably did not know
how the dice had already been loaded.
Barkhin described them as "in general,
104 very disappointing," but among the
several American entrants was one fine
piece of modernistic monumentality by
Hector Hamilton. When Hamilton got a
prize but Le Corbusier's superb project
was dismissed (fig. 26), the direction of
the jury's taste was beginning to be
clear. Most of the foreign entries were
more or less ignored, but Corbusier's
was singled out for particular criticism
as "cultivating the aesthetic of a compli
cated machine that is to 'turn over' huge
105 masses of humanity."
Reformation of Literary and Artistic method," and its key principle, as in
Organizations," which sounded the death other fields, was "critical assimilation of
108 knell for architectural associations with the heritage." By this was meant the
106 independent design philosophies. On identification and carrying forward of
July 18, with the formation of a single those elements of the traditional culture
Union of Soviet Architects, all such or aesthetic system that still had
associations were abolished. The new positive ideological associations, and
Union's board contained a catholic rep building a new synthesis of these with
107 resentation of viewpoints, but the the latest technological possibilities.
years of diversity, when architects could Izvestila warned that "assimilation does
pursue an appropriate aesthetic inde not mean copying the past: it is a cre
pendent of political pressure, were over. ative activity of upward march from the
Meanwhile, the Party Central Committee peaks of former culture towards new
109 decreed that the future of Soviet archi achievements." Certain indications of
tecture, as of the other arts and culture, how this might be achieved were pro
lay in Socialist Realism. vided in competition-jury commentaries,
but "critical assimilation" was hard to
Socialist Realism in architecture was demonstrate with positive examples.
always defined as "not a style but a Hence they focused on identifying non-
"critical" modes of borrowing and re
minders that "architecture, as an active
art," must utilize the full potential of
painting and sculpture to augment its
110 message.

That summer the new Palace of Soviets

variants were pronounced "somewhat
111 better." Iofan had drawn everything
into one dumpy stepped tower and
112 removed the offending statue.
Ginzburg's scheme represents this stage
(plate 101). Not surprisingly, he was not
among the five groups asked to continue
113 further, but the Vesnin brothers were.
Their handsome perspective for this
next stage (plates 104 and 105) was
executed for them by the Stenberg
brothers, former pioneers of Con
structivism in the early days of Inkhuk
and subsequently established graphic de
signers. The experienced Leningrad
partnership of Shchuko and Vladimir
Gelfreikh produced an uncharacter
Fig. 27. Hector Hamilton, entry for the second
(open) stage of the Palace of Soviets istically literal piece of Italianism
competition, Moscow, 1931: main elevation to (plate 106). Iofan's scheme at this stage
Moscow River. From Architectural Review was still a dumpy wedding cake of three
(London), May 1932, p. 200.
circular drums, each one cased in a con
tinuous classical colonnade. Its stepped
profile was very characteristically Rus
sian: the towers of the Kremlin walls
alongside offered the geographically
closest example of a well-understood for Architects Karo Alabian as secretary.
mal prototype. The Sukharev tower, then On the technical side were structural
still standing farther north in the city, engineers German Krasin and Artur
was an even more famous example. The Loleit, also Nikolai Shvernik, ex-head of
lower levels of Iofan's design were now the Metalworkers Union and now chair
more expansively extended than in his man of the Central Union of Trade
previous version to make a forecourt Unions; Pavel Rottert, newly appointed
and mass parade ground. On the front chief engineer of the metro construction
edge of the topmost drum stood an ath project, and chief city planner of
letic little figure, some eighteen meters Moscow Vladimir Semionov. They were
high, representing "liberated labor." The joined by painters Isaac Brodsky,
overall height of the building was 250 Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Ilia Mashkov, and
114 meters. Fedor Fedorovsky; by monumental
sculptors Matvei Maniser, Sergei
In the Construction Committee's judg Merkurov, and Ivan Shadr; by theater
ment on this stage, Iofan's latest version directors Vsevolod Meyerhold and
was "taken as the basis for a final Konstantin Stanislavsky; by the art
design," but in its announcement the critic and historian from the pre-
committee decreed that "the upper part revolutionary World of Art circle Igor
of the Palace of Soviets should be topped Grabar; by the writer, now chief theorist
by a powerful sculpture of Lenin, 50 to of Socialist Realism in literature, Maxim
75 meters high, so that the Palace of Gorky. Representing the political estab
Soviets should have the appearance of lishment, Lunacharsky was joined by
being a pedestal for the figure of Lenin." Gleb Krzhizhanovsky, a Bolshevik of
Further clauses "instructed comrade impeccable credentials since before the
Iofan to continue working on the design 1905 revolution, leader of major projects
in this direction" and indicated that like the GOELROplan for electrifying
other architects might be brought in to Russia in the early twenties, and then
115 join him. chairman of the State Planning Bureau
Gosplan, now president of the Academy
From its relatively rough finish, the of Sciences and Deputy Commissar for
drawing by Iofan and his assistants Enlightenment for the Russian
116 (plate 108) seems to have been an early Republic.
response to this demand for incorpora
tion of a vast sculpture of Lenin. (There What role these people played is less
is apparently no exact dating for it.) A clear than the nature of the architec
measure of the seriousness with which tural task such a committee defined.
this whole scheme was now treated The final scheme was a more refined
officially, and the cultural scope that version of the Iofan scheme shown here,
architecture had now acquired, is given with Lenin enlarged to "the height of a
by the composition of a Standing Archi twenty-five story skyscraper" so that
tectural and Technical Committee set up his index finger alone was a twenty-foot
three weeks after the decision, on June cantilever. With an overall height of
4, 1932. Among the thirty-two names, 415 meters, it was now "the tallest and
the architects were Iofan himself,
Shchuko and Gelfreikh (now appointed
as his collaborators), Shchusev,
Zholtovsky, Viktor Vesnin, Genrich Liud-
vig, Arkady Mordvinov, and thirty-five-
year-old president of the new Union of
volumetrically largest building in the umes in an eclectic mode, which stood dominated by the great axial symmetry
117 world". Working drawings "sufficient as static implants amid the extraordi of the two wings "linked together by
for a start on construction" were to be nary richness of the historic environ common external mechanized stairs to
ready by May 1, 1934, 118 but even with ment. Three versions of the Vesnins' manifest the rapidly rising line of
that Standing Committee at their elbow, scheme (plates 10911) show them reconstruction in our heavy industry
126 December 1934 saw Iofan, Shchuko, playing variations on a theme, all hark today."
Gelfreikh, and others setting off for ing back to the images of high-rise
Europe and the United States, touring modernist urbanism that they had dis On a domestic scale, symmetry was
New York, Washington, and Chicago to cussed enthusiastically in the very first characteristic of classical Moscow, cer
absorb the necessary technical exper issue of their journal in 1926 after tainly, but on this gargantuan scale it
119 tise. Meanwhile, another major seeing Hugh Ferriss's drawings and was totally alien to the balance of archi
architectural competition was under Erich Mendelsohn's book of photo tectural monuments Melnikov had so
123 way just the other side of the Kremlin, graphs, Amerik a. Two designs by the carefully preserved. His words indicate
offering the first opportunity for explo younger stars of the former avant-garde, that he did seek to make some scalar
ration of the new aesthetic guidelines. however, rose to an entirely different integration:
level of inventiveness. The schemes of By the arcading under the staircases the
Melnikov and Leonidov offer a fascinat whole forty-storied height of the build
Assimilation of the heritage
ing contrast in their response to the ing is gradually reduced to the hori
demands for monumentality and rhet zontal plane of Red Square, and by the
If the Palace of Soviets was the focus
oric. If the avant-garde had a final fling same token its architectural scale is
and symbol of the new social and politi
to show the extraordinary breadth of its preserved, with the remarkable Kremlin
cal order, the Commissariat of Heavy
architectural talents, it was here. cathedrals, the Lenin mausoleum and
Industry performed similar roles for the
137 industrial policy on which that order St. Basil's.
Melnikov's scheme (plates 112 and 113)
was being built. The site ran along one is almost a pathology of the principle
whole side of Red Square in the area that one single idea shall generate a de Competitors could choose to retain or
that had been Russia's commercial and sign. The plan was generated by two Vs, demolish St. Basil's Cathedral. Inter
trading center in pre-revolutionary or Roman numeral fives, as Melnikov estingly, it was the leading avant-
uildin times. The invited competition states, "to strengthen in this b gardists who kept it, whereas Fomin,
entrants were the big names of the the emotional expression of having Panteleimon Golosov, Fridman, and the
twenties: ex-Constructivists Ginzburg, achieved the objectives of the first Five lesser figures seemed unable to cope
124 the Vesnins, and Leonidov; ex- Year Plan." His synthesis of contem with its proximity and proposed its
Rationalists Fidman and Fridman; poraneity and the architectural heritage demolition.
independents Panteleimon Golosov rested on an obvious and easily read
and Melnikov; Classicist Fomin and symbolism combined with the bold use Melnikov's sculptural imagery combined
four teams of relatively unknown of what, for the USSR, were relatively heroic figures with circular propylaea
121 worthies. Competitors could demolish advanced technologies of iron- and like slices cut from the bearings of some
structures around the site, and some concrete-framed construction and giant great drive shaft. It creates extraordi
proposed to remove St. Basil's as well as open-air escalators (plates 114 and nary ocular vignettes, as his compelling
most of the old business district. On the 115). There were forty-one stories above perspective of one entrance shows
other hand, as the new official architec ground. What the drawings do not show (plate 116). Lissitzky attacked the
ture journal put it, "Unlike in most sites clearly is that the Red Square side is scheme as "so loaded up with tasteless-
of reconstruction . . . the architect is deeply excavated to light sixteen floors ness and provincialism that I am
125 forced here to be concerned with ele below ground level. The result was a embarrassed for him." Viktor
ments of our architectural heritage that richly three-dimensional dissolution of Balikhin, who ten years earlier as a
are of absolutely exceptional importance the ground surface into the building vol fellow member in ASNOVAhad been
122 both aesthetically and historically." ume in the tradition of Futurist visions much concerned with the art-architecture
of the modern city. But Red Square is relationship, wrote viciously of
To handle that context in accordance Melnikov's symbolism here: "All this
with principles of "critical assimilation monumental window dressing is shot
of the heritage" was no small challenge.
Most of the entrants produced large,
sometimes hideously monolithic vol
through, with old-fashioned and ated a dramatic rupture. Melnikov's
primitive forms of modernistic symbol powerful axiality had been very awk
129 ism." Though more refined in its ward, and his "dip downward" competed
draftsmanship, it does indeed recall unhappily for attention with the exist
most strongly the romantic symbolism ing descent of Red Square to the river
of the early post-revolutionary years. on the other axis. Leonidov's scheme, by
Fomin's Paris pavilion project is the contrast, makes a naturally scaled and
closest example to that in this exhibi purposeful seam with the surrounding
tion. (Fomin himself had interestingly city in each of its four directions: com
almost eliminated art elements from his pleting Red Square with a tribune for
design for Narkomtiazhprom.) But the parades, completing the Classical square
difference of mood since 1924 perfectly to the north, and addressing the Bolshoi
reflected the course which the interven Theater with the subtle polychrome
ing ten years had run. Fomin's cheerful paraboloid over the workers' club, which
muscularity is gone. Here in Melnikov's simultaneously addresses St. Basil's to
130 Narkomtiazhprom the medium is hyper the south. The stroke of genius, how
bole. The mood is deeply menacing, ever, is the group of three towers of
deeply ironic, and deeply reflects the differing form, whose relationship to
political conjuncture of the moment. Moscow's former great vertical, the Ivan
bell tower of the Kremlin, is indicated
Leonidov's project, by contrast, made its in a montage and a small sketch
131 historical references to pre-Classical tra (plate 120).
ditions of medieval Russia. In a purely
architectural sense, this far better re Those images give an objective descrip
flected the surrounding context of the tion of the formal composition but do
site. In the now approved sense of "use not indicate the deeper reference they
of the other arts," he did not conform. In make to traditional Russian typologies.
terms of "critical assimilation of the Herein, of course, lies the "critical as
heritage," however, his project was mas similation," but the motif that has been
terly, uncompromisingly modern in its "critically" reused is not at the level of
construction yet referring subtly to im surface decoration or style. It is a com
mediate and deeper historical contexts. positional motif that has profound roots
in Russian traditional architecture. A
Here, all activities specified in the brief cluster of three geometrically dissimilar
are located on the site. With the strong tower forms was the traditional form of
feeling for the tensions between volumes the pogost, which constituted the spir
in space that is pure Suprematism, the itual and commercial heart of the old
separate elements of Leonidov's building, Russian village. The most famous re
and the complex as a whole, set up a maining pogost is at Kizhi in North
new set of energetic relationships across Russia (fig. 28). In his Narkom
this symbolically rich but confused city tiazhprom project, we see Leonidov
center. By this means, he weaves a new drawing a symbolic parallel between the
and self-consistent composition into the organizational type deeply embedded in
hitherto rather disordered urban fabric, Russian history and culture and the
thereby enlarging its scale from the Commissariat of Heavy Industry of the
medieval to the twenty-first century,
whereas Melnikov and the rest had cre
Soviet era, which, is entirely apposite. To movement across the landscape. Using
the Soviet state of the early thirties, this that dynamic device, Leonidov's design
Commissariat was the organization that offers a new focal point for central Mos
propagated and enacted the Soviet gov cow. As his montage showed, the
ernment's dogma of political progress building was intended as a composi
through a development led by heavy tional replacement for the Ivan bell
industry, and the parallel he implies be tower of the Kremlin, whose single ver
tween that dogma and the dogma of the tical was historically the city's symbolic
Orthodox Church was an accurate one, and visual focus. But the other para
indeed not in essence novel. digm, of the pogost, had split the Ivan
bell tower form into three parts while
The focal role of the pogost as symbol giving the image twentieth-century
and locational node in the landscape scale.
was established by its asymmetry,
which is again the key factor in That dynamism and multi-directionality
Leonidov's composition. From every di were in sharp contrast to the static
rection the profile was different, as the monolith of the Palace of Soviets, then
three different tower elements separate under construction (though never fin
and coalesce according to the -viewer's ished), as the focal pair at the heart of
socialism. Each of Leonidov's three tow
ers has an origin in the established
vocabulary of Russian architecture. The
convex, circular tower refers to the
rostral columns at the heart of St.
Petersburg's commercial center, which
are known to all Russians. The square
tower represents uncompromising mod
ernity, but with the vertical articulation
and crowning profile that create a
perfectly composed three-dimensional
entity, and the concave tower offers a
female complement to the prismatic
male forms. The polychrome drum over
the workers' club, at the northern end of
the podium, addresses the historical
paradigm of the richly colored Russian
church, of which St. Basil's was the most
exotic example in the whole country.

Leonidov's perspective drawing with the

Bolshoi Theater in the background
(plate 119) is surely one of the most
Fig. 28. Kizhi pogost, North Russia, view with subtle and satisfactory images of all
the three vertical elements clustered together. Russian avant-gardism, totally buildable
From Igor Grahar, Istoriia russkago iskusstv a:
istoriia arkhitektury, tom.l, do-petrovskaia
yet richly poetic. As Andrei Gozak has
epokha (History of Russian art: history of shown, his sketch of a view through the
architecture, vol. 1: pre-Petrine period), cupolas of St. Basil's (plate 120) and the
Moscow, 1910, p. 442.
soaring, upward view with an airplane
(plate 124) are actually insertions of
his tower into photographs by Erich
Mendelsohn from his Amerika and could never have been completed in the
Russland, Europa und Amerika; "both USSR at that date. Today the unfinished
132 hooks were in Leonidov's library. foundations of the Palace of Soviets are
They provide an apposite final symbol an open-air swimming pool, and the
of the cross-cultural debt running nineteenth-century Cathedral of Christ
through the whole decade. the Savior was no great loss. On the
other hand, replacement of the GUM
Leonidov's Narkomtiazhprom offers a department-store galleria by some crude,
subtle demonstration of how the mod half- finished foundations would have
ernist language can be enriched been a disaster amid the rich historical
through genuinely "critical assimila ensemble of Red Square.
tion" of formal aspects of an aesthetic
heritage, how a synthesis may be pro The Palace venture was the medium
duced that owes nothing to applied through which the central issue of the
decorative emblems. In my judgment it proper social and aesthetic basis for
is perhaps the finest example from any Soviet architecture was resolved, and
Soviet architect of what "the method of Narkomtiazhprom reinforced it. After
Socialist Realism" could achieve in ten years of consistent statements by
133 skilled hands. Heedless to say, that is Lunacharsky, the outcome cannot really
not how it was seen at the time. have been a surprise. As I have de
Lissitzky managed to credit Leonidov scribed here, technological limitations
with being "the only competitor who, as made some of the decisions unavoidable;
is evident from his series of drawings, the Party had made the other decisions
tried to find a unity for the new complex inevitable early in the twenties. But the
formed by the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathe two were inseparable; the Soviet Union
dral and the new building." However, he was not an advanced country akin to
dismissed it on the grounds that "in the West. The first buildings of the
practical terms, he gets no further than avant-garde, in the middle twenties,
134 a kind of stage set." were addressed to the small pockets of
urban working class relatively sophis
Elsewhere in the official architectural ticated and habituated to objects with a
press, the schemes of Leonidov and technological aesthetic who had a
Melnikov were grouped together, glimmer of understanding at least of
despite their being actually so different, such concepts as rationality and effi
"reminding us of that period in the ciency. By the end of the decade, political
development of Soviet architecture and cultural emphasis had shifted, how
when such utopianism was considered ever. A leadership itself mainly of
a form of compulsory virtue, and peasant origins was attempting to
when the creation of architectural address the issue of development to the
abstractions was considered to display ninety percent of the population who, by
'progressive' architectural thinking." any Western standard, were totally non-
Today, however, continued this editorial urbanized. Given these circumstances, it
in the official journal of the Union of can be no surprise that the aesthetic
Architects in late 1934, "they look like which prevailed was based on an appeal
an accidental anachronism" and "make to popular aesthetic values. Even in the
us feel vexed disappointment toward the more sophisticated and technically
authors who have misused their talents advanced West, the battle has ultimately
135 for artistic and spatial invention." been much the same.

Unlike the Palace of Soviets contest,

Narkomtiazhprom never produced a
winner, far less a start on site. For that
we must be thankful: like the Palace, it
Notes Zhadova, ed., Tatlin, pp. 134-54; S. 0. Khan- "Aspects of spatial form and perceptual
Magomedov, Rodchenko (London: Thames & psychology in the doctrine of the Rationalist
Hudson, 1986). Also translated texts in Stephen movement in Soviet architecture of the 1920s,"
1 I. B. Shut, "Stroitel'stvo v gody Bann, ed., The Tradition of Constructivism VIA-6, University of Pennsylvania, 1983,
vosstanovitel'skogo protsessa 1923/41926/7" (New York: Viking Press, 1974), section 1, and pp. 79-116.
(Construction in the years of the restoration in John E. Bowlt, ed., Russian Art of the Avant-
process, 1923/41926/7), Planovoe khoziastvo 29 For a brief memoir of her later student
Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-34 (New
(The Planned Economy) (Moscow), 1926, years, see Lidia Komarova, "A master from the
York: Viking Press, 1976); repub. London:
no. 10, pp. 43-56. people"; Gozak and Leonidov, Ivan Leonidov,
Thames & Hudson, 1989, sections IV and V.
pp. 26-27.
2 A range of these new types and a 1 5 For a lively discussion and bibliography,
comparison with their post-revolutionary 30 Adaskina and Sarabianov, Lioubov Popov a;
see Alan C. Birnholtz, "El Lissitzky and the
equivalents may he found in C. Cooke, "Moscow Alexander Lavrentiev, Stepanova: A
spectator: from passivity to participation," in
Map Guide 1900-1930," Architectural Design Constructivist Life (London: Thames & Hudson,
S. Barron and M. Tuchman, eds., The Avant-
(London), 1983, no. 5/6, pp. 81-96. 1988).
Garde in Russia 19101930: New Perspectives
3 C. Cooke, "Pedor Osipovich Shekhtel: an (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1980), 31 S. M. Kirov, "Speech to the 1st Congress of
architect and his clients in turn-of-the-century pp. 98-101. Soviets," 20 December 1922. For this and other
Moscow," Architectural Association Files documents on the Palace of Labor competition,
1 6 Khan-Magomedov, Rodchenko.
(London) no. 5, January 1984, pp. 331. see V. Khazanova, comp., Iz istorii sovetskoi
1 7 Kandinsky left Russia for the Bauhaus in arkhitektury 1917-1925: dokumenty i
4 "Seriia nehoskrehov dlia Moskvy: proekt El' Germany in 1921 after his concerns for the materialy (From the History of Soviet
Lisitskogo" (A series of skyscrapers for continued validity of "fine art" became Architecture 19171925: documents and
Moscow: project by El Lissitzky), Izvestiia overpowered by the new design-oriented materials) (Moscow: Nauka [Science], 1963),
ASNOVA (ASNOVA News) (Moscow) no. 1, 1926, Constructivist lobby in Inkhuk. Gabo felt pp. 146-53.
pp. 2-3. similarly alienated from current trends and left
'for Berlin in 1922. 32 Immediately after the Revolution, most art
5 Page of slogans, Sovremennaia arkhitektura and architecture schools in Russia were
(Contemporary Architecture), 1926, no. 3, 18 V. Tolstoy, I. Bibikova, and C. Cooke, eds., reorganized into "Free Studios," or Svomas. In
p. 82. Street Art of the Revolution: Festivals and 1920 the Moscow Svomas became consolidated
6 I. Leonidov, "Palitra arkhitektora" (The Celebrations in Russia 1919-33 (London: into the multi-disciplinary school called
palette of the architect), Arkhitektura SSSR Thames & Hudson, 1990). VKhUTEMAS (Higher Artistic and Technical
(Architecture USSR) (Moscow) 1934, no. 4, Studios). In Petrograd, however, the "freedom"
1 9 J.-L. Cohen, Le Corbusier et la Mystique de
pp. 3233; for translation and general was considered by staff (and many students)
l'URSS (Paris: Mardaga, 1987), "L'epopee du
discussion, see A.Gozak and A. Leonidov, Ivan too close to chaos, and the Svomas that had
Centrosojuz," pp. 86-137.
Leonidov: The Complete Works (New York: been created out of the Imperial Academy of
Rizzoli, 1988). 20 For illustration, see Stephen White, The Arts school reverted to being a formally
Bolshevik Poster (New Haven, Conn.: Yale organized Academy in 1921.
7 John E. Bowlt, The Silver Age: Russian Art of University Press, 1988), p. 40.
the Early Twentieth Century and the World of 33 M. Ginzburg, "Itogi i perspektivy"
Art Group (Newtonville, Mass: Oriental 2 1 Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Commissariat of (Achievements and prospects), Sovremennaia
Research Partners, 1982), chapter 2, Enlightenment: Soviet Organization of arkhitektura (Contemporary Architecture),
Education and the Arts under Lunacharsky 1927, no. 4/5, p. 116.
"Abramtsevo and Talashkino," pp. 2846; also
William Brumfield, "The decorative arts in (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970),
34 Several were illustrated by Ginzburg in his
Russian architecture 1900-1907," Journal of chapter 6.
Stil' i epokha (Moscow: 1924); see M. Ginzburg,
Decorative and Propaganda Arts (Miami) no. 5, 22 Letter of 19 June 1919, quoted from Style and Epoch, translated by A. Senkevitch
summer 1987, pp. 12-27. Russian sources in M. I. Astafeva-Dlugach and (Cambridge, Mass.: Oppositions/MIT Press,
8 Bowlt, The Silver Age, chapters 3-7, on "The Iu. p. Volchok, "I Zholtovsky," Zodchie Moskvy: 1982), plates 17, 1819. See also Starr,
World of Art," pp. 47-132. 2 (Architects of Moscow, vol. 2) (Moscow: Melnikov, pp. 5863.
Moskovskii rabochii [The Moscow Worker],
9 Cooke, "Fedor Osipovich Shekhtel." 35 K. Melnikov, "Arkhitektura moei zhizni"
1988), pp. 51-52.
(The architecture of my life) (1967), ms., in
10 Y. E. Tatlin, "K organizatsii 23 Some discussion of this appears in S. A. A. Strigalev and I. V. Kokkinaki, eds.,
'khudozhestvnogo obshchestva' na novykh Frederick Starr, Melnikov: Solo Architect in a Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov, (Moscow:
nachalakh" (On the organization of an "artistic Mass Society (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Iskusstvo [Art], 1985), pp. 5791.
society" on new principles), Nov' (Virgin Soil), University Press, 1978), pp. 40-41. A group
23 December 1914, p. 10, and "Letter to 36 Starr, Melnikov, pp. 8184.
photograph of most members of the Moscow
Benois," 1913; translations in L. A. Zhadova, studio appears in S. 0. Khan-Magomedov, 37 Izvestiia, 31 December 1924, in
ed., Tatlin (London: Thames & Hudson, 1988), Pioneers of Soviet Architecture (London: Khazanova, comp., Iz istorii, 19171925,
pp. 182-84. Thames & Hudson, 1987), p. 565. pp. 227-29.
1 1 For Tatlin, see Zhadova, ed., Tatlin, in 24 Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers, p. 67. 38 Competition report, quoted from archival
particular A. A. Strigalev, "From painting to the sources in S. O. Khan-Magomedov, Il'ia Golosov,
construction of matter," pp. 1343. For 25 Numerous other projects on this theme are
(Moscow: Stroi-izdat [Construction Publishers],
Malevich, see C. Cooke, "Malevich: from theory illustrated in ibid., plates 180-208.
1988), p. 114.
into teaching," in Malevich, Art and Design 26 Khan-Magomedov, Rodchenko, chapter 3;
Profile no. 15 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 39 Sovremennaia arkhitektura
N. Adaskina and D. Sarabianov, Lioubov Popov a
1989), pp. 6-27; and L. Dalrymple Henderson, (Contemporary Architecture), 1926, no. 1,
(Paris, 1989).
The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean pp. 1-3.
Geometry in Modern Art (Princeton, N.J.: 27 For a detailed discussion including
40 The project is illustrated in Ginzburg, Style
Princeton University Press, 1983), chapter 5. extensive archival documents in translation,
and Epoch, plates 14-16.
see Khan-Magomedov, Rodchenko, chapter 4, in
12 V. E. Tatlin, 'Nasha predstoiashchaia particular pp. 8399. For the visual material, 4 1 Archival documents of the committee,
rabota" (The work ahead of us), VIII S'ezd see A. Zander Rudenstein, ed., Russian Avant- quoted in Khazanova, comp., Iz istorii,
sovetov: ezhednevnyi buletin (VIII Congress of Garde Art: The George Costakis Collection 1917-1925, p. 190.
Soviets: daily bulletin), 1 January 1921, p. 11. (London: Thames & Hudson, 1981), "The
English translations have appeared in Zhadova, 42 Illustrated with numerous preliminary
Inkhuk Portfolio," pp. 110-27.
ed., Tatlin, p. 239, and T. Andersen, Vladimir variants in Starr, Melnikov, chapter V,
Tatlin, (Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1968), 28 On VKhUTEMAS, see Khan-Magomedov, "International Debut." Further important data
p. 51, but neither is very exact and in Pioneers, pp. 70-73, and A. Senkevitch, on the role of Rodchenko et al, in J.-L. Cohen,
retranslating I have tried to clarify. "II padiglione di Mel'nikov a Parigi: una
seconda ricostruzione," Casabella (Milan),
1 3 As in note 12. November 1986, pp. 4051.
1 4 For discussions, see L. A. Zhadova, "Tatlin:
the organizer of material into objects," in
43 I. Fomin, "Poiasnitel'noi zapiski k proektu 59 N. Ladovsky, "Psikho-tekhnicheskaia 74 A montage of the initial high-rise proposal
paviliona SSSR v Parizhe" (Explanatory notes laboratoriia arkhitektury" (The and a photograph of the finished building were
to the project for the USSR pavilion in Paris), psychotechnical laboratory of architecture), published in 1930 by El Lissitzky in his
archival documents quoted in Khazanova, Izvestiia ASNOVA (ASNOVA News), no. 1, 1926, Russland. Die Rekonstruktion der Arkhitektur
comp., Iz Istorii 19171925, pp. 18788. p. 7. in der Sowjetunion, plates 4042. See English-
language edition, Russia: An Architecture for
44 For a detailed account, see Zenovia A. 60 Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers, section 5, World Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press,
Sochor, Revolution and Culture: the Bogdanov- pp. 14656; Khan-Magomedov, Rodchenko; C.
Lenin Controversy (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Cooke, "The development of the Constructivist
University Press, 1988). architects' design method," in A. Papadakis, A. 75 G. B. Barkhin, "Avtobiograficheskie zapiski"
Benjamin, and C. Cooke, eds., Deconstruction: (Autobiographical notes), 1965, quoted in A. G.
45 V. I. Lenin, "Speech to the 3rd Ail-Russian Barkhina, G. B. Barkhin (Moscow: Stroi-izdat
Omnibus Volume (New York: Rizzoli, 1989),
Congress of the Komsomol," 2 October 1920, in [Construction Publishers], 1981), p. 122.
pp. 2137, and earlier version in Architectural
Collected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers,
Design, 1983, no. 5/6, pp. 34-49.
1965), vol. 31, pp. 283-99. 76 A. V. Shchusev, "Lektsiia: stroitel'stvo
61 Ginzburg, Style and Epoch; on its naselenikh mest."
46 Lenin, quoting Marx, in ibid.
intellectual origins and development of
77 A. Kopp, Town and Revolution: Soviet
47 Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers, pp. 19899. Ginzburg's earlier thinking, see A. Senkevitch,
Architecture and City Planning 19171935
"Introduction: Moisei Ginzburg and the
48 I. Fomin, "Arkhitektura Moskovskogo (New York: George Braziller, 1970), pp. 12655.
emergence of a Constructivist theory of
klassitsizma" (The architecture of Moscow 78 Quoted in S. 0. Khan-Magomedov,
architecture," ibid., pp. 10-33.
classicism), Mir iskusstva (The World of Art), "Psikhotekhnicheskaia laboratoriia
1904, no. 7. 62 Letter from L. Vesnin, archival material
VKhUTEINa, 1927-1930" (The psychotechnical
quoted in A. G. Chiniakov, Brat'ia Vesniny (The
49 I. A. Fomin, "Tvorcheskie puti sovetskoi laboratory of the VKhUTEIN, 1927-1930),
Vesnin Brothers) (Moscow: Stroi-izdat
arkhitektury i problema arkhitekturnogo Tekhnicheskaia estetika (Technical Aesthetics)
[Construction Publishers], 1970), p. 99.
nasledstva" (The creative path of Soviet (Moscow), 1978, no. 1, pp. 1622. On Krutikov,
architecture and the problem of the 63 M. Ginzburg, "Novye metody see also Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers, pp. 282
architectural heritage), Arkhitektura SSSR arkhitekturnogo myshleniia" (New methods of 83.
(Architecture USSR), 1933, no. 3-4, pp. 1516. architectural thinking), Sovremennaia 79 A. Mikhailov, Gruppirovki sovetskoi
arkhitektura (Contemporary Architecture),
50 A. V. Shchusev, "Lektsiia: stroitel'stvo arkhitektury (The groupings of Soviet
1926, no. 1, pp. 1-8.
naselennikh mest" (Lecture: the construction architecture) (Moscow-Leningrad: Ogiz, 1932),
of populated places), 1926, in M. G. Barkhin, 64 Ibid. p. 110.
ed., Mastera sovetskoi arkhitektury ob 80 The project was given very full coverage in
65 Cooke, "The development of the
arkhitekture (Masters of Soviet architecture on Sovremennaia arkhitektura (Contemporary
Constructivist architects' design method"; C.
architecture) (Moscow: Iskusstvo [Art], 1975), Architecture), 1927, no. 4/5, from which
Cooke, "The machine as a model: the Russian
vol. 1, pp. 170-71. facsimile pages are reproduced in Gozak and
Constructivists' conception of the design
51 V. A. Shchuko, "Tvorcheskii otchet" process," Architectural Design, 1989, no. 7/8, Leonidov, Ivan Leonidov, pp. 43-48.
(Creative report), Arkhitektura SSSR pp. XI-XV.
8 1 Ginzburg, "Itogi i perspektivy," partially
(Architecture USSR), 1935, no. 6. translated in Gozak and Leonidov, Ivan
66 A. V. Lunacharsky, "Khudozhestvennoe
52 A. V. Lunacharsky, "Ob otdele tvorchestvo natsional'nostei SSSR" (Artistic Leonidov, p. 42.
izobrazitel'nikh iskusstv" (On the Fine Art creativity of the various Soviet nationalities),
82 Various stages of this Vesnin project are
section), 1920, in A. V. Lunacharsky, Ob in G. A. Belaia, comp., Iz istorii sovetskoi
illustrated in detail in A. Kopp, Constructivist
iskusstve (On art) (Moscow: Iskusstvo [Art], esteticheskoi mysli 19171932 (From the
Architecture in the USSR (New York: St.
1982), vol. 2, pp. 79-83. History of Soviet Aesthetic Thought 1917
Martin's Press, 1985), pp. 5257; the Fidman
1932) (Moscow: Iskusstvo [Art], 1980),
53 A. V. Lunacharsky, "Iskusstvo v Moskve" project appears on p. 58.
pp. 85-87.
(Art in Moscow), speech to 3rd Congress of 83 Andrei Leonidov, "Reminiscences of my
Comintern, July 1921, in Lunacharsky, Ob 67 Ibid. father," in Gozak and Leonidov, Ivan Leonidov,
iskusstve, vol. 2, pp. 94-100.
68 Starr, Melnikov, pp. 6667; also documents pp. 2125.
54 Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers, section 4, in Strigalev and Kokkinaki, eds., Konstantin
84 C. Cooke, "Russian Constructivism and the
pp. 106-45. Stepanovich Melnikov (Moscow: Iskusstvo,
city," UIA Journal of Theory and Criticism, vol.
1985), pp. 92-94. 1, no. 1, 1988, pp. 16-25; Cooke, "The
55 FT.Ladovsky, "Osnovy postroeniia teorii
arkhitektury: pod znakom rationalisticheskoi 69 "Nakaz arkhitekturnogo izucheniia po development of the Constructivist architects'
estetiki" (Foundations for building a theory of programme masterskikh 'Novaia akademiia'" design method," p. 31.
architecture: under the banner of rationalist (Instructions for architectural study according
85 Leonidov's full commentary and extensive
aesthetics), Izvestiia ASNOVA (AS NOVA News), to the program of studios in "The New visual documentation on the "Club of New
no. 1, 1926, pp. 3-5. Academy"), in Strigalev and Kokkinaki, eds.,
Social Type" concept appear in Gozak and
Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov, pp. 93-94.
56 N. Ladovsky, "Iz protokolov zasedaniia Leonidov, Ivan Leonidov, pp. 60-67.
kommissii zhiv-skulpt-arkha" (From minutes of 70 K. Melnikov, "Oformlenie proekta" (Design
86 This project is documented in ibid,
meetings of the Commission for Paint-Sculpt- of the project), Arkhitektura SSSR pp. 72-76.
Architecture), 1919, archival material quoted (Architecture USSR), 1933, no. 5, p. 35;
in Barkhin, ed., Mastera, vol. 1, pp. 34344. partially translated into English in Khan- 87 G. Krutikov, "Voprosy prostranstvennoi
Magomedov, Pioneers, pp. 55152. organizatsii kul'turnogo kombinata" (Questions
57 Ladovsky, "Osnovy postroeniia teorii
of the spatial organization of a cultural
arkhitektury." 71 K. Melnikov, manuscript of 1965, family
combine), Stroitel'naia promyshlennost' (The
archives, Strigalev and Kokkinaki, eds.,
58 The best source on the Rationalists' work Building Industry) (Moscow), 1930, no. 10,
Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov, pp. 239-40;
and theory is Senkevitch, "Aspects of spatial p. 794; partially translated in ibid, p. 77.
partially translated in C. Cooke, "Moscow
form and perceptual psychology."
publishes the writings of Melnikov," 88 A. Karra and V. Simbirtsev, "Forpost
Architectural Design, 1986, no. 4, pp. 4-5. proletarskoi kul'tury" (The outpost of
proletarian culture), Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (The
72 "Kredo" (Credo), undated ms., in Barkhin,
Construction of Moscow), 1930, no. 8/9, p. 22;
ed., Mastera, vol. 2, p. 161. partially translated in ibid, p. 77.
73 Ms. notes from the early twenties in State
89 A. Mordvinov, "Leonidovshchina i ego vred"
Archives, translated in Khan-Magomedov,
(Leonidovism and the harm it does), Iskusstvo
Pioneers, pp. 562-63. v massy (Art to the Masses), 1930, no. 12,
pp. 12-15; translated in ibid, pp. 96-97.
90 On VOPRA, see Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers, Corbusier et la mystique, pp. 20445, and S. 117 "Ot zadaniia k proektu" (From brief to
pp. 236-38, 600-1. Frederick Starr, "Le Corbusier and the USSR: project), Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (The
91 On Chernikhov's Constructive work, see C. new documentation," Oppositions (New York), Construction of Moscow), 1934, no. 3,
no. 23, winter 1981, pp. 122-37. The other pp. 10-11. Kopp, Town and Revolution, p. 233,
Cooke, Chernikhov: Fantasy & Construction,
Architectural Design Profile no. 55 (New York: foreign projects are illustrated in "The Palace of illustrates this project, but the caption is
St. Martin's Press, 1984). On the totality of his Soviets, Moscow," Architectural Review partially incorrect.
oeuvre, see C. Cooke, ed., with A. Chernikhov, (London), May 1932, pp. 196200.
118 "Ob organizatsii okonchatel'noi
Iakov Chernikhov's Architectural Fantasies, 1 06 Published in Pravda, 24 April 1932. See razrabotki," p. 2.
Architectural Design Profile no. 80 (New York: V. Khazanova, comp., Iz istorii sovetskoi
St. Martin's Press, 1989). arkhitektury 192633: dokumenty i materialy 119 Eigel', Boris Iofan, p. 99.

92 On the background and development of this (From the History of Soviet Architecture 1926- 1 20 The character of this area of Moscow is
competition, see A. Cunliffe, "The competition 32: documents and materials) (Moscow: Nauka described in C. Cooke, "Moscow Map Guide."
for the Palace of Soviets in Moscow, 1931 [Science], 1970), p. 163. For an English
translation, see C. Vaughan James, Soviet 121 D. Aronovich, "Arkhitekturnaia
1933," Architectural Association Quarterly rekonstruktsiia tsentra Moskvy" (The
(London) vol. 11, no. 2, 1979, pp. 36-48. For a Socialist Realism: Origins and Theory (London
and New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 120. architectural reconstruction of the center of
recent Soviet account, see A. V. Riabushin, Moscow), Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (The
Gumanizm sovetskoi arkhitektury (The Although itself aimed mainly at writers and
literature, a clause resolving "to carry out an Construction of Moscow), 1934, no. 10,
humanism of Soviet architecture) (Moscow: pp. 20-29. A range of projects is illustrated in
Stroi-izdat [Construction Publishers], 1986), analogous change with regard to other forms of
art" led the way to its extension into fields like C. Cooke, "Ivan Leonidov: vision and
pp. 13555. historicism," Architectural Design (London),
93 Competition program, paragraph 1, quoted 1986, no. 6, pp. 1221.
in M. V. Kriukov, ed., Biuleten' upravleniia 107 Izvestii a, 18 July 1932. The
announcement reads: "A Union of Soviet 122 Editorial on the competition projects,
stroitel'stvom Dvortsa Sovetov pri prezidiume Arkhitektura SSSR (Architecture USSR), 1934,
TsIK SSSR (Bulletin of the Palace of Soviets Architects has been created. The following have
been elected to the Board of the new Union: no. 10, p. 4.
Construction Administration of the Presidium
of the Central Committee of the Communist prof. V. A. Vesnin, architects K. S. Alabian, V. S. 1 23 M. Ginzburg, "Amerika," Sovremennaia
Party), Party Executive Committee of Moscow Balikhin, S. F. Babaev, prof. M. Ia. Ginzburg, arkhitektura (Contemporary Architecture),
Oblast (Moscow), 1931, no. 2-3 (October), p 35; academician-architect I. V. Zholtovsky, 1926, no. 1, p. 38.
also "The construction of a Palace of Soviets in architect A. M. Zaslavsky, chairman of the
central committee of the Union of Builders I. G. 1 24 K. Melnikov, "Masterskaia no. 7" (Report
Moscow," Soviet Culture Bulletin, YOKS of Studio no. 7), in Sbornik rabot
(Moscow), no. 2, July 1931. Kelin, architects M. A. Krutikov, N. A. Ladovsky,
V. A. Markov, Urban, D. F. Fridman." Source: arkhitekturnykh masterskikh Mossoveta,
94 I. Iu. Eigel', Boris Iofan (Moscow: Stroi- Khazanova, comp., Iz istorii 1926-1932, p. 163. 1934g (Collection of works of the architectural
izdat, 1978). studios of Mossoviet for the year 1934),
1 08 An excellent discussion appears in reproduced in Strigalev and Kokkinaki,
95 L. Kaganovich, "0 moskovskom gorodskom Vaughan James, Soviet Socialist Realism. One of Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov, pp. 217-18.
khoziaistve i o razvitii gorodskogo khoziaistva its earliest usages in the architectural context
SSSR" (On the Moscow urban economy and on was in I. Voblyi, "Dvorets sovetov i 125 Starr, Melnikov, fig. 213, p. 195,
the development of the urban economy of the arkhitekturnoe nasledstvo" (The Palace of reproduces the building's cross section.
USSR), Pravda (Moscow), 4 July 1931, pp. 34. Soviets and the architectural heritage), Brigada 1 26 K. Melnikov, "Poiasnitel'naia zapiska"
96 M. V. Kriukov, ed., Biuleten' upravleniia khudozhnikov (Brigade of Artists), 1932, no. 3. (Explanatory note), Arkhitektura SSSR
stroitel'stvom Dvortsa Sovetov, no. 23, p. 1. 1 09 A. N. Tolstoi, "Poiski monumental'nosti" (Architecture USSR), 1934, no. 10, pp. 1617.
97 Ibid., pp. 47, 28. (The search for monumentality), Izvestiia, 27 127 Ibid.
February 1932.
98 Ibid., p. 8. 1 28 L. Lisitskii (El Lissitzky), "Forum
110 N. p. Zapletin, "Dvorets sovetov SSSR." sotsialisticheskoi Moskvy" (A forum for
99 Ibid., p. 45. socialist Moscow), Arkhitektura SSSR
111 N. p. Zapletin, "Magnitostroi
100 Ibid., pp. 20-21. arkhitektury" (The Magnitogorsk project of (Architecture USSR), 1934, no. 10, p. 5.

101 Ibid., pp. 15, 13. architecture), Stroitel'stvo Moskvy (The 1 29 V. S. Balikhin, "Sintez iskusstv v praktike
Construction of Moscow), 1933, no. 56, p. 10, sovetskoi arkhitektury" (The synthesis of the
102 Ibid., p. 1. quoted in Riabushin, Gumanizm, p. 149. arts in the practice of Soviet architecture),
1 03 Ibid., p. 1. 112 Iofan's project for this stage is illustrated Arkhitektura SSSR (Architecture USSR), 1935,
in Cunliffe, "The Competition," p. 42. no. 7, p. 26.
1 04 G. Barkhin, "Inostrannye arkhitektory na
konkurse Dvortsa Sovetov" (Foreign architects 113 For plans, models, and sections of 1 30 A sketch indicating the main contextual
in the competition for the Palace of Soviets), in Ginzburg's project, see Kopp, Town and elements appears in C. Cooke, "Ivan Leonidov,"
Dvorets Sovetov (Palace of Soviets) (Moscow), Revolution, pp. 218-21 (captioning slightly p. 19.
1933, pp. 81-87, quoted in Riabushin, incorrect). 131 Leonidov's montage onto an old print is
Gumanizm, pp. 147-48. illustrated in C. Cooke, "Ivan Leonidov," p. 18,
114 This Iofan scheme is illustrated in Khan-
1 05 N. p. Zapletin, "Dvorets sovetov SSSR" Magomedov, Pioneers, fig. 1127, also in Cunliffe, and Gozak and Leonidov, Ivan Leonidov, p. 114.
(The Palace of Soviets of the USSR), Sovetskaia "The competition," p. 44. 1 32 Gozak and Leonidov, Ivan Leonidov,
arkhitektura (Soviet Architecture), 1932, pp. 12, 110.
no. 23, p. 10. Le Corbusier's scheme is 115 "0 proekte dvortsa sovetov" (On the
illustrated in detail in Le Corbusier: The project for the Palace of Soviets), published in 1 33 For further discussion of this theme, see
Complete Architectural Works, v ol. II: 1929 the Union of Architects' new official journal C. Cooke, "Ivan Leonidov."
1934, (London: Thames & Hudson, 1966), Sovetskaia arkhitektura (Soviet Architecture),
1933, no. 4, p. 1, and in Stroitel'stvo Moskvy 1 34 Lisitskii, "Forum sotsialisticheskoi
pp. 12337. For background, discussion, and Moskvy."
further documentation, see J.-L. Cohen, Le (The Construction of Moscow), 1933, no. 56,
p. 1. 1 35 Editorial on the competition projects,
116 "Ob organizatsii okonchatel'noi Arkhitektura SSSR (Architecture USSR), 1934,
razrabotki proekta dvortsa sovetov" (On the no. 10, p. 4.
organization of the final working out of the
Palace of Soviets design), Stroitel'stvo Moskvy
(The Construction of Moscow), 1933, no. 5-6,
p. 2. I have not been able to identify the
remaining few persons named.
1 Vladimir Shchuko
Monument to the Victims of the Revolution
in Helsinki
Petrograd (?), 1917
Colored pencil and charcoal on paper
9 x 9Vfe"(23 x 24 cm)

2 Nikolai Kolli
Decorations for the First Anniversary of the
October Revolution "The Red Wedge"
Executed project
Moscow, 1918
Pencil, watercolor, and ink on paper
13 x 8Va" (33 x 20.5 cm)

C0K>31> lj

* -
3 Vladimir Krinsky Right:
Formal Composition 5 Vladimir Krinsky
1920 Formal Composition
Pencil on paper Early 1920s
8V4X5%" (21 x 15 cm) Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper
s 3 x2 (8 x 6.5 cm)

4 Vladimir Krinsky
Formal Composition
Pencil, watercolor, and ink on paper
9% x 5%" (25.1 x 14.2 cm)

v^SrPi ....

6 Vladimir Krinsky
Temple of Communion between Nations
Experimental project (Zhivskulptarkh),
Floor plan, section, elevation
Ink and watercolor on cardboard
13 x leVfe"(33x41 cm)
7 Vladimir Krinsky
Temple of Communion between Nations
Experimental project (Zhivskulptarkh),
Floor plan, perspective
Ink and watercolor on paper
6V2x 4Va"(16.5 x 11.5 cm)

8 Vladimir Krinsky
Communal House
Experimental project (Zhivskulptarkh),
Ink, watercolor, and pencil on double tracing
4% x BVz"(11x14 cm)

9 Vladimir Krinsky
Communal House
Experimental project (Zhivskulptarkh),
Floor plan
Pencil on paper
4Va x 414" (1 1.5 x 1 1.5 cm)

. -3
10 Nikolai Ladovsky
Communal House
Experimental project (Zhivskulptarkh),
Pencil, colored pencil, and colored ink on
tracing paper
15% x 12%" (40 x 31 cm)

1 1 Nikolai Ladovsky
Communal House
Experimental project (Zhivskulptarkh),
Ink and pencil on paper
15% x 12%" (39 x 31.3 cm)
12 Ivan Lamtsov
Student Assignment on the Manifestation
of Form
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1921
Pencil on paper
9X7V4" (23 x 18.4 cm)

1 3 Ivan Lamtsov
Student Assignment on the Manifestation
of Form
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 192122
Pencil on paper
6% x 8%" (17.5 x 22.4 cm)

1 4 Ivan Lamtsov
Student Assignment Based on a Grain Elevator
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1922
Pencil on paper
x/4X 8 13" (21 x 33 cm)
15 Ivan Lamtsov
Student Assignment on the Expression
of Mass and Weight
(VKhUTEMAS,studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1922
Pencil on paper
11% x 8%" (30 x 22.5 cm)
16 Lidia Komarova
Student Assignment on the Demonstration
of Mass and Weight
Early 1980s
Ink on paper
88x80%" (71 X53 cm)

1 7 Lidia Komarova
Trackwalker's House
Student Assignment (VKhUTEMAS)
Floor plan, cross-section, elevation
Pencil on paper
4" 17% x 19y (45 x 49 cm)

1 8 Ivan Lamtsov
Student Assignment "Beam on Two Points
of Support"
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Cardboard, ink, charcoal, and pencil on paper
1 1% x ZSV*" (30 x 64 cm)

'*: - :-
Above: Opposite, left: Opposite, right:
19 Vladimir Krinsky 20 Vladimir Krinsky 21 Ivan Lamtsov
Festival Bridge Decoration Exhibition Pavilion Kiosk
May 1921 Unexecuted Early 1920s
Elevation Early 1920s Elevations
Pencil, watercolor, and ink on tracing paper Elevation, floor plan Charcoal on paper
3% x lg%" (9.9 x 32.6 cm) Ink and colored pencil on paper 9 x 9" (23 x 23 cm)
1A" 4x7 (10 x 18.5 cm)

22 Ilia Golosov
Pavilion of a Far-Eastern Republic, for the All-
Russian Agricultural and Handicraft Industries
Exhibition, Moscow
Moscow, 1923
Cardboard, watercolor, ink, and varnish on
17 x 29 Vis"(43 x 75 cm)

23 Georgi Golts
Rostrum, for the All-Russian Agricultural and
Handicraft Industries Exhibition, Moscow
Moscow, 1923
Ink, watercolor, and bronze powder on paper
11% x 15%" (30 x 39 cm)


hi *

24 Ivan Lamtsov
"New Bavaria" Beer Kiosk, for the All-Russian
Agricultural and Handicraft Industries
Exhibition, Moscow
Moscow, 1923
Pencil and colored pencil on tracing paper
6% x 8Vb"(17.5 x 20.5 cm)

25 Anatoli Samoilov
Kiosk for Selling Perfumes
Leningrad, early 1920s
Ink, watercolor, and collage on paper
19% x 26%" (50 x 67 cm)
26 Vladimir Krinsky
Construction in Space
Gouache and ink on hoard
13% x 8%" (34.5 x 22 cm)

27 Vladimir Krinsky and Ivan Lamtsov

Project for Decorations
Moscow, May 1926
Ink, colored pencil, and pencil on tracing paper
13% x 31V8"(35 x 79 cm)



r paa

[28-29] Alexander Vesnin

Sets for the production "The Man Who Was
Thursday" by G. K. Chesterton
Kamernyi Theater, Moscow, 1922-23
Director: Alexander Tairov
Living robots who parade between the acts
with slogans

28 Cardboard and colored ink, 7V8x 16'
(18.2x40.5 cm)

l4' 29 Cardboard, ink, and colored ink, 7 x ll
(18.3 x 30 cm)
[30-34] Alexander Vesnin
Sets for the production "The Man Who Was
Thursday" by G. K. Chesterton
Kamernyi Theater, Moscow, 1922-23
Director: Alexander Tairov
Sequence of sets throughout the performance

30 Pencil on paper, 10% x 15%" (26.5 x 39 cm)I

31 Pencil on paper, 7% x 10%" (19.8 x 27.8 cm)I

32 Pencil on paper, 7% x lOVi" (19.9 x 26.1 cm)|

33 Pencil on tracing paper, 8% x 12Va'
(22.6 x 30.8 cm)

34 Pencil on tracing paper, 9Vax 10%'

(23.3 x 27.3 cm)
35 Andrei Belogrud
Palace of Labor
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 192223
Exterior perspective
Pencil and colored ink on paper
26% x 50" (68 x 127 cm)

36 Andrei Belogrud
Palace of Labor
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1922-23
Interior. Perspective of auditorium
Sepia on paper
27Vax 42%" (70 x 108.5 cm)
37 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin
Palace of Labor
Competition project, third prize, unexecuted
Moscow, 192223
Pencil on tracing paper
17% x 23V4"(44.6 x 59.2 cm)


38 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Palace of Labor
Competition project, third prize, unexecuted
Moscow, 1922-23
Perspective sketch
Pencil on tracing paper
6% x 8 W (16.8 x 21 cm)

39 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Palace of Labor
Competition project, third prize, unexecuted
Moscow, 192223
Pencil on tracing paper
16 x ZZVz"(40.6 x 59.8 cm)

" MB WiipflLxi |
t ml~u -
\ j :c Ha : l
t XT"

40 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Palace of Labor
Competition project, third prize, unexecuted
Moscow, 1922-23
Pencil on tracing paper
20% x 23%" (53 x 60 cm)

4 1 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Palace of Labor
Competition project, third prize, unexecuted
Moscow, 192223
Pencil on tracing paper
18% x 12%" (48 x 32 cm)

// ,r
* ' x\\ ' '
42 Alexander Gegello
Moscow Office of the Anglo-Russian Trading
Company, ARCOS
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Ink and watercolor on paper
25% x 31%" (65 x 80 cm)

43 Alexander Gegello
Moscow Office of the Anglo-Russian Trading
Company, ARCOS
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Entrance elevation
Ink and watercolor on paper
17% x 21%" (45.5 x 54.5 cm)
44 Vladimir Krinsky
Moscow Office of the Anglo-Russian Trading
Company, ARCOS
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Entrance elevation
Paper on cardboard, ink, and gouache
14V2x 15%" (37 x 39 cm)

45 Vladimir Krinsky
Headquarters Building for the Council of the
National Economy, Vesenkha
Experimental project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1922-23
Pencil and colored pencil on tracing paper
12 x BVs"(30.5 x 13 cm)
.-,i 4>ACAA FA'JBE Pii-.i t


46 Konstantin Melnikov
Moscow Bureau of the Newspaper
"Leningrad Pravda"
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Elevation showing each floor rotated to its
maximum extension
Ink on paper
26% x 20" (67.5 x 51 cm)
47 Alexander and Viktor Vesnin
MoscowBureau of the Newspaper
"Leningrad Pravda"
Competition project, unexecuted
Pencil on paper
27% x 14V4"(70.5 x 36 cm)
48 Ivan Fomin
USSRPavilion, for the 1925 Exposition des Arts
Decoratifs, Paris
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Ink and colored ink on paper
21% x 32%" (55 x 83.5 cm)
49 Ilia Golosov
USSRPavilion, for the 1925 Exposition des Arts
Decoratifs, Paris
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Ink, colored ink, and watercolor on paper
9 x 13" (23 x 33 cm)
SO Ilia Golosov
The Lenin House of the People, in Ivanovo-
Voznesensk (now Ivanovo)
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Board, ink,and gouacheon paper
12% x 24%" (32x 63 cm)


y\E; H l/l H A


.\ v.-..., , "
5 1 Ilia Golosov
Electrobank Building, Moscow
Moscow, 1926
Ink and gouache on paper
26% x 38%" (68 x 98.5 cm)
52 Alexander and Leonid Vesnin
Mostorg Department Store, Krasnaia Presnia,
Moscow, 1925-27
Ink, bronze powder, and watercolor on paper
16Ve x Z7Vi" (41 x 69 cm)

53 Viktor Vesnin
Headquarters Building for the Agricultural
Bank, Ivselbank, in Ivanovo-Voznesensk (now
Moscow, 1926-27
Ink, bronze powder, and gray pastel on paper
2078 x 24%" (51 x 62 cm)

54 Grigori and Mikhail Barkhin
Headquarters of the Newspaper "Izvestiia"
Moscow, 1926-27
Ink, watercolor, and white ink on paper
37 x 22%" (94 x 57 cm)

v '--V- y? \

55 Alexei Shchusev
Lenin Mausoleum
First version of the final project
Floor plan, facade, perspective
Ink and gouache on paper
34%x 26V4"(87.4 x 66.7 cm)

56 Ivan Fomin
Monument to Iakov Sverdlov
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1924
Ink and charcoal on paper
27 x 2214" (68.5 x 56.6 cm)

57 Alexei Shchusev
Lenin Mausoleum
Executed version
Moscow, 192930
ROP Floor plan, facade, perspective
Ink and gouache on paper
3IVS3x 26" (80x66 cm)
58 Alexei Shchusev Opposite:
Central Telegraph Building, Moscow 60 Alexei Shchusev
Competition project, unexecuted Government Center for Samarkand
Moscow, 1925 Unexecuted
Perspective Moscow, 1929-30
Ink, gouache, white ink, and bronze powder Perspective
on paper on plywood Cardboard, charcoal, ink, gouache, and white
24 x 35%" (61 x 91 cm) ink on gray paper
20% x 14%" (53 x 36 cm)

59 Mikhail and Adolf Minkus

House of Textiles
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1926
Ink and colored ink on paper
27 1A x 22%" (69 x 58 cm)

- "TW^
hBmBHHHH mhhhbhhi

61 Mikhail Motylev Opposite, above:

Workers' Housing, on Boevskaia and 62 Alexander Gegello
Matrosskaia streets, Moscow Cottage Housing Complex for Workers
Executed Unexecuted
Moscow, 1927 Leningrad, 1923
Perspective, facades Elevations
Ink, gouache, and collage on paper Ink and watercolor on paper
4 16V8x 22" (41 x 56 cm) 10y x 37%" (26 x 96 cm)

Opposite, below:
63 Mikhail Motylev
Workers' Housing, on Novo-Riazanskaia Street,
Moscow, 1927
Ink and gouacheon paper
13% x 23%" (34x 60 cm)

mdccdbeta 1Q07

N __
rf n



rnKCTPDi* TE357,


64 Vladimir Fidman, Daniil Fridman, and
Dmitri Markov
Lenin State Public Library
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1928
Ink, gouache, white ink, and collage on paper
34V4x 95%" (87 x 243 cm)

65 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Lenin State Public Library
Commissioned project, first version, unexecuted
Moscow, 1928
Perspective of main facade
Ink on paper
26% x 39" (67 x 99 cm)

66 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Lenin State Public Library
Commissioned project, second version,
Moscow, 1928
Perspective of inner courtyard
Ink on paper
11% x 17" (29x43 cm)
67 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin
Palace of Culture of the Proletarsky District
(now the Likhachev Automobile Factory Club)
Commissioned project, partially executed
Moscow, 1931-37
Pencil on tracing paper
15% x 2414" (39 x 61.5 cm)

68 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Palace of Culture of the Proletarsky District
(now the Likhachev Automobile Factory Club)
Commissioned project, partially executed
* Moscow, 193137
Interior. Perspective of auditorium
Pencil on paper
11% x 16Vb"(30 x 41 cm)
69 Mikhail Minkus
350-Car Garage
Moscow, 1931
Ink on paper
19V4x 50%" (49 x 129 cm)

70 Panteleimon Golosov
Printing Plant and Publishing Center
of the Newspaper "Pravda"
Moscow, 1930-35
Ink, watercolor, and white ink on paper
36 Vix 76%" (92 x 195 cm)
71 Moisei Ginzburg and Gustav Gassenpflug
V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Theater
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1933
Ink, watercolor, white ink, and applied color on
l/4" 24 Vix 35 (61.5x89.5 cm)
m 94

72 Ivan Leonidov
Club of New Social Type. Sports Pavilion
Experimental project, unexecuted. Variant B
Ground-level plan
White ink and applied color on black paper
9V4 x 7Vb" (23.5 x 18 cm)

73 Ivan Leonidov
id ] Club of New Social Type. Sports Pavilion
Experimental project, unexecuted. Variant B
First-floor plan
Ink on paper
1/4"Ax9 7 (18.5x23.5 cm)
74 Ivan Leonidov
Club of New Social Type. Sports Pavilion
Experimental project, unexecuted. Variant B
Ink on paper
7Vb x 91/4" (18.3 x 23 cm)

75 Ivan Leonidov
Club of New Social Type. Sports Pavilion
Experimental project, unexecuted. Variants A
and B
Ground-level plan
Ink and applied color on paper
7Va x 9V4" (18 x 23.5 cm)

ffilli r

76 Ivan Leonidov
Palace of Culture of the Proletarsky District of
Moscow. Center for Physical Education
Competition project, first round, unexecuted
Moscow, 1930
Overall plan at ground level
Cardboard, white ink, and applied color on
black paper
13% X 13" (35 x 33 cm)

77 Ivan Leonidov
Palace of Culture of the Proletarsky District of
Moscow. Center for Physical Education
Competition project, first stage, unexecuted
Moscow, 1930
Cardboard, white ink, and applied color on
black paper
13 x 13%" (33 x 35 cm)

78 Ivan Leonidov
Palace of Culture of the Proletarsky District of
Moscow. Mass Activities Section
Competition project, first stage, unexecuted
Moscow, 1930
Black paper on cardboard, white ink, and
applied color
13% x 13" (35 x 33 cm)
Above: Below:
79 Georgi Krutikov 80 Georgi Krutikov
Flying City (literally "City on the Aerial Paths Flying City
of Communication") Graduation work, unexecuted
Graduation work, unexecuted (VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky) Moscow, 1928
Moscow, 1928 Collaged panels illustrating the theme "Man's
Collaged panels illustrating the theme "The Mastery of the Cosmic Atmosphere
Evolution of the Mobile Home" Surrounding the Earth"
Cardboard, collage, pencil, and colored pencil on Gray paper, cardboard, and collage
gray paper 19 x S6V*" (48 x 143 cm)
19 x 56V4" (48 x 143 cm)

w 100

8 1 Georgi Krutikov
Flying City
Graduation work, unexecuted
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1928
City perspective
Charcoal and pencil on paper
47 Vi x 37" (120x94 cm)

82 Georgi Krutikov
Flying City
Graduation work, unexecuted
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1928
Flying cabin unit, perspective
Pencil, ink, and white ink on paper
45 Vax 36%" (115.5 x 93.5 cm)


83 Georgi Krutikov
> - i -
Flying City
Graduation work, unexecuted
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1928
Apartment house-commune, perspective
Ink and pencil on photographic paper
45 Vax 34%" (1 14.5 x 88 cm)

84 Georgi Krutikov
Flying City
Graduation work, unexecuted
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1928
Apartment complex, perspective
Pencil and ink on paper
LjJ* .'-T.
451/8 x 34%" (114.5 x 88 cm)

85 Georgi Krutikov
Flying City
Graduation work, unexecuted
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of N. A. Ladovsky)
Moscow, 1928
Dwelling structure with hundreds of units
Detail of cross-section, elevation
Ink and pencil on paper
4514 x 3714" (1 15 x 94.5 cm)

86 Nikolai Sokolov
Health-Resort Hotel
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of A. A. Vesxiin)
Unexecuted project
Moscow, 1928
Perspective of the rural cabins
Ink, watercolor, gouache, and white ink on
21% x 14V4" (54.5 x 36 cm)

87 Nikolai Sokolov
Health-Resort Hotel
(VKhUTEMAS, studio of A. A. Vesnin)
Unexecuted project
Moscow, 1928
Explanatory panel of floor plans, elevations,
axonometrics, details
Ink, colored ink, white ink, and collage on
21% x 34%" (55.5 x 88 cm)
88 Nikolai Sokolov
Health-Resort Hotel
(VKhUTEMAS,studio of A. A. Vesnin)
Unexecuted project
Moscow, 1928
Ink, watercolor, gouache, and white ink on
21V2x 14W (54.5 x 36 cm)
9 1 Iakov Chernikhov
Industrial Vignette, for the book Architectural
Fantasies: 101 Compositions (Leningrad, 1933)
Gouache on paper
4Va X 4Va" (10.5 x 10.5 cm)

92 Iakov Chernikhov
Industrial Vignette, for the book Architectural
Fantasies: 101 Compositions ( Leningrad 1933)
Gouache on paper
4y4X4V4" (10.7 x 10.7 cm)

93 Iakov Chernikhov
Architectural Fantasy, published as
Composition 75 in the hook Architectural
Fantasies: 101 Compositions (Leningrad, 1933)
Ink and gouache on paper
1214 x 9Va" (31 x 25 cm)

96 Team from ARU (Union of Architects and
Urhanists): Nikolai Beseda, Georgi Krutikov,
Vitali Lavrov, Valentin Popov, and Alexander
Deineka (artist)
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, first (preliminary) stage,
Moscow, February May 1931
General site plan
Pencil, ink, gouache, white ink, and
photographs on paper
4514 x 4514" (115 x 115 cm)

97 Team from ARU (Union of Architects and
Urhanists): Nikolai Beseda, Georgi Krutikov,
Vitali Lavrov, Valentin Popov, and Alexander
Deineka (artist)
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, first (preliminary) stage,
Moscow, February-May 1931
Ink, gouache, and white ink on paper
46V2 x 46Ve" (118X118 cm)

94 Team from SASS (Sector of Architects for

Socialist Construction), formerly OSA:
Leonid Pavlov and Mikhail Kuznetsov
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, first (preliminary) stage,
Moscow, February May 1931
Ink and pencil on paper
8" 24V4 x 34V (61.5 x 86.5 cm)

95 Team from SASS (Sector of Architects for

Socialist Construction, formerly OSA):
Leonid Pavlov and Mikhail Kuznetsov
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, first (preliminary) stage,
Moscow, February-May 1931
Ink and pencil on paper
24% x 34%" (62 x 86.5 cm)

98 Designers unknown
Pseudonym: "The Red Building of the Soviets"
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, second (open) stage,
Moscow, February-May 1931
Floor plan, cross-section, axonometrics
Ink, white ink, and collage on paper
Z8Vsx 41" (72.5 x 104 cm)

KpacHoe3Aa COBTOi_

mnxoboe biiehat/ieiihe =20000 kommvhmctob
/IPVr l\PVrAM3 BH/|V omaAH
l(T0 B - HEn OCPEl\l) TBEH-

)H yiMHIiH


99 Alexander Karra
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, second (open) stage,
Moscow, JulyDecember 1931
Axonometric view into auditorium
Ink on paper
27% x 21%" (69.5 x 55 cm)

100 Alexander Karra

Palace of Soviets
Competition project, second (open) stage,
Moscow, JulyDecember 1931
Ink on paper
26 x 36V4"(66 x 92 cm)

eU C0B6T0B
Via uMnnTDK
101 Moisei Ginzburg, Gustav Gassenpflug,
and Solomon Lisagor
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, third stage, unexecuted
Moscow, MarchJuly 1932
Ink, watercolor, and white ink on paper
26% x 74%" (68 x 190 cm)
r mr- rf 21

jjjMHH H;IMr|{HHII|IIIMIH II lljllll II II HMjH" lUtlt "['HI IIHIMI IHIIDMIHj'ltl Mil HlljHMMIl IDl llllllll lllljlllllllHllljlllMilljHIIjlDIIIIUIIll

102 Nikolai Ladovsky
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, first (preliminary) stage,
Moscow, February-May 1931
Ink on paper
25% x 37%" (65.8 x 95 cm)

103 Nikolai Ladovsky

Palace of Soviets
Competition project, first (preliminary) stage,
Moscow, February-May 1931
Ink on paper
24% x 36%" (62.5 x 93 cm)
104 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, fourth stage, first version,
Moscow, August 1932- February 1933
Interior. Perspective of the large auditorium
Charcoal, ink, and colored pencil on paper
30 x 38%" (76 x 98.5 cm)

105 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, fourth stage, second
Moscow, August 1932-February 1933
Colored pencil, pencil, watercolor, white ink,
ink, and collage on paper
30% x 50%" (77 x 128 cm)
Drawing executed by Vladimir and Georgi

" miiiniiiiiiiiii---;rJ

1 06 Vladimir Gelfreikh and Vladimir Shchuko
Palace of Soviets
Competition project, fourth, stage, unexecuted
Moscow, August 193SFebruary 1933
Pencil, ink, gouache, watercolor, white ink,
and collage on paper
21% x 39" (55 x 99 cm)

1 07 Ivan Zholtovsky
Palace of Soviets
isife Competition project, second (open)
, I-*
Awarded one of three "first prizes"
Moscow, July-December 1931
ny fl| T t , i i iii nili i * ' ;i
Sanguine on paper
14 x 22%" (35.5 x 58 cm)
"' m> I ''III \ I,,X .-.V- , , , . - ,
^Ili'ill-V--f i*ry* YiMil1 tJlSBK
- ^iwuh _ - -:

1 08 Vladimir Gelfreikh, Boris Iofan, Vladimir
Shchuko, and Sergei Merkurov (sculptor)
Palace of Soviets
Commissioned amended project, in response to
the Jury Statement of 10 May 1933, unexecuted
Moscow, probably May- August 1933
Ink and applied color on paper
48% x 37%" (123 x 96 cm)


109 Alexander and Viktor Vesnin
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, first version, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Black paper on cardboard, white ink, pencil,
ink, charcoal, tempera, and applied color
23V2x 32%" (59.5 x 83 cm)
110 Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, first version, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Ink, watercolor, pencil, and white ink on paper
17V* x 43Vss"(44 x 1 10.5 cm)

Ill Alexander, Leonid, and Viktor Vesnin

Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, first version, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Ink, gouache, and pencil on tracing paper
8 x 12V2" (20 x 32 cm)


' Wk
v4|v I n ^*A " *
WM 1 ** :
r 1:

w =.
r- Opposite:
112 Konstantin Melnikov, with participation
of V. M. Lebedev, Nikolai Trankvilitsky, and

:(52 53 I"
Nikolai Khryakov
Narkom tiazhprom
Moscow, 1934
of Heavy Industry,

':; . cr It; r - Ink on paper
57Vz x 77" (146 x 195.5 cm)

:'X i "3. ;
113 Konstantin Melnikov, with participation
of V. M. Lebedev, Nikolai Trankvilitsky, and
Nikolai Khryakov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
* Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
' : X: Ii Site plan
Ink and colored ink on paper
29% x 3 1 Va" (74.5 x 79 cm)

: 3-. 13


w 120

114 Konstantin Melnikov, with, participation

of V. M. Lebedev, Nikolai Trankviiitsky, and
Nikolai Khryakov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Moscow, 1934
North elevation , , |C j . j T . ; , P J:
Ink on paper ha - 4
31% x 35V2"(80.5 x 90 cm)

115 Konstantin Melnikov, with participation

of V. M. Lebedev, Nikolai Trankviiitsky, and
Nikolai Khryakov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Elevation to Red Square P " A^
Ink and watercolor on paper
28% x 45%" (72 x 115 cm)

116 Konstantin Melnikov, with participation
of V. M. Lebedev, Nikolai Trankviiitsky, and
Nikolai Khryakov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Moscow, 1934
flPP 7. Perspective view into one of two entrances
from Red Square
Ink and watercolor on paper
58%x59%" (148 x 151 cm)


117 Ivan Leonidov

Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Elevational view from northwest corner of Red
Square, with round tower visible between the
other two
Ink, watercolor, and white ink on paper
25% x 54" (65 x 137 cm)

118 Ivan Leonidov

Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Elevation to Red Square
Ink, watercolor, white ink, and bronze
powder on paper
32V4x 55Vs"(82 x 141 cm)

119 Ivan Leonidov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
' Perspective looking north along Red Square
elevation toward Bolshoi Theater
Ink and watercolor on paper
69% x 461/2" (177.5x117.5 cm)
f w i r r-



>A V

120 Ivan Leonidov

Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Perspective sketch through cupolas of
St. Basil's Cathedral
Ink on paper on plywood
f 19% x 19%" (50 x 50 cm)
121 Ivan Leonidov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Perspective sketch with a view of the
Paper and ink on plywood
19% x 19%" (50 x 50 cm)
,}*:* v .

*.ia --|r4lt * 4*1 <W

h *"


122 Ivan Leonidov

Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Perspective through the main entrance arch
looking out across Red Square to the Lenin
Pastel on paper
22% x 14%" (57 x 37 cm)

123 Ivan Leonidov

Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
General plan
Ink, gouache, and white ink on doubled
tracing paper
1/e" 17% x 40 (45 x 102 cm)
124 Ivan Leonidov
Commissariat of Heavy Industry,
Narkom tiazhprom
Competition project, unexecuted
Moscow, 1934
Perspective detail looking up the rectangular
Ink, gouache, and white ink on paper
63% x 17%" (162 x 45 cm)
m 128

A History of the A. V. Shchusev State The A. V. Shchusev State Research Art." As a result, the Moscow Archae
Research Museum of Architecture Museum of Architecture in Moscow, ological Society, which had in its
established in 1933, was the first possession numerous architectural
museum in the world devoted solely to monuments, took the initiative in pro
architecture and has influenced the sub posing the creation of a museum of
sequent development of architectural architecture. In May 1918 the architec
museums in a number of other tural division of the Commission on
countries. the Preservation of Monuments of Art
and Antiquity of Moscow declared its
In Russia the idea of creating such a immediate goal "to create a grandiose
museum had been proposed at the end of museum a permanent exhibition, in
the nineteenth century, owing to the which the results of research on the
growth of interest in the country's cul monuments of the Moscow region would
tural and historic heritage and the be housed: paintings, prints, measured
increasing focus on architecture at drawings, photographs, models, casts,
artistic and industrial exhibitions. This etc. We need to create a new type of
was accompanied by more active profes museum in which people would be able
sional societies and a growing number to learn to comprehend the beauty of
of architectural competitions. At that architecture; we need to create pedes
time architectural material was col trian passageways, galleries, entire
lected primarily by the Academy of Arts, streets, where passers-by would sponta
the Imperial Hermitage, the Museum of neously come to appreciate the beauty of
Old Petersburg (created by the Society of the surrounding architectural riches in
Architects and Artists), and the Histor graphic and artistic works. A museum
ical and Polytechnical Museums, as well of Russian architectural art does not yet
as by state archives. exist. To create onethat is our immedi
ate duty."*
In early 1917, at the time of the Febru
ary Revolution, the Commission on
Cultural Affairs, headed by the writer
Maxim Gorky, published the famous
"Appeal for the Preservation of Works of

* Prom "The History of the Building of Soviet

Culture," Moscow, 1917-18, Iskusstvo (1964),
p. 155.

Efforts to achieve this goal were under Russian masters of the eighteenth and In the years preceding World War II the
taken in 1919 with the formation of an nineteenth centuries. With the inclusion museum organized a research expedi
organizational commission including of the collections of the Moscow tion that traced the development of
representatives of Narkompros (Na Archaeological Society (1909-17) and native Russian architecture from the
tional Ministry of Education) and the the Central State Restoration Studios, tenth century A.D. to Soviet times. It
Moscow Council, as well as the the museum was well on its way to then became obvious that the museum
establishment of a department of possessing the strongest and largest re should continue to grow by creating
architecture within the ministry. This source of measured drawings of affiliate branches, to be based on the re
new department, whose members in Russian architectural monuments. In construction and restoration of famous
cluded I. V. Zholtovsky (chairman), 1935 the museum was given the ensem architectural ensembles that were fall
A. V. Shchusev, 1. 1. Fiedler, and E. D. ble of buildings that made up the former ing into ruin.* During the war and in
Shorr, began work on the long-range or Don Monastery, itself an architectural the years thereafter, a museum expedi
ganization of a museum of architecture. monument of the sixteenth to nine tion traveled to Novgorod and was able
However, during the subsequent period teenth centuries. to ensure the preservation of the ruins
of the New Economic Program, when ex of the Church of Spasa-na-Nereditse.
penditures for culture were drastically From the outset, the museum was able This expedition also undertook the
cut, the museum project came to a to grow into an important research in inspection of other architectural monu
standstill. Only later, after the formation stitution as a result of the participation ments, resulting in their subsequent
of a single creative organization the of distinguished architects and scholars. reconstruction. Thereafter the amassing
Union of Architects of the USSRwas More than two hundred expeditions and scientific study of materials on Rus
the project revived. In 1933 the were organized throughout various sian architecture began to take on an
Museum of Architecture was established regions of the country, which helped entirely new, more significant meaning.
as part of the National Academy of further the growth of the collection.
Architecture. Upon the closing of the Central State In 1945 the decision was made to build
Restoration Studios in 1934, the mu a new, independent State Museum of
With significant help from the academy, seum became the sole organization in Russian Architecture, separate from the
the new museum assembled a collection the Soviet Union devoted to the preser one already in existence. The country
that included a large number of projects, vation and study of the country's estate Dom Talyzina, located on Kalinin
drawings, and prints from the State architectural heritage. Museum experts Prospect in the center of Moscow, was
Tretyakov Gallery, the State Historical measured and photographed numerous designated as the site of the new mu
Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the old architectural monuments, many of seum. A. V. Shchusev was appointed its
Hermitage, the State Russian Museum, which were torn down during the re first director. Upon his death in 1949,
and other museums in Leningrad, as construction of Moscow in the 1930s the museum was renamed in his honor.
well as from private collections. By 1935 and which now exist only as fragments.
the Museum of Architecture possessed a Among these were the Church of Christ
total of 16,000 works, among them the Our Savior, the Sukharev Tower, the Red
original projects of numerous major Gates, and the Church of the Assump * Reports of the Museum of Architecture, Issue
I. Moscow: Academy of Architecture of the
tion on the Pokrovka. USSR, 1940.

Following the closing of the National Of particular note among the museum's the V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko Music
Academy of Architecture, the Museum of resources is the collection of projects of Theater. In 1939 the museum acquired
Architecture and the A. V. Shchusev the Soviet avant-garde of the 1920s and all of the competition projects for the
State Museum of Russian Architecture '30s. More than five hundred architec People's Commissariat of Heavy
were united. Today the museum's re tural competitions were held in the Industry.
sources total approximately 700,000 USSR during that period, and materials
objects, including about 200,000 exam from the most prestigious of these com Important additions to the museum dur
ples of architectural graphic art, petitions form the core of this collection. ing the 1960s and '70s were the creative
thousands of decorative-applied art Beginning with the Palace of Labor com archives of major architects such as
works, unusual furniture, and more petition in Moscow, they became Shchusev, the Vesnin brothers, M. V
than 500,000 photographs and nega veritable proving grounds for original Ginzburg, Zholtovsky, Fomin, V. F.
tives of architectural monuments and concepts and ideas that fostered new Krinsky, and B. M. Iofan, which were
modern buildings. creative directions in Soviet architec donated either by the architects or their
ture. The ideas put forward by many of families. I. I. Leonidov's projects for the
The workshop-studios of prominent these architects influenced their col Palace of Culture were given to the mu
architects such as Shchusev, Melnikov, leagues within the Soviet Union as well seum by the architect N. B. Sokolov, who
Zholtovsky, and the Vesnin brothers as architects throughout the world. also donated his own project for a
have or will become affiliate branches of
health-resort hotel, which he had com
the museum. In cooperation with the Competitions were the meeting places at pleted in 1928 as a course assignment
Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which the new came face to face with while a student at the VKhUTEMAS. The
another of these branch museums is the old, where new types of buildings Moscow Architectural Institute donated
currently being organized to display the were formulated, such as "people's additional drawings by Krinsky, a gift
work of the noted Russian engineer houses" and workers' clubs. A search for that significantly augmented the mu
V. G. Shukov (18531939), who de the prototypical "socialist" architectural seum's existing material relating to his
signed many unique architectural con form was accomplished by means of pro work. As a result of these many contri
structions. His famous radio tower on jects for the Palace of Labor (1922-23), butions, the Shchusev Museum has
Shabolovka Street in Moscow will be the Palace of Soviets of the USSR become the central repository of
included in this museum, along with his (193133), and the People's Commissar original materials documenting the
industrial constructions built in other iat of Heavy Industry (193435). history of Soviet architecture.
Soviet cities. These will be dismantled
and relocated to the museum for exhibi In 1935 the museum acquired the first I. A. Kazus
tion. Yet another goal for future affiliate papers in this collection of Soviet avant- Acting Director
museums is the reconstruction of garde materials: the projects for the Pal A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum
groups of architectural ensembles from ace of Soviets competition, as well as of Architecture
different regions of the USSR. materials relating to other important
projects, notably the competition pro Translated from the Russian by
jects for the V I. Lenin Library and for Andrew Stivelman

Grigori Borisovich Barkhin Mikhail Grigorievich Barkhin

Born 1880 in Perm'; died 1969 in Born 1906 in Bobruisk, son of Grigori
Moscow Barkhin; died 1986 in Moscow

1901-08 1922-24
Studied at the Architecture School of the Studied at the Moscow Institute of Civil
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg under Engineering under P. Golosov and
Pomerantsev L. Vesnin

1909-14 From 1930

Assistant to R. Klein (Yusupov Tomb in Taught at the Moscow Architectural
Arkhangelsk; interiors of the Pushkin Institute
Museum of Fine Arts; Borodinsky Bridge Main works to 1935:
in Moscow)
From 1909 Joint projects in Ivanovo-Voznesensk and
Taught in Moscow Saki (with his father, G. Barkhin)

1928-30 1926-27
Editor-in-chief of the Annuals of the Mos Built the headquarters building for the
cow Architectural Society (MAO) newspaper Izvestiia in Moscow (with
G. Barkhin)
Main works to 1935:
1924-26 1929
Competition projects for a people's home Training center of the automobile factory
and a spinning mill for Ivanovo- in Gorky (prize-winning competition pro
Voznesensk (with M. Barkhin) ject with G. Barkhin, partially executed)

1926-27 1930-33
"Built,the headquarters for the newspaper Project for V. Meyerhold Theater in
Izvestiia in Moscow (with M. Barkhin) Moscow (with S. Vakhtangov)

Built a sanatorium in Saki, Crimea (with
M. Barkhin)

Competition projects for theaters in
Rostov-on-the-Don and Sverdlovsk; exten
sive town-planning work

Andrei Evgenievich Belogrud Main works to 1935: Ivan Alexandrovich Fomin

Throughout the 1920s
Born 1875 in Zhitomir; died 1933 in
Architectural fantasies and other graphic Born 1872 in Orel; died 1936 in Moscow
Gatchina (near Leningrad) work, published in his books Fundamen
tals of Contemporary Architecture (1930 1894-97 and 1905-09
and 1931), Construction of Architectural Studied at the Architecture School of the
Studied at the Architecture School of the and Machine Forms (1931), and Architec Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg under
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg under tural Fantasies: 101 Compositions (1933) L. Benois and V. Mate
L. Benois
Late 1920s 1900
1919-22 Chemical factories and metallurgical Assistant to Kekushev and Shekhtel in
Rector of the Free Artistic Studios plants in Kiev, Leningrad, Kutaisi, Moscow; contributor to the journal Mir
(Svomas) in Petrograd (from 1921, the Dnepropetrovsk, Minsk, Novosibirsk, and Iskusstv a (The World of Art)
Academy of Arts) other cities
Main works: 1919
1931-32 Headed the first Soviet Architectural and
Department store in Leningrad; chemical Planning Studio for the city of Petrograd
Built the Rozenshtein house and other plants in Novosibirsk and other cities
apartment buildings in Petrograd Main works:
191 1-14
1919 Built the Polovtsev and Abamelek-Lazarev
Competition project for a Workers' Palace Vladimir Ivanovich Fidman Houses; New Petersburg development et al
in Petrograd in St. Petersburg
Born 1884; died 1949
1923 1919
Competition project for the Palace of Labor 1910 Competition projects for the Workers'
in Moscow Graduated from the Architecture School of Palace and Crematorium in Petrograd
the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg
1924 1924
Competition project for the Anglo-Russian 1918 Competition projects for the Soviet pavil
Trading Company (ARCOS) building in Studied further under I. Zholtovsky at the ion at the 1925 Exposition des Arts
Moscow VKhUTEMAS in Moscow Decoratifs in Paris and the Sverdlov
monument in Moscow
1925 1919
Competition project for the Lenin House of Member of Zhivskulptarkh 1928-31
uildin the People, Ivanovo-Voznesensk Built the Dynamo company b and
1921 extension to the Mossoviet (Moscow Coun
Member of Inkhuk cil) complex in Moscow; project for the
lakov Georgievich Chernikhov building for the People's Commissariat of
1923 Transport and Communications in
Member of the Association of New Archi Moscow
Born 1899 in Pavlograd (now
tects (ASNOVA)
Dnepropetrovsk region); died 1951 in 1934
Main works to 1935:
Moscow Competition project for Narkomtiazhprom
1919 building, Red Square, in Moscow
1917 Competition project for the Moscow
Completed higher pedagogical courses at Crematorium (with Krinsky)
the Academy of Arts in Petrograd
1925 Daniil Fedorovich Fridman
1925 Competition projects for the Institute of
Graduated from the Architecture School of Mineral Raw Materials, Moscow (alone), Born 1887 in Odessa; died 1950 in
the Academy. Taught drawing at the and for the Republican Hospital in Sa Moscow
Leningrad Institute of Railway Engineers markand (with Fridman)
ting 1928 Studied at the Moscow School of P
Competition project for the Lenin Library Sculpture and Architecture
in Moscow (with Markov and Fridman)
1931 Taught at the VKhUTEMAS and the Mos
Competition project for the Palace of So cow Architectural Institute
viets, Moscow
Member of the Union of Architects and
Urbanists (ARU)
Main works to 1935: Main works to 1935: Moisei lakovlevich Ginzburg

191 1-12 1923

Born 1892 in Minsk; died 1946 in
Built several private houses in Moscow Projects for low-rise workers' housing in
Leningrad Moscow
Projects for commercial buildings in 1924 1914
Moscow, Nizhnyi Novgorod, and Orenburg Competition project for the Anglo-Russian Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts
Trading Company (ARCOS) building in in Milan
1921-22 Moscow
Built a workers' housing district in 1914-17
Tashkent 1925-27 Studied in the Architectural Division of
Built the Tractor Street housing district the Riga Polytechnical Institute in
1923 (with Nikolsky, Simonov, and Krichevsky) Moscow
Competition project for the Anglo-Russian and the Moscow- Narva district House of
Trading Company (ARCOS) building in Culture (with Krichevsky), both in From 1922
Moscow (with Eikhenvald) Leningrad Taught in the Architectural Faculty at the
Moscow Higher Technical College (MVTU)
1925 1927-29
Competition project for the Republican Built extensions to the Botkin Hospital, 1924
Hospital in Samarkand (with Fidman) Leningrad (with Krichevsky) Published Style and Epoch

1928 1925-26
Competition project for the Lenin Library One of the founders of the Constructivist
in Moscow (with Markov and Fidman) Vladimir Georgievich Gelfreikh architectural group, the Union of Contem
porary Architects (OSA), and an editor of
1931 Born 1885 in Petersburg; died 1967 in their journal, Sovremennaia arkhltektura
Competition project for the replanning of Moscow (Contemporary Architecture)
Moscow; project for Trubnaia Square in
Moscow (in an ARU team) 1906-14 1932
Studied at the Architecture School of the Elected to the Board of the Union of Soviet
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg under Architects
L. Benois Main works to 1935:
Alexander Ivanovich Gegello
Main works to 1935 (all with V. Shchuko): 1922-27
Born 1891 in Ekaterinoslav (now 1923-25 Numerous competition projects, including
Dneprpetrovsk); died 1965 in Moscow Built the Propylae (gatehouses) at the the Palace of Labor, Orgametal building,
Smolny Institute in Leningrad and the House of Textiles in Moscow
191 1-20
Studied architecture at the Institute of 1925 1928-30
Civil Engineers in St. Petersburg/Petrograd Built the Monument to Lenin at the Built the experimental housing complex
Finland Station in Leningrad for the People's Commissariat of Finance,
1918-22 Narkomfin, in Moscow (with I. Milinis)
Studied at the Painting School of the Acad 1928-52
emy of Arts in Petrograd under Bilibin Built the Lenin Library in Moscow 1928-31
et al Competition project for the government
1932 building in Alma-Ata (with I. Milinis)
1915-18 Competition projects for the Palace of (executed)
During studies worked as an architectural Soviets in Moscow, and from 1933,
assistant to Fomin assistant to B. Iofan on the final project 1931-32
designs Competition projects for the Palace of
1924-31 Soviets in Moscow (with S. Lisagor and
Taught at the Second Polytechnical Insti G. Gassenpflug)
tute and the Institute of Communal
Construction in Leningrad 1933
Competition project for the Nemirovich-
Danchenko Theater in Moscow (with
G. Gassenpflug)

Competition project for the Narkom-
tiazhprom building, Red Square, in

Ilia Alexandrovich Golosov Main works to 1935: Boris Mikhailovich loffan

Born 1883 in Moscow; died 1945 in
Worked under Shchusev and Zholtovsky on Born 1891 in Odessa; died 1976 in
Moscow city planning Moscow
1912 1923 1903-1 1
Graduated from the Moscow School of Series of pavilions for the All-Russian Studied painting and sculpture at the
Painting, Sculpture and Architecture Agricultural and Handicraft Industries Odessa Arts School
Exhibition in Moscow
From 1919
Taught at the Moscow Higher Technical 1930-34 Studied architecture at the Higher Insti
College (MVTU), then at the VKhUTEMAS Built the headquarters and printing works tute of Fine Arts and at the Higher School
and at the Moscow Architectural Institute of the newspaper Pravda in Moscow of Engineering in Rome; was an assistant
Member of the Union of Contemporary to the architect Brazini
Architects (OSA)
Main works to 1935:
Main works to 1935: Georgi Pavlovich Golts
1923 Built several private houses in the suburbs
Competition project for the Palace of Labor Born 1893 in Bolshevo near Moscow; of Rome; Ambroggia Chapel at the San
in Moscow; built Far Eastern Pavilion at died 1946 in Moscow Lorenzo Cemetery in Rome
the All-Russian Agricultural and Hand
icraft Industries Exhibition in Moscow 1913-15 1925
Studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Competition project for workers' housing
1924 Sculpture and Architecture on Rusakovskaia Street in Moscow
Competition projects for the Soviet pavil (executed)
ion at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs 1919
in Paris, 1925; the Leningrad Pravda build After war service resumed study, in the 1928-31
ing in Moscow; the Lenin House of the VKhUTEMAS under Ladovsky Built housing and amenities complex for
People in Ivanovo-Voznesensk Communist Party officials on Serafimovich
1922 Street in Moscow (with D. M. Iofan)
1926 Graduation project won him a trip to Italy
Zuev Workers' Club in Moscow (executed); 1931-33
competition projects for the Central Tele From 1926 Winning entry in the Palace of Soviets
graph and Electrobank buildings in Member of the Moscow Architectural competition in Moscow, progressed to
Moscow Society (MAO) working drawings with Shchuko, Gelfreikh
Main works to 1935: et al thereafter (begun, not completed)

1928 Participated in the design and construc
Project for communal housing in tion of the All-Russian Agricultural and Alexander lakovlevich Karra
Stalingrad Handicraft Industries Exhibition in
Moscow Born 1904; died 1944
Competition project for the Palace of So Member of the Association of New Archi
viets in Moscow tects (ASNOVA) and, after its formation in
Worked in collaboration with Zholtovsky,
1929, of the Proletarian Architects' Organ
particularly on industrial projects
ization (VOPRA)
1930 Main works to 1935:
Panteleimon Alexandrovich Golosov
Competition project for the Palace of Cul 1931
ture of the Proletarsky district in Moscow
Born 1882 in Moscow; died 1945 in Competition projects for the first stage of
(MAO team with Parusnikov and Sobolev)
Moscow the Palace of Soviets in Moscow (as part of
the team of VOPRA architects under
191 1
ALabian) and for the second stage
Competition project for the Palace of
Graduated from the Moscow School of Soviets in Moscow
Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
From 1918
Competition project for a Palace of Labor
Project for reconstruction of the Kamernyi
in Moscow (with Lamtsov and Egorychev)
Taught at the State Free Artistic Studios Theater in Moscow
(Svomas) and subsequently at the
VKhUTEMAS and the Moscow Architec
tural Institute
Member of the Union of Contemporary
Architects (OSA)

Vladimir Fedorovich Krinsky Georgi Tikhonovich Krutikov

Nikolai lakovlevich Kolli

Born 1894 in Moscow; died 1966 in Born 1890 in Riazan; died 1971 in Born 1899 in Voronezh; died 1958 in

Moscow Moscow Moscow

1910-17 1922-28
Graduated from the VKhUTEMAS in Studied at the Architecture School of the Studied at the VKhUTEMAS
Moscow Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg Member of the Association of Hew Archi
tects (ASHOVA) and the Association of
Main works to 1935: 1919 Architects and Urbanists (ARU)
Member of the Zhivskulptarkh group
1918 Main works to 1935:
Participated in the decoration of Moscow 1920-30 1928
for the first anniversary of the Revolution, Taught at the VKhUTEMAS (one of the Graduation project for a "Flying City"
designing a symbolic construction, The directors of the basic course)
Red Wedge, for Revolution Square
From 1921 Competition project for a Palace of Culture
1923 Member of the Institute of Artistic Culture in the Proletarsky district in Moscow (in
Worked on pavilions for the All-Russian (Inkhuk) in Moscow an ARU team)
Agricultural and Handicraft Industries
Exhibition in Moscow From 1930 1930
Taught at the Moscow Architectural Competition project for a socialist city and
Institute for the Avtostroi automobile building com
Participated in the planning for the
One of the founders of the Association of bine in Hizhnyi Hovogorod (with Lavrov
Dneproges (Dnepr Hydroelectric Station),
Hew Architects (ASHOVA) and Popov)
under the direction of V. Vesnin
Main works to 1935: 1931
Competition project for the Palace of
As executive architect in Moscow for the
Competition project for a crematorium in Soviets in Moscow (in an ARU team)
construction of Le Corbusier's
Tsentrosoyuz building, worked in his Paris Moscow (with Fidman)
office, 1928-29, and supervised the project
Competition project for the Hemirovich-
until completion
Experimental research projects: "Color Danchenko Music Theater in Moscow
and Form," "Color and Spatial Composi (partially executed)
tion," "Color and Graphic Composition";
Lidia Konslanlinovna Komarova skyscraper project for Vesenkha head
quarters on Lubianskaia Square (now Nikolai Alexandrovich Ladovsky
Born 1902 in Ivanovo-Voznesensk Dzerzhinsky Square) in Moscow
Born 1881 in Moscow; died 1941 in
1922-29 1923-24
Studied at the VKhUTEMAS under Competition projects for the Palace of Moscow
H. Ladovsky and later A. Vesnin Labor and the building for the Anglo-
Russian Trading Company (ARCOS) in 1914-17
1929-30 Moscow; project for the Lenin House of the Studied at the Moscow School of Painting,
Member of the editorial board of the jour People in Ivanovo-Voznesensk; the Lenin Sculpture and Architecture
nal, Sovremennaia arkhitektura Mausoleum
(Contemporary Architecture) 1919
1931 Member of the Zhivskulptarkh group
Member of the Union of Contemporary
Project for the Palace of Soviets in Moscow
Architects (OSA) From 1920
Main works to 1935: Taught at the VKhUTEMAS (one of the
directors of the basic course)
Graduation project for the Comintern From 1921
building in Moscow Member of the Institute of Artistic Culture
(Inkhuk) in Moscow
Competition project for the Palace of 1923
Soviets in Moscow (with I. Vainshtein and Principal theorist of the Rationalist
Iu. Mushinksy) approach and one of the founders of the
Association of Hew Architects (ASHOVA).
1932 Editor, with El Lissitzky, of their journal,
Competition project with other Construc- Izvestiia ASNOVA (ASHOVA Hews), 1926
tivists for a cultural, residential, and
sports complex, Krasnaia Presnia district,
in Moscow
1928 1924 Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov
Founder of the Union of Architects and Red Stadium project in the Vorobev Moun
Urbanists (ARU) tains in Moscow (part of a team of Born 1890 in Moscow; died 1976 in
VKhUTEMASstudents); awarded a Grand
1932 Moscow
Prix at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs
Elected to the Board of the Union of Soviet in Paris, 1925
Architects 1905-17
ain 1926 Studied at the Moscow School of P
Main works to 1935: Sculpture and Architecture
Sports club Krasnye Khamovniki in
Moscow (project with V. Petrov; partially
Experimental projects of dynamic executed) 1918-20
compositions Worked in the planning studio of the
Moscow Council (Mossoviet) under
1929-30 Zholtovsky and Shchusev
Project for the layout of a labor commune Ivan llich Leonidov
in the settlement of Kostino; "Parabola" 1921-23
project for the reconstruction of Moscow; Born 1902 in Babino (now Kalinin Taught at the VKhUTEMAS
competition project for the "Green City" region); died 1959 in Moscow Main works to 1935:
near Moscow
1931 Competition projects for workers' housing
Studied at the VKhUTEMASunder and for the Palace of Labor in Moscow
Competition projects for the Palace of
A. Vesnin and continued to teach there un
Soviets in Moscow
til 1930. Member of the Union of 1923
Contemporary Architects (ISA) and the
Built the Makhorka Pavilion for the All-
editorial board of the journal Sovremen-
Russian Agricultural and Handicraft
Ivan Vasilevich Lamtsov naia arkhitektura (Contemporary
Industries Exhibition in Moscow
Born 1899 in Filippovichi (now Riazan Main works to 1935: 1924-25
region) 1926
Competition projects for the Moscow bu
Student project for the headquarters and reau of the newspaper Leningrad Pravda;
printing works of the newspaper Izvestiia for the USSR Pavilion of the Exposition des
Studied at the Moscow School of Painting, in Moscow Arts Decoratifs in Paris, 1925 (executed)
Sculpture and Architecture
1926 Built the Rusakov Club, the Kauchuk (Rub
Graduation project for the Lenin Institute
Graduated from the VKhUTEMAS; contin ber) Factory Club, the Gorky Palace of
of Librarianship in the Lenin Hills in
ued as a teacher there and later at the Moscow Culture, the Burevesnik Factory Club in
Moscow Architectural Institute Moscow, three bus garages, and his own
private house in Moscow
Member of the Association of New Archi
tects (ASNOVA) Experimental project for a Workers' Club of 1932
New Social Type
Main works of the 1920s: Competition project for the Palace of
Soviets in Moscow (ignored by jury)
VKhUTEMASassignments on the Competition projects for a film factory,
manifestations of dynamics, rhythm, industrial headquarters building, and the
Competition project for the Narkom-
relationships, and proportions (under Tsentrosoyuz building in Moscow
tiazhprom building, Red Square, in
N. Ladovsky) Moscow
1923 Competition projects for the Palace of
Contributed to the All-Russian Agricultu Culture of the Proletarsky district of Mos
ral and Handicraft Industries Exhibition cow, and for the workers' settlement at the
in Moscow Magnitogorsk industrial combine

Competition project for the Narkom-
tiazhprom building, Red Square, in

Mikhail Adolfovich Minkus Mikhail Ivanovich Motylev Vladimir Alexeevich Shchuko

Born 1905 in Odessa; died 1963 in Born 1891 in Moscow; died 1969 Born 1878 in Berlin; died 1939 in
Turku (Finland) Moscow
1!91 6
Graduated from the Moscow School of 1896-1904
Studied in the Architecture Faculty of the Painting, Sculpture and Architecture Studied in the Architecture School of the
Odessa Arts School while working as assis Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg
tant to his father, A. Minkus
Graduated from the Painting School of the 1905-07
Academy of Arts in Petrograd. Worked in Traveled to Turkey, Greece, and Italy. Took
Studied in the Architecture School of the the architectural offices of Pomerantsev part in exhibitions of The World of Art
Academy of Arts, Leningrad, also working and Shchusev group
for Fomin and Shchuko
From 1934 1908-1 1
Taught in the Moscow Architectural Set designer at the Old Theater in St.
From 1930
Worked in Moscow Institute Petersburg

Member of Moscow Architectural Society Main works to 1935:

191 1
(MAO) 1926-27 Architect of the Russian pavilions at inter
Built workers' housing complexes on national exhibitions in Paris and Rome.
Main works to 1935:
Rusakovskaia, Dubrovskaia, Boevskaia, Made Academician
1923 Novo-Riazanskaia streets and other sites
Competition project for the Palace of Labor Main works to 1935:
in Moscow (in a municipal design team)
in Moscow (with A. Minkus) 1914
1929 Built the Memorial Hall at the Academy of
1924 Built a communal housing development on Arts in Petrograd
Competition project for the Anglo-Russian Liusinovskaia Street in Moscow
Trading Company (ARCOS) building in 1917-20
Moscow (with A. Minkus) 1929-33 Participated in mass-propaganda work,
Built the Bolshaia Dangerovka housing including a Monument to Heroes of the
1926 district in Moscow (in a design team) Revolution in Helsinki and the decoration
Competition project for the House of of Petrograd during the festivals commem
Textiles in Moscow (with A. Minkus) orating the Revolution

1928 Leonid Nikolaevich Pavlov 1918

Pre-graduation project for a bus garage Active member of the Architectural Sub
Born 1909 in Manglis, Georgia section of IZO, the arts administration of
1928-29 the Commissariat of Enlightenment
Built the Kiev state shoe factory (with 1930
A. Minkus) Graduated from the VKhUTEMAS, where From 1919
he studied under V. Vesnin and Leonidov; Director of the architecture studio at the
1931 continued to teach there through change State Free Studios (Svomas) in Petrograd
Various projects for bus and car garages to Moscow Architectural Institute in 1934
Student member of the Constructivist 1923
1934 Built the Foreign Section Pavilions at the
architects' group, OSA (from May 1930:
Competition project for the Narkom- Ail-Russian Agricultural and Handicraft
tiazhprom building, Red Square, in SASS)
Industries Exhibition in Moscow
Moscow (in Fomin's team) Main works to 1935:
Project for an intercollegiate design com Built the monument to Lenin at the Fin
petition for a student housing commune in land Station in Leningrad (with Gelfreikh)
Leningrad; student project done in
Leonidov's studio (with N. Pavlov) 1928
First project for the Lenin State Library of
the USSR in Moscow (with Gelfreikh;
Series of projects for rebuilding Moscow executed)
squares (in an OSASASS team)
Competition projects for the Palace of
Competition projects for the Palace of Soviets in Moscow (with Gelfreikh). From
Soviets in Moscow (member of two SASS 1933, deputy project director to B. Iofan
teams) on the final designs


Alexei Viktorovich Shchusev Nikolai Borisovich Sokolov 1919-20

Set designer for the Maly Theater in
Born 1873 in Kishinev; died 1949 in Born 1904 in St. Petersburg Moscow
1925-30 From 1921
1891-97 Studied at the VKhUTEMAS, latterly under Member of the Institute of Artistic Culture
Studied in the Architecture School of the A. Vesnin (Inkhuk) in Moscow
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg
Member of the Constructivists' architec 1921
tural group, OSA
1920 Participated in the "5x5 = 25"
Taught at the VKhUTEMAS Main works to 1935: exhibition of Constructivist artists
From 1921 1921-23
Student project for a health-resort hotel
President of the Moscow Architectural Set designer for the Kamernyi (Chamber)
Society (MAO) Theater in Moscow, including pioneering
Constructivist designs such as those for
1926-29 Competition project for workers' settle
G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was
ment at the Magnitogorsk industrial
Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery Thursday, exhibited at the Exposition des
combine (in an OSA team)
Main works to 1935: Arts Decoratifs, Paris, 1925, winning
"honorable mention"
Project for the planning of Chardzhui (in a
Church restoration projects; Marfo- 1921-25
Marinsky Church in Moscow and private Taught at the VKhUTEMAS in Moscow
houses built
From 1925
191 1 The Vesnin Brothers Co-chairman with M. Ginzburg of the Con
Design for the Kazan Station in Moscow structivist architects' group, the Union of
(building continued until 1941) Contemporary Architects (OSA); from
Alexander Alexandrovich Vesnin
1926, co-editor with Ginzburg of their
1913-14 journal, Sovremennaia arkhitektura (Con
Russian Pavilion at the international Born 1883 in Yurevets; died 1959 in temporary Architecture)
exhibition in Venice Moscow

1923 1907-1 1
With Zholtovsky planned and supervised Studied painting in the studios of Leonid Alexandrovich Vesnin
the Ail-Russian Agricultural and Handi Tsionglinsky and Yuon
craft Industries Exhibition in Moscow Born 1880 in Yurevets; died 1933 in
1903-12 Moscow
1924 Studied architecture at the Institute of
First temporary mausoleum for Lenin on Civil Engineering in St. Petersburg 1900-09
Red Square in Moscow Studied in the Architecture School of the
191 1 Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg under
1925 First exhibited as a painter L. Benois
Competition project for the Central Tele
graph building in Moscow 1912-13 From 1923
Shared a studio with V. Tatlin in Moscow Professor at the Moscow Higher Technical
1926-30 College (MVTU)
Final design and building of the Lenin 1918
Mausoleum Decorated Red Square for May 1 festivities From 1925
(with V Vesnin) Member of the Union of Contemporary
1927-28 Architects (OSA)
Built the Novaia Matsesta sanatorium in
Sochi Main individual works:
1928-33 Shatursk electric power station and
Built the Agricultural Commissariat head related housing
quarters, Narkomzen, in Moscow
1929-30 Design and construction of a series of
Project for the Government Center in workers' settlements

Competition projects for the Palace of
Soviets in Moscow
Viktor Alexandrovich Vesnin Main Architectural Works Done by A., L., Ivan Vladislavovich Zholtovsky
and V. Vesnin Together, to 1935:
Born 1882 in Yurevets; died 1933 in Born 1867 in Pinsk (near Brest); died
Moscow In the offices of older architects, built vari 1959 in Moscow
ous commercial and banking buildings in
Moscow; facade of the Central Post Office 1887-98
Studied architecture at the Institute of Studied in the Architecture School of the
Civil Engineering in St. Petersburg 1914 Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg
Built a house for D. Sorotkin, Nizhnyi
1906-09 Novgorod From 1900
Worked in the Moscow architectural Member of Moscow Architectural Society
offices of Ivanov-Shits and R. Klein 1923 (MAO)
Competition project for the Palace of Labor
1913-14 in Moscow 1900-32
Spent in Italy Taught in the Stroganov Arts and Crafts
1924 School, continuing when it became part of
1918 Competition projects for the Moscow bu the VKhUTEMAS
Decorated Red Square for May 1 celebra reau of the newspaper Leningrad Pravda
tion (with A. Vesnin) (A. and V. Vesnin only) and the Anglo- 1932
Russian Trading Company (ARCOS) build Elected to the Board of the Union of Soviet
From 1923 ing in Moscow Architects
Professor at both the Moscow Higher Main works to 1935:
Technical College (MVTU) and the 1927
VKhUTEMAS Built the Mostorg department store, 1903-05
Krasnaia Presnia, in Moscow (A. and L. Built the clubhouse of the Horse Racing
From 1925 Vesnin only) Club, Moscow
Member of the Union of Contemporary
Architects (OSA) 1928-29 1909-10
A series of commissioned projects for the Built the mansion of G. Tarasov in Moscow
1932 Lenin Library in Moscow
Elected to the Board of the Union of Soviet 191 1-12
1931-37 Built a textile factory in Kostroma region
Commissioned design, partly executed, for
Main individual works to 1935: the Palace of Culture of the Proletarsky 1923
district in Moscow With Shchusev, planned and supervised
Built chemical plants in Tambov province the Ail-Russian Agricultural and Handi
1932-33 craft Industries Exhibition in Moscow;
and near Kineshma
Competition projects for the Palace of built several pavilions
1918-19 Soviets in Moscow
Built the Chernorechensky super
phosphate factory in Rastiapik and a 1934 Built the Soviet pavilion at the Milan
Competition projects for the Narkom- international exhibition, visiting Italy
chemical factory in Saratov
tiazhprom building, Red Square, in
Moscow 1927-28
Built the generator building of the Moscow
Built the Institute of Mineral Raw
Central Power Station (MOGES)
Materials in Moscow
Built the Agricultural Bank building, Competition projects for the Palace of
Ivselbank, in Ivanovo-Voznesensk Soviets in Moscow

Built, the apartment building "on the
Mokhovaia" in Moscow

Selected Bibliography General Studies of Arts and Culture Khan-Magomedov, S. 0. Pioneers of Soviet Archi
of the Period tecture. London: Thames & Hudson, 1987.
Compiled by Catherine Cooke
Kopp, Anatole. Town and Revolution. Soviet
Elliott, David. New Worlds: Russian Art and Architecture and City Planning 1917-35.
Society 19001937. New York: Rizzoli, 1986. London: Thames & Hudson, 1970. Originally
Fauchereau, Serge, ed. Moscow 1900-1930: published as Ville et revolution, Architecture et
Collected Essays. New York: Rizzoli, 1988. urbanisme sovietique des annees vingt. Paris:
Ed. Anthropos, 1967.
Fiilop-Miller, Rene. The Mind and Face of
Bolshevism: An Examination of Cultural Life in Lissitzky, El. Russia: An Architecture for World
Soviet Russia. London and New York: G. P. Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1970.
Putnam, 1927, republished New York, 1962. Originally published as Russland. Die Re-
konstruktion der Architektur in der Sowjet-
union. Vienna: Ed von Anton Schroll, 1930.
Quilici, Vieri. Architettura sovietica contempo-
Bibliographies (Materials in Russian ranea. Capelli: Ed. Roca san Casciano, 1965.
and Western Languages) Shvidkovsky, 0. A., ed. Building in the USSR,
19171932. Articles on individual architects
Senkevitch, Anatole. Soviet Architecture and related material by Khan-Magomedov,
19171962: A Bibliographical Guide to Source Khazanova, Rakitin, Chiniakov, Gerchuk,
Material. Charlottesville: University Press of Barkhin, Kyrilov, Belousov. New York: Praeger,
Virginia, 1974. 1971. First published as special issue of Archi
tectural Design (London) (February 1970).
Starr, S. Frederick. "Writings of the 1960s on
the Modern Movement in Russia." Journal of
the Society of Architectural Historians (Sum
mer 1971): 170-78.
Contemporaneous Writings
in Western Languages

Exhibition Catalogues "Architektur Russlands." ABC (Zurich-Basel),

nos. 3-4 (1925): 1-2.
Architettura nel paese dei Soviet 191 7-1933. "Architecture moderne et le probleme de l'hab-
Milan: Electa, 1982. itation en URSS." LArchitecture d'aujourd'hui,
Barron, Stephanie, and Tuchman, Maurice, eds. no. 8 (1931): 11-16.
The Avant-Garde in Russia 1910-1930: New Auffray, Pierre. "Architecture Sovietique."
Perspectives. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, Cahiers d'art (June 1926): 103-8.
Badovici, Jean. "Le Moment architectural en
Paris Moscou 19001930. Articles by French URSS." LArchitecture vivante (Autumn-Winter
and Soviet historians. Paris: Centre Georges 1930): 5-50.
Pompidou, 1979.
Barr, Alfred H., Jr. "Russian Diary" (of a trip in
192728). In Defining Modern Art. Selected
Writings of Alfred H. Barr, Jr., eds. I. Sandler
General Studies of the Architecture and A. Newman, 10337. New York: Harry N.
Abrams, 1986.
of the Soviet Avant-Garde
Barr, Alfred H., Jr. "Notes on Russian architec
ture." The Arts (New York), no. 1 (February
Cohen, Jean-Louis, de Michelis, M., and Tafuri,
1929): 99-105.
M., eds. Les Avant-Gardes et l'Etat: URSS
1917-1978. Articles by Tafuri, de Michelis, Das neue Frankfurt (Frankfurt), nos. 6, 7
Cohen, Cooke, Khan-Magomedov, Khlebnikov, (1931).
Gorvich, Borngraber, Kopp, Quilici, and Gutnov.
Drubkin, A. L. "American architects and engi
Paris: Ed. l'Equerre, 1979. Parallel texts in
French and Italian. neers in Russia." Pencil Points (June 1930):
Cooke, Catherine. What Is Russian Avant-Garde
Hegman, Werner. "Lenin-ehrung: Auditorium,
Architecture? London: Academy Editions; New
York: St. Martin's Press, forthcoming 1990. Gluhbirne Oder Luftballoon?" Wasmuths Mon-
atshefte fur Baukunst, vol. 13 (1929): 129-32.
De Feo, Vittorio. URSS architettura 1917-1936.
Rome: Editore Reuniti, 1963. Ilyine, M. "LArchitecture moderne en URSS."
LArchitecture d'aujourd'hui, no. 3 (1931): 126.
Frampton, Kenneth. "The New Collectivity: Art
and Architecture in the Soviet Union 1918-32." Ilyine, M. "Le Corbusianisme en URSS." LArchi
tecture d'aujourd'hui, no. 6 (1931): 59-61.
Chapter 19 in Modern Architecture: A Critical
History. London: Thames & Hudson, 1980. Ilyine, M. "LArchitecture du club ouvrier en
URSS," LArchitecture d'aujourd'hui, no. 8
Ikonnikov, Andrei. Russian Architecture of the
(1931): 17-19.
Soviet Period, 75169. London: Collet's; Mos
cow: Raduga, 1988. "Les Dernieres realisations architecturales en
Russie." Cahiers d'art, no. 1 (1919): 46-50.
Lubetkin, Berthold. "The builders, 1: Architec
tural thought since the Revolution."
Architectural Review (London) (May 1932):

Wright, Frank Lloyd. "Architecture and life in Vesnin Brothers

Mendelsohn, Erich. Russland, Europa, Amerika:
ein architektonischer Querschnitt. Berlin: the USSR." Architectural Record (October
1937): 58-63. Arkkitehtuurin Vallankumous-Revolution in
Ed. Buchverlag, 1929; republished 1989.
Architecture. Catalogue of an exhibition on the
Seidenberg, Roderick. "Symmetry and ornament Vesnin brothers. Helsinki: Museum of Finnish
discarded as Russia cast off the past." American Architecture, 1985.
Architect (December 1930): 4849, 72, 74.
Studies on Individual Architects Khan-Magomedov, S. 0. Alexander Vesnin and
Voyce, Arthur. "Contemporary Soviet Architec Constructivist Architecture. New York: Rizzoli,
ture." American Magazine of Art (September 1986.
1935): 527-35.

Various Architects
Translated Russian Architectural Texts Cooke, Catherine. Chernikhov: Fantasy and Con
struction. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.
of the Twenties Shvidkovsky, 0. A., ed. Building in the USSR
Cooke, Catherine, and Chernikhov, Andrei. 1917-1932. Articles by various Soviet authors
Chernikhov, Iakov. The Construction of Archi Russian Constructivism and Iakov Chernikhov. on El Lissitzky, the Vesnin brothers, Melnikov,
tectural and Machine Forms (Konstruktsiia New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. Ladovsky, Barkhin, Ginzburg, Barshch, the
arkhitekturnikh i mashinnykh form). Golosov brothers, Burov, Leonidov. New York:
Leningrad, 1931. Translated with introduction Praeger, 1971.
by Catherine Cooke. In C. Cooke, Chernikhov:
Fantasy and Construction. New York: St. Ginzburg
Martin's Press, 1984.
Khan-Magomedov, S. O. Moisej Ginzburg. Preface Rationalism
Ginzburg, Moisei. Style and Epoch (Stil i
by V. Quilici. Milan: Franco Angeli Editore,
Epokha). Moscow, 1924. Translated with intro
1975. Bliznakov, Milka. "The Rationalist movement in
duction by Anatole Senkevitch. Cambridge,
Soviet architecture in the 1920s." 20th Century
Mass.: Oppositions/MIT Press, 1982.
Studies, no. 7-8 (December 1972): 147-61.
Kopp, Anatole, ed. Architecture et mode de vie:
Senkevitch, Anatole. "Aspects of spatial form
Textes des annees SO en URSS. Presses Univer- Ladovsky and perceptual psychology in Soviet architec
sitaires de Grenoble, 1979. ture of the 1920s." VIA-6 (Cambridge, Mass.)
Miliutin, Nikolai A. Sotsgorod: The Problem of Khan-Magomedov, S. 0. "Nikolaj Ladovskij: an (1983): 79-115.
Building Socialist Cities (Sotsgorod: problema ideology of rationalism." Lotus International
stroitel'stva sotsialisticheskikh gorodov). (Venice) (September 1978): 104-26.
Moscow- Leningrad, 1931. Translated by
Arthur Sprague, with introduction by George Constructivism
Collins. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1974.
Le Corbusier Cooke, Catherine. "The development of the Con
structivist architects' design method." In
Cohen, Jean-Louis. Le Corbusier et la mystique Deconstruction, eds. A. Papadakis, C. Cooke, and
Architectural Changes of the de l'URSS: theories et projets pour Moscou A. Benjamin, 21-37. Omnibus Volume. New
1928-1936. Paris: Pierre Mardaga Editeur, York: Rizzoli, 1989, (a version of "Form is a
Early Thirties
1987. function, x," Architectural Design [London],
Bardi, P. M. "La soi-disant architecture russe." no. 5/6 [1983]: 34-49).
L'Architecture d'a ujourd'hui, no. 8 (1932): Kopp, Anatole. Constructivist Architecture in
73-74. the USSR. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985.
Borngraber, Christian. "Constructivistes et aca- Quilici, Vieri. L'architettura del costruttivismo.
demistes dans le Metro de Moscou au milieu des Cooke, Catherine. "Ivan Leonidov: Vision and Laterza: Ed Bari, 1969.
annees trente." In Cohen, de Michelis, and historicism." Architectural Design (London),
Tafuri, eds., Les Avant-Cardes et l'Etat: URSS no. 9 (1986): 12-21.
1917-78, 300-15.
Gozak, A., and Leonidov, A., with Cooke, C., ed.
Breines, Simon. "First Congress of Soviet Archi First Modern Architecture Exhibition,
Ivan Leonidov: The Complete Works. New York:
tects." Architectural Record (October 1937): Rizzoli, 1987. 1927
63-65, 94, 96.
Cunliffe, Antonia. "The competition for the Kokkinaki, Irina. "The first exhibition of
Palace of Soviets in Moscow, 1931-1933." modern architecture in Moscow." In Russian
Architectural Association Quarterly (London), Lissitzky Avant-Garde Art and Architecture, ed. C. Cooke,
vol. 11, no. 2 (1979): 36-48. 50-59. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983.

Khan-Magomedov, S. 0. "La recherche d'un 'style Lissitzky-Kvippers, Sophie. El Lissitzky: Life,

national': l'exemple de l'Armenie." In Cohen, de Letters, Texts. London: Thames & Hudson,
Michelis, and Tafuri, eds., Les Avant-gardes et 1968.
l'Etat: URSS 1917-78, 286-99. Architectural Guide
Kopp, Anatole. L'Architecture de la periode Cooke, Catherine. "Moscow Map Guide 1900-
Stalinienne. Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 1930." In Russian Avant-Garde Art and Archi
1978. tecture, op. cit., and Architectural Design
"Palace of the Soviets, Moscow." Architectural Starr, S. Frederick. Melnikov: Solo Architect (London) no. 5/6 (1983): 8196.
Review (London) (May 1932): 196200. in a Mass Society. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton
University Press, 1978.
Samona, Alberto. II Palazzo dei Soviet
1931-1933. Rome: Officina Edizioni, 1976. Cooke, Catherine. "Melnikov and the Construc-
tivists: two approaches to construction in
Woznicki, S. T. "USSR On the problems of
avant-garde architecture." In Russian Avant-
architecture." T-square (November 1932):
Garde Art and Architecture, ed. C. Cooke,
80-83. 60-63. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983.

Trustees of The Museum of Modern Art

William S. Paley Frederick M. Alger III *Trustee Emeritus

Chairman Emeritus Lily Auchincloss **Honorary Trustee
Edward Larrabee Barnes
Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Ex Officio Trustee
Celeste G. Bartos
President Emeritus
Sid R. Bass Joann K. Phillips
David Rockefeller H.R.H. Prinz Franz von Bayern* * President of
Chairman of the Board Gordon Bunshaft The International Council
Mrs. Henry Ives Cobb Thomas S. Carroll*
Gifford Phillips Marshall S. Cogan
Vice Chairmen Robert R. Douglass
Gianluigi Gabetti
Donald B. Marron
Lillian Gish* *
Paul Gottlieb
Mrs. Frank Y. Larkin Mrs. Melville Wakeman Hall
Executive Vice President George Heard Hamilton*
Agnes Gund Barbara Jakobson
Ronald S. Lauder Philip Johnson
Vice Presidents John L. Loeb*
Mrs. John L. Marion
John Parkinson III
Robert B. Menschel
Vice President and Treasurer
Dorothy C. Miller**
J. Irwin Miller*
S. I. Newhouse, Jr.
Philip S. Niarchos
James G. Niven
Richard E. Oldenburg
Peter G. Peterson
John Rewald**
David Rockefeller, Jr.
Rodman C. Rockefeller
Richard E. Salomon
Mrs. Wolfgang Schoenborn*
Mrs. Bertram Smith
Jerry I. Speyer
Mrs. Alfred R. Stern
Mrs. Donald B. Straus
Robert L. B. Tobin
E. Thomas Williams, Jr.
Richard S. Zeisler
TheMuseumof ModernArt


Front cover: Ivan Leonidov, Palace of Culture of the

Proletarsky District of Moscow. Center for Physical
Education, 1930

The Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53 Street
New York, N.Y. 10019

Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

100 Fifth Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10011