A guide to the main buildings in the city
Soviet architects looked for fundamentally new approaches to the construction of buildings. They wanted a new architecture to mark a new era in human history. Many of their buildings were not based on classical methods and therefore looked bold, unusual and monumental. Even now, constructivist architecture largely defines the appearance of Moscow. QR Media selected the most important buildings of this style in Moscow.
This broadcasting tower, designed by Vladimir Shukhov, was built from 1920 to 1922. The unique method developed by Shukhov helped minimize the use of metal in construction, which made the tower both light and durable. In fact, it is so durable that it did not require any sort of large-scale repair work for almost 90 years. In 2002, the building ceased to function as a radio and TV broadcasting tower. Today it serves merely as a monument to early Soviet constructivism.
The single-dwelling house was built from 1927 to 1929. The architect Konstantin Melnikov was given a piece of land in central Moscow in order to build a house for himself and his family. Authorities funded the construction and wanted the building to be an example of progressive Soviet architecture, which it indeed became. The cylindrical shape of the building maximised the house’s inner living space, while a large number of windows both filled it with light and saved money on materials. Melnikov’s relatives still live in the house.
Krivoarbatsky pereulok, 10
Rusakov Workers’ Club
This building was also designed by Melnikov, but served a completely different purpose. Clubs were a part of Soviet programme to educate the working class and hosted lectures, music and sport events. Most of the inner space of the building is occupied by a large lecture hall. A system of moveable partitions can divide the hall into several smaller ones, thereby increasing the functionality of the building.
Bread Factory №9
Built in 1934, the factory used a progressive circular baking technology developed by an engineer Georgy Marsakov. That is why the building is round in shape: its appearance was intertwined with the factory’s function, a common thread in Soviet constructivism. The building served as a bread factory until 2015, when it was closed for reconstruction. After some time the building reopened, now as a cluster of restaurants, shops and office spaces.
Novodmitrosvkaya, 1, 127015
The Narkomfin building was constructed from 1928 to 1930 specifically for the members of the USSR’s financial management structure. The lead architect of the project, Moisei Ginzburg called the building ‘transitional.’ This means that the Narkomfin building was an experiment, a step from private living spaces towards communal ones. Each family still had their own bedrooms and kitchens, but other spaces like dining rooms, laundries and children’s playrooms were shared by the inhabitants. The house was recently reconstructed as a modern luxury residential building.
Novinsky boulevard, 25/1
This building was finished in 1925. It served as an administrative center for the Soviet agricultural association. Mosselprom is famous not only for its constructivist style, but also for its wall decorations: the outside was painted by famous Soviet artists Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova. A large quote by the most popular Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky was also placed on the building’s outer wall.
Kalashny pereulok, 2/10