Konstantin Melnikov, Mosca, Moscow, Russia,1927
Konstantin Melnikov, Mosca, Moscow, Russia, 1927 (View from google)
The Mosca by architect Konstantin Melnikov is a classic residence that represents the forefront of the 1920’s Russian avant-garde and differs dramatically from traditional Soviet residential architecture.
The majority of his work was constructed between 1923 and 1933, of which his personal residence is his most innovative work. The concept evolved from his schematic draft for the Zuev Workers Club. It features two interlocking cylindrical volumes standing three stories high with enough space to house his family, and his painting and architectural studio spaces.
Reasoning for the cylindrical shape was founded in his belief that they provided for an economy of material. The first cylindrical volume sitting slightly lower in height than the rear cylinder faces the street and features a glazed curtain wall incorporating the main entry. Located in the rear is the iconic portion of the house with numerous hexagonal windows perforating the façade. Exterior walls finished with white plaster are constructed in a honeycomb latticework using local brick. Nearly 60 hexagonal windows employing nine types of frames establish the aesthetic quality of the rear cylinder, showering the interior with light.
Interior layout functions efficiently, with the majority of living spaces such as kitchen and bathroom located on the main floor. An upward spiral of movement exposes the diversity of spaces from low height ground plane, to a double height studio space and rooftop terrace. A winding staircase leads to the second floor where the bedrooms and living room are located. Interestingly, the bedrooms located in the rear portion are not entirely separated from each other. The third floor houses his studio space in a double height room in the rear cylinder. Visually distinct from the others, this double height space is embraced by light penetrating through the numerous hexagonal windows.
Alexandra Niedermayr, Alexandre Maurel, Martin Charachon, Sonja Schneider (March 2017)