Konstantin Melnikov

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Works Melnikov House, at Moscow, Russia, 1927.

Rusakov Club, at Moscow, Russia, 1927 to 1929.

USSR Pavilion at Paris, at Paris, France, 1925.

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Konstantin Melnikov

(b. Moscow, Russia 1890; d. Moscow, Russia 1974)

Konstantin Melnikov was born to a peasant family in Moscow in 1890. Through the efforts of the engineers to whom he was apprenticed he attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Although he initially studied painting when he entered the school in 1905, he studied architecture from 1912 until he completed his studies in 1917.

After the 1917 Revolution, Melnikov developed a new city plan for Moscow. From 1921 to 1923 he taught part time at his old school which had been renamed the Moscow Vkhutemas. The main portion of his work. at this time, consisted almost entirely of worker's clubs within Moscow.

Melnikov rejected "method" in design, instead focussing on "intuition" as the important factor in expressing the social and symbolic meaning of a building. He attempted to reach an acceptable architectural solution that could be considered a blending of both Classicism and "Leftist modernism". His projects from the early 1930s responded to official demands for explicit and symbolic historicism.

In 1933 Melnikov became the chief designer of a Moscow studio, but his growing intolerance of Soviet bureaucracy led to his expulsion from architecture in 1937. Although he was partially reinstated into the profession, he essentially lived in isolation until his death in Moscow in 1974.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p106.

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