Melnikov House
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Architect Konstantin Melnikov
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Location Moscow, Russia
Date 1927   timeline
Building Type architect's house
 Construction System plaster over brick bearing masonry
Climate cold temperate
Context suburban residential
Style Eclectic Modern
Notes Interlocking cylindrical plan. Glazing in unusual arrangements.


Photo, exterior, six-sided windows studding turret at rear of house




Available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated

Discussion Melnikov House Commentary

"The aesthetic purism of Melnikov's use of interlocking cylinders makes so strong an initial impression upon one that it is easy to overlook the profoundly classical aspects of the house. The site plan indicates what care he took to achieve symmetry both along the longitudinal axis and across it, the one exception being the layout of the forward section of the ground floor. Similarly, the building is dominated by a palatial facade framed with square pilasters, with the doorway placed directly in the middle, in spite of the fact that this gave rise to problems in the layout of the interior space of the entrance that were never fully resolved. In each of these respects the house is surprisingly close in spirit to the late-eighteenth-century residences of classical Moscow."

— S. Frederick Starr. Melnikov: Solo Architect in a Mass Society. p119-125.

The Creator's Words

"Who decides on the function of a cello? The function of that instrument might tell us that it should be made of wood, although maybe nylon cellos will be created someday. The function tells us that the cello should have four strings, though I have heard that there used to be six-string cellos. Beyond this, 'function' merely means a particular person's taste. Suppose, for example, that I am designing a house for you. You are a certain age now, but in twenty years you will be that much older. Your life will have changed and the 'functional' needs will have changed with it, yet you will still want to live in the same house. No, function cannot provide all the answers."

— Konstantin S. Melnikov. from S. Frederick Starr. Melnikov: Solo Architect in a Mass Society. p241.



10 Krivoarbatski Pereulok, Moscow

Sources on Melnikov House

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. geometry diagram, p183. — Updated edition available at

S. Frederick Starr. Melnikov: Solo Architect in a Mass Society. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-691-03931-3. NA 1199.M3TST. photo of exterior, f107, p118. photo of interior of studio, f117, p123.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Melnikov House


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