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Melnikov house is the most inspirational place I’ve ever visited. Melnikov is the great soviet architect of the XX century. His house is located in historical center of Moscow (near Arbat street) and stands in strong contrast to the surroundings. Among the dense development the building stands out with its extraordinary form and garden around.
I have made engraving of how the house looked like before the restoration in the abandoned garden. Now the house is surrounded by the neat garden recreated according to the Melnikov’s diaries.
1929 the construction of the house was finished. The house consists of two intersecting cylindrical towers that have the same diameter but different height. Thus the house combines into figure 8 on the plan. The cylindrical shape was used for an economy of the material. Also for materials rationing Melnikov created unusual bricklaying. This way hexagon windows appeared.
The house is constructed of bricks with thick layer of white plaster on top to cover the angles. Due to money shortage the family finished the house by their own forces. In his diaries Melnikov complains that the kids ran away to play in stead of helping to cover the house with plaster.
In the three-story building the biggest square is taken by the living room and the architect’s studio. Old wooden staircase leads from the studio to the open terrace on the roof. The whole house is bathed in sunlight. There is a high glazed curtain wall in the living room. The windows can be fully opened during summer and the living room fills with the fresh air. The studio floor-space is 50 sq.m. and the ceiling height is 4.7 meters. There are 38 honeycomb windows facing north that provide studio with the soft natural light and extraordinary wall rhythm.
I visited Melnikov house last summer and was deeply impressed. This is the most thoughtful, convenient, light and cozy place I’ve ever been to. The house strikes with diverse interior color pallet, windows configuration and proportion of the volumes. It’s impossible to explain how smart and thoughtful the project is. After visiting Melnikov house I have revised my architectural views. Many months later I am still impressed. I can’t describe here all the details that I loved so much about this house but I strongly recommend you to visit it when you are in Moscow. Perhaps it will be one of the greatest things in your life too.
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