A life / Melnikov House

Cortesía de Do.Co.Mo.Mo

Arbat, residential district of Moscow, 1927. The Russia of change. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, and with Bolshevik ruling the Soviets under Lenin’s command, the USSR is born. This new Soviet Union would get entangled in the web of totalitarianism when, in 1927, an all power-possessing ruler arises: the ascension of Stalin dramatically defined the transformation of Soviet society, sculpting a new face of the country, characterised by collectivisation and industrialisation.

In such a political and social context, architecture, the main channel of propaganda and subliminal messages throughout history, wasn’t left aside. The revolutionary vanguards, waving the banner of constructivism, were imbued with an aesthetic search for provocative, free forms and functionality and found themselves blinded by a new wave of architecture.

In the middle of this landscape, the Melnikov house was built, home for the last 45 years to the architect Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov. This work would be a turning point in the life of the artist: his own home became his most renowned and appraised masterpiece, but also his most bitter.