Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov (Константин Степанович Мельников) was a Russian architect and painter. His architectural work, compressed into a single decade (1923–33), placed Melnikov on the front end of 1920s avant-garde architecture. Although associated with the Constructivists, Melnikov was an independent artist, not bound by the rules of a particular style or artistic group. In 1930s, Melnikov refused to conform with the rising Stalinist architecture withdrew from practice and worked as a portraitist and teacher until the end of his life.
The finest existing specimen of Melnikov's work is his own Krivoarbatsky Lane residence in Moscow, completed in 1927–1929, which consists of two intersecting cylindrical towers decorated with a pattern of hexagonal windows. His flow of commissions in 1926-1927 provided enough money to finance a three-story house of his dreams. At this time, many well-to-do Russians were into building their own city houses; Melnikov was one of the few who managed to retain his property after the fall of New Economic Policy. His request for land (790 square meters) had few chances to pass the district commission; to his surprise, a working class commissioner supported him, saying that "we can build public buildings anytime and anywhere, but we may never see this unusual house completed if we reject Melnikov".The city endorsed Melnikov's draft as an experimental, one-of-a-kind project. Read more