Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Narkomfin

Narkomfin


Constructivist Gem Makes Final Bid for Utopia


Narkomfin, a huge six-story building in a courtyard just off Novinsky Bulvar, was built in the heyday of Soviet modern architecture at the end of the 1920s. Constructivism was still just about in favor, and the building was the first attempt to create not just living quarters, but a communal house where workers could live, work and move toward socialism together, even in their sleep.


One of the sad legacies of the USSR, lies in crushing of one of the most active schools of art, literature, and architecture that thrived in Russia from the beginning of the 20th century and into the 20's. What makes it even sadder is the fervor with which many of these artists and people embraced the revolution - and the fate it dealt to many of them.

Built between 1928 and 1930 by architects and engineers led by Moisei Ginzburg, Narkomfin was, as the WMF has written, "a six-story blueprint for communal living as ingenious as it is humane."


Even as the building for nearing completion the purges would begin - and having a name like Moisei (Moses) Ginzburg was definitely not an asset.

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