Melnikov House

Moscow | Russia

About the Museum

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Konstantin Melnikov designed this 'experimental cylindrical house' as a Moscow home for himself and his family that also demonstrated his concept for social housing. The building consists of two overlapping cylindrical towers, each nine meters in diameter each, and without any load-bearing walls or columns. The wooden ceilings are constructed from rectangular 'grids' of planks, while over 60 distinctive 'honeycomb' windows provide an evenly dispersed light and carefully engineered heating and ventilation. Its original layout, elegant interior spaces and innovative technical construction quickly made it world famous. Melnikov described the building's 'essence' as 'the even distribution of weight, light, air and heat'. It had one bedroom for the whole family, partitioned by screen walls.

At his death, Viktor Melnikov, the artist's son, and himself a painter, provided for the preservation of the house, and the Melnikov Museum opened in 2014 as a branch of the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture. Visits can be made via guided tour. A permanent exhibition will be opening soon in the Museum of Architecture's main building (Vozdvizhenka street, 5/12), exploring the life and work of Konstantin and Viktor Melnikovs, and the two buildings will be linked by a shared tour.

(Photo: Alex Florstein)

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