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LSR Group has agreed to become the General Partner for the reconstruction of the Melnikov House. This year, with the support of our company, the rigorous, multistage process of restoring this architectural masterpiece will begin. All restoration work on the Melnikov House is set to be completed within four years.
“As a responsible developer and a company that regularly collaborates with the best modern architects, we are, of course, concerned about the fate of masterpieces of Russian architecture,” said Andrey Molchanov, CEO of LSR Group. “The Melnikov House is an avant-garde monument of global significance, so ensuring its preservation is the duty of everyone on Earth. We have already played our part in perpetuating Melnikov’s memory by naming a street after him in our flagship Moscow residential complex, ZILART. Now, Melnikov’s house too will be forever connected with our company: a great honour for us.”
This year, the first stage of the restoration, the building will be comprehensively surveyed and preparations made for work to begin. All the necessary restoration work will be carried out from 2022 to 2024 on the basis of the survey. More specifically, the membrane structures between floors will be preserved and strengthened, the original wooden frames of the 63 hexagonal windows and the giant stained-glass window will be restored, the original forced-air heating system will be returned to working order, and the avant-garde architect’s colour schemes will be researched and preserved.
The commemorative items and creative archives stored at the Melnikov House itself will also be conserved, and the historical appearance of the garden will be recreated. According to Pavel Kuznetsov, Director of the Museum of Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov, the museum’s priority when coming up with any restoration measures is to preserve the authentic materials and original architectural and engineering solutions of the 1920s as far as possible. The result of this comprehensive restoration will be the long-term preservation of the Melnikov House as a museum. A nomination file for the building to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List will also be prepared.
“The preservation of our country’s cultural heritage is an absolutely vital task,” commented Russian Minister of Culture Olga Lyubimova. “And we are delighted when the professional community and Russian businesses get involved in this work. I hope that this long-awaited initiative, the restoration of the world-famous Melnikov House, will be an excellent model for other similar projects. We will be following its progress closely, as the building is rightfully considered one of Moscow’s unique architectural monuments.”
“This is a historic moment,” said Elizaveta Likhacheva, Director of the State Museum of Architecture. “We are starting on a long and difficult path to save this unique monument of Russian architecture for future generations. The museum is immensely grateful to LSR Group, whose cooperation opens up all the necessary opportunities for the long-awaited restoration of the Melnikov House. We intend this restoration to be a model for the preservation of architectural monuments of the twentieth century.”
The Shchusev State Museum of Architecture is the world's first specialist architecture museum, the successor to the Museum of the All-Union Academy of Architecture established in 1934 and the Museum of Russian Architecture founded by the architect Alexey Shchusev in 1945. The museum organises exhibitions dedicated to Russian and foreign architecture, and conducts research, restoration, and educational activities. It houses around 1 million items.
The Melnikov House on Krivoarbatsky Lane in Moscow (also known as the ‘Experimental House and Studio of the Architect K.S. Melnikov’) was designed and built by the architect Konstantin Melnikov between 1927 and 1929 for himself and his family. Two cylinders of different heights, each one-third embedded in the other, create the building’s unique and world-renowned spatial composition. During its construction, the architect developed a special type of brickwork for the walls with hexagonal openings, original membrane floors between storeys with no load-bearing columns, and an ingenious forced-air heating system. With its unique architectural form, the house retains an authentic commemorative atmosphere that reflects the history of the architect and his family. It has been a federal cultural heritage site since 2014, and is part of the State Museum of Konstantin and Viktor Melnikov.
Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov (1890–1974) was a world-famous architect, artist, and teacher. A leader of the Soviet architectural avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, he was an acknowledged master of architectural form. He did most of his design and construction work in Moscow. He is widely recognised for his work on public buildings such as exhibition pavilions, workers’ clubs, and garages. However, he attracted the most fame with his own house and studio on Krivoarbatsky Lane. His designs use unusual shapes, including triangles, diagonal lines, cones, cylinders, and parallelograms.
He received worldwide renown in 1925 after the construction of the USSR pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris, and designed the glass sarcophagus which houses the body of Vladimir Lenin (1924). He proposed a number of urban projects for Moscow in the early 1930s. From 1938 onward, he was deprived of the right to engage in architectural activities due to his refusal to sacrifice his creative principles. Between 1965 and 1974, the rehabilitation and public recognition of Melnikov began.
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