Moscow; Leningrad: OGIZ, 1931. , 206 pp. Oblong folio. 26,4x38 cm. Original illustrated wrappers. Owner’s (?) illustrated folder and slipcase that preserve the shape of this unevenly sized edition very well. Covers are carefully restored, mostly at the edges. Otherwise very good.
First and only edition.
The book was designed by Leningrad-based artist Evgeny Nekrasov. Miliutin’s ‘Sotsgorod’ was printed in the same printer’s house as this edition but the year earlier.
Prepared by the magazine ‘Nashe stroitelstvo’ [i.e. Our Construction], the architectural periodical that was published in 1929-1937 on a biweekly basis.
The most significant are both sides of the front and rear wrappers, which could serve as a perfect example of constructivist layout: using photography alongside with contrast black and red areas, with oversized question marks and arrows complimenting the composition of the page.
The album itself is a detailed description of 7 typical prefabricated constructions that could be used by the builders to assemble from the readymade parts. According to the preface, at the time of the publication of the album, the Leningrad-based Oblzhilzoyuz had started to build the factory that was to produce pre-fabricated parts for such houses. However all of the 7 instructions, although very detailed, remained projects at the time and afterwards, without being brought to life. The projects have been created by INNORS (Institute of Norms and Standards for the Construction Industry), Gosudarstvennyi Institut Sooruzheniy (State institute of structures), short-lived agency Standartdom, Standartzhilstroy and others.
The constructions included (also shown on the photographic table of content on the rear wrapper): 1. The construction of the house of culture. 2. Panel structure 3. Plywood-chamber construction 4. Wireframe structure. 5-6. Two panel structures. 7. Wireframe structure.
All of these projects were prepared for the buildings of different sizes, but all of them quite complex and volumetric. Couple of the structures, although simple, bear the signs of late constructivism.
The plans for making this into serial production that would help to solve the housing problem across the USSR never came to life.
Only copy of this edition is held at NYPL, according to the Worldcat.