Leningrad: Kubuch, 1931. Item #261
84 pp.: ill. 26x36 cm. In original publisher’s card boards with cloth spine. Boards are rubbed with some soiling and small tears. Otherwise a very good clean copy.
Very rare. The first and only edition. One of 5100 copies.
This book is an incredible compilation of a unique experience which young student architects had during the 1920s. They were creating designs for this utopian future using mostly constructivist elements. Design sketches presented in this book are themselves unique and brilliant thanks to photomontage techniques. Constructivist styled book design.
Communal apartment building (or house-commune) was considered a bright architectural and social phenomenon of 1920s-30s which embodied proletarian idea of socialization of everyday life - one of the manifestations of the constructivist era. The commune house was the sublime symbol of socialism in construction, the revolution of the everyday life. The first commune house of Soviet architecture was the experimental project conducted in 1920 by N. Ladovsky, the ideologue of rationalism, an architectural avant-garde current parallel to constructivism. The finest example of the commune house is without a doubt the Narkomfin building, apartment building for workers in the People’s Commissariat of Finance, built in 1928-1930 in Moscow by architects M. Ginsburg and I. Milinis.
In this edition house-communes called ‘houses of reconstructive period’ meaning from the ‘bourgeois’ house to the ‘socialist’ where family structure should be destroyed. All processes should be divided in such house: sleep, rest, eating, study and produce, raising children, cultural maintenance, hygienic part, etc.
The Moscow Institute (VKhUTEIN) students presented a new vision of house-commune. Their projects showed the influence of the theoretical and practical views of I. Leonidov (1902–1959) who was one of the brightest Soviet avant-garde architects and lived in the house-commune.
Overall 20 design projects including works by Khidekel, Rubanenko, Fromzel, Baranov, Rusakov, Gal’perin, Vernik, Gedike, E. Il’in, A. Nikolaev, Chemodanov, Popov, Chaiko, and others.
Later real processes of the formation of everyday life testified that the family was a stable primary unit of the society. The house commune, based on the complete voluntary self-service of its members, turned out to be a utopia, since it did not take into account the real economic relations of people under socialism («from each according to ability, to each according to work») and as a structural unit of society did not develop.
Worldcat locates copies at Columbia University Library, Getty Research Library, MIT Library, Van Pelt Library (University of Pensylvania).