Moscow, . 2 folders (portfolios) with 12 brochures. 30x22,5 cm (folder), 29x21,5 cm (brochures). Folders in full cloth with blue lettering, brochures in wrappers. All very good, folders with rubbing and a couple of tears. Every brochure of the print run of 3500 copies. Art director I.I. Lazarevsky, literary editor S.Ya. Zabello, graphics by B.S. Nikiforov. Contents of each folder in Russian and French on a side flap of each folder. Titles, captions, title and half title pages, lists of context and all indexes in Russian and French. Sections 8 and 9 were never published.
First and only edition. Extremely rare especially in such condition and complete. This is the first and only collection of works of architecture and design studios of Mossovet (city administration of Moscow from 1918 to 1993). It consists of mostly projects of 1934, the first year of the studios. There are 10 issues for each studio (with additionsl brochure with summary and introduction and a brochure with indexes). The main mass of the projects were created for Moscow, in part the implementation of the general plan for reconstruction. Designs for periphery were created as well: Arkhangelsk, Alma-Ata, Nalchik, Novosibirsk, Tbilisi, Stalinsk and others.
Each studio was lead by an established architect: Zholtovsky, Shchusev, Fomin, Golosov, Fridman, Kolli, Melnikov, Kokorin, Kriukov, Borov. For each brochure architects wrote a short introduction - Principles of designing architecture. Overall there are 156 design projects in this edition. Each project comes with short annotation, plans, facades, sections, perspectives, details, interior design projects, photos. There was a big diversity of the projects for example street kiosks, metro stations, large public buildings, complexes and city ensembles, living, industrial and technical buildings, furniture, interiors, etc. Most of the projects were never realized and this is the only evidence of their existence.
One of the most interesting and controversial was Konstantin Melnikov's studio (#7). Since the 1930's it had become increasingly difficult to implement innovative ideas in architecture for the architect - his projects were often criticized, and the new aesthetic system of the Soviet architecture was not compatible with his principles. In the editorial introduction to the brochure it was stated that many Melnikov's works were righteously critisized as 'manifestations of unprincipled innovation, innovation that turned into an end in itself". Yet it was believed that socialistic aims will get to him and change his ways. Melnikov was an architect of the world significance so it is understandable that even though he was under pressure he was very well respected and could not be not included. Among designs presented in the brochure the most remarkable is a design project of the Narkomtiazhprom Building which was a portmanteau for the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry that was conducting a 1934 architectural design contest for the building of the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry, constructed in Red Square (other notable entrants included Ivan Leonidov, Vesnin brothers and Ivan Fomin). This and his other designs in the brochure bear his signature constructivist elements.
Another interesting brochure of Naum Borov's (1906-1943) workshop (#12). Borov was a Soviet designer, artist and decorator of mass celebrations. The collective of his studio was engaged, mainly, in interior decorations, architectural and decorative works. In the introduction it is stated that the studio was closed in 1935 due to 'not finding right specific methods of work for finding solutions in a very responsible issue of Soviet interior design'. The designs in the brochure are of Okhotny Ryad metro station design, interior design of the Pravda newspaper building (were realized). The most interesting are designs of the furniture and equipment for the metro station, Pravda offices, Soyuzpechat' kiosks, Moscow Council's baths, club of Narkomat of Light Industry.
Overall a very interesting and representative material of the new era in Soviet architecture. Even though the new era was of Stalin empire style most of presented architects came through constructivist period and a few designs still bare that legacy in 1934.
Worldcat locates copies in NYPL, Virginia Tech, Getty, University of Michigan, Berkeley and Cleveland Public Library.
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