Preservationists Warn Russia’s Melnikov House at Risk

International
Thursday, April 18, 2013
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(Courtesy Docomomo)

(Courtesy Docomomo)

One of Moscow’s most iconic pieces of architecture, the cylindrical home of avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov built in the 1920s, is reportedly showing signs of structural damage caused by rumbling from neighboring construction projects and is in danger of being demolished. The New York Times reports that preservationists including Docomomo have sounded the alarm that cracks have been forming in the structure and its foundation. Russian preservation group Archnadzor has filed an appeal to President Vladimir Putin in an effort to save the structure from potential collapse.

(Courtesy Docomomo)

One of the cracks that recently developed in the house. (Courtesy Docomomo)

Currently occupied by Melnikov’s granddaughter, Ekatrina Karinskaya, the house has not been officially declared a landmark while an ongoing dispute over ownership plays out. According to the Times, Karinskaya said “the construction is part of a willful plan ‘to simply destroy the house.’”

Preservationists believe the biggest threat to the house is the underground parking garage at the nearby mixed-use construction project, that could, according to a report posted on Docomomo, cause flooding at the house as the garage structure acts as a dam, blocking the flow of groundwater.

Other preservations efforts call for the house to be preserved as a public museum storing all of Melnikov’s archival material that is largely inaccessible today. More interior views of the house can be viewed here.

(Courtesy Docomomo)

(Courtesy Docomomo)

(david basulto / Flickr)

(david basulto / Flickr)

(Courtesy Docomomo)

(Courtesy Docomomo)

(Nikolai Vassiliev / Flickr)

(Nikolai Vassiliev / Flickr)

(jaime.silva / Flickr)

(jaime.silva / Flickr)

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