Some of the biggest names in architecture are launching a plea for the preservation of Moscow’s Melnikov House, one of the most significant private residences in 20th Century architecture. Designed by the avant-grade artist and architect Konstantin Melnikov, this icon of Constructivist architecture has long been in a state of disrepair, deprived of landmark status due to controversy surrounding its ownership. Nearby construction and demolitions have, quite literally, shaken the house to its foundation, and fears have risen that the distinctive cylindrical building with its jewel-like hexagon windows is in danger of collapse.
A Moscow-based preservation group has appealed to President Vladimir Putin to save the 1929 house, which served as Melnkov’s home and studio, and is considered a technological marvel, stating that “The eyes of the world are on Russia in this important case.” And now, in an open letter, architects inluding Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas and Rafael Moneo have signed a petition seeking protection for both the building and the artist’s archival materials. “We seek to encourage Russians to embrace and preserve this important part of their heritage, but also wish to remind them that the buildings and papers in question are part of the world’s cultural heritage.”
Photos: Arch Daily