“Moscow Through the Eyes of the Engineer” has launched a new project: ArchiGeek, a series of guided tours in English around Moscow’s unique architectural sites. You can now visit the House of Narkomfin, a renowned Constructivist building, and learn about its history, unique architectural layout as well as visit one of its restored two-level living cells.
The Narkomfin building is one of the most important apartment houses of Soviet avant-garde architecture. Designed by Moisei Ginzburg and Ignaty Milinis in 1928 and completed in 1932, the building incorporates Constructivist design with aspects of communal housing. Built to house the employees of the Commissariat of Finance, the building was an architectural and social experiment in the daily life of the ideal socialist citizen.
A leader of Constructivist architecture, Ginzburg designed the Narkomfin as “transitional” housing, using compact two-level cells with minimal living space. While bedrooms were separated vertically from the combined kitchen and living room, connecting outdoor galleries and communal facilities transformed individual housing into one of communality.
Despite its “Cultural Heritage Monument” status, the Narkomfin has been deteriorating; however, recent efforts to breathe new life into the building have made it possible for ArchiGeek to take visitors inside this unique example of Constructivist architecture.
The next scheduled tour will be held at 5:00 p.m. on March 25. Tickets cost 1,500 rubles and can be purchased online. Tours of St. Basil’s Cathedral and VDNKh are also available.