Leningrad: KUBUCh, 1931. Oblong folio (26 × 35.5 cm). Original quarter cloth over boards; 83,  pp. Profusely illustrated from architectural designs and projections. Stamps of a technical library to front wrapper and pp. 1, 29, 35. Light water damage and stains to boards; internally very good.
Daring experiments in Constructivist architecture are assembled in this album, which gathers the winning projects from two student architectural competitions: one for communal worker houses, held by the Leningrad Institute of Communal Construction (L.I.K.S.), and a Soviet-wide competition on the topic of student housing. The album includes designs for neighborhood complexes, individual buildings, architectural sketches, inspirational photomontages, and photographs of architectural models, as well as written project proposals.
The projected communes of students and workers intended for 1000–2000 persons, proposed not only building designs but entirely new ways of living, with the abolition of life centered around the nuclear family and the individual, and an emphasis on communal socialization. “The communar wakes up, completes his exercise alone in his cabin or else collectively as part of a brigade in a group hall, located across from the sleeping cabins. After exercise he moves on to the hygiene center (at the back of the complex), located on the way to the cafeteria and the vestibule. He takes a shower or washes up, puts on his protective clothing, located in individual lockers, and continues form the hygiene center to the cafeteria for breakfast […] After work, he takes off his outdoor clothing in the vestibule, and washes his hands in special basins near the cafeteria. He has dinner, after which he goes on to the hygiene center, washes up and continues to his individual cabin where he puts on clean clothing located in individual lockers. Thereafter he rests or takes part in the social life of the floor, or taking the second staircase, enters the communal space of the building to take part in social activities of the building, or else of the entire commune (in the social sector).”
The introduction by Soviet architect Andrei Chaldymov (1904–1966) tempers the life-building enthusiasm of some of the proposals, critiquing their approach for resulting in a sense of “homelessness” rather than community in the members of the commune. It appears that none of the projected buildings were constructed, making this album a rare document of the architectural proposals for Soviet communal housing projects.
One of 5100 copies.
As of July 2022, KVK, OCLC show five copies in North America.
Book ID: 52240