Miasnitskaia Street 39
1928 - 1936
Le Corbusier & Pierre Jeanneret
with Nikolai Kolli.
After an extended competition Le Corbusier finally started on site with
his largest building to date under supervision of site architect Kolli, from
the Constructivist group, but he personally never saw it finished. The design
demonstrated the principle of natural ventilation between a double glazed
curtain-wall that he called 'respiration exacte', but crude workmanship and the
vicissitudes of completion after Modernism fell from favour produced a
seriously flawed result. While the volumes are magnificent with flying ramps
and airy foyers inside, the dark pink tufa facing stone create a heavy
impression on the exterior, worsened by enclosure of the ground floor around
the hitherto open pilotis. The building is structurally solid though it has
lost its original glazing and frames, The interiors have also been altered.