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Tsentrosoiuz building (back)

Tsentrosoiuz building

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.

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