The Melnikov House or Krivoarbatsky Lane residence designed by a Russian architect and painter, Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov. The building is a three-story house which consists of two intersecting cylindrical towers decorated with a pattern of hexagonal windows. The aim of the building is to provide a spacious place that could house his family, architectural and painting workshops.
The house has twin cylinder floorplan which approved by the city in June, 1927. He developed the concept of intersecting cylinders in 1925-1926. The exterior is a honeycomb lattice made of brickwork. Some of the cells were glazed with windows of three different frame designs, while the other filled with clay and scrap. The material was limited to brick and wood because the material rationing by the state. The building have no supporting columns or horizontal girders on the wooden ceilings. A 50 square meter workshop is a largest room on the house, located on third floor with 38 hexagonal windows.
“The own house built by Konstantin Melnikov – the recognized masterpiece of architecture – is a honeycomb lattice shell made of bricks with hexahedral cells. The similar lattice shells out of metal were patented and built by Vladimir Shukhov in 1896. Melnikov built his house in 1927-1929, and by that time in Russia there had been already built about 200 Shukhov’s steel lattice shells as the overhead covers of buildings, hyperboloid water and other towers, including the famous 160 meter radio tower in Moscow (1922). Since Melnikov and Shukhov were well acquainted with each other and made joint projects (Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, Novo-Ryazanskaya Street Garage), it is not surprising that the Melnikov’s house in Krivoarbatsky pereulok was built in the form of an original lattice shell. The overhead covers of the own Melnikov’s house are the honeycomb lattice shells made of wooden boards placed edgewise.”
“The aesthetic purism of Melnikov’s use of interlocking cylinders makes so strong an initial impression upon one that it is easy to overlook the profoundly classical aspects of the house. The site plan indicates what care he took to achieve symmetry both along the longitudinal axis and across it, the one exception being the layout of the forward section of the ground floor. Similarly, the building is dominated by a palatial facade framed with square pilasters, with the doorway placed directly in the middle, in spite of the fact that this gave rise to problems in the layout of the interior space of the entrance that were never fully resolved. In each of these respects the house is surprisingly close in spirit to the late-eighteenth-century residences of classical Moscow.”