sights / Architecture

Narkomfin information

Moscow , Russia
Novinsky bul 25
Getting there
Metro: Barrikadnaya
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The model for Le Corbusier’s Unitè d’Habitation design principle, this architectural landmark was an early experiment in semi-communal living. Designed and built between 1928 and 1930 by Moisei Ginzburg and Ignatii Milinis, Narkomfin offered housing for members of the Commissariat of Finances. In line with constructivist ideals, communal space is maximised and individual space is minimised. Apartments have minute kitchens to encourage residents to eat in the communal dining room.

Having been in a semi-ruinous state for many years, a Russian property development group has been buying up apartments in the building with the long-term intention of preserving the constructivist landmark and converting it into condos. In the meantime, the dilapidated apartments are being leased to artists for very low rents. Unfortunately, the future remains in limbo, especially amid reports of 'cosmetic repairs' that threaten the integrity of the architecture.