One of Moscow's first cooperative residential buildings receives architectural landmark status

One of Moscow's first cooperative residential buildings receives architectural landmark status
The residential building of the Trudkoopstroi workers’ fellowship, built in the late 1920s, has been included on the cultural heritage list. It is one of the few examples of the then new Soviet residential housing, which combined individual flats and communal amenity space such as the laundry room, drying room, ironing room as well as a dormitory style rooms with common kitchens.

The Trudkoopstroi (Workers’ Cooperative Housing) workers’ fellowship residential building has been included on the list of cultural heritage sites of regional importance. The three-storey building, built in 1927-1928 is located in Moscow’s Khamovniki District.

The building was designed by German architect Wilhelm Zimmer, who combined elements of two different architectural styles – North European architecture of the early modern period (the 15th-mid 18th centuries) with a mansard roof with many small windows, and Constructivism with its simplicity of form and lack of decorative elements. The architect also used the Constructivist building layout with individual flats and communal amenity space such as the laundry room, drying room, ironing room and boiler room. In the 1920s, Zimmer headed a project at Gosstroi (State Construction Company) related to housing projects. Zimmer’s main objective was quick and cost effective construction of small residential buildings.

“The Trudkoopstroi residential building is one of Moscow’s first communal buildings and the only by architect Wilhelm Zimmer that is preserved. Using the project plans from 1927 and archive photos, we can say that the building has retained almost all of its original architectural elements. There are only a few remaining buildings like this from of the 1920s, and there are no known designated buildings like this on 6th Rostovsky Pereulok. The building is a unique example of the search for new architectural styles. The most interesting element is the roof with four sloping surfaces with tall chimneys and protruding mansard windows, borrowed from the German-Dutch architecture. In the late 1920s, the government allowed people to join housing fellowships to receive flats, and communal buildings with common amenity space was recommended. The Trudkoopstroi building had a laundry room, ironing rooms and a boiler room in the cellar. Each floor had two flats with a kitchen and a bathroom. The living room windows overlook the street, while the windows in the bedrooms and kitchens overlook the courtyard. The mansard section most likely housed a dormitory with a common corridor and a bathroom. Additional kitchens for dormitory residents were located on the first and second floors,” Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov.

Yemelyanov said the grand wooden staircase, as well as the wood window frames and doors have been preserved. The building’s exterior has not changed much either. The main façade overlooking 6th Rostovsky Pereulok has no decorative elements, but large windows with frame detail. The walls are covered with plaster and painted beige. The façade overlooking the courtyard has balconies.

Moscow continues to preserve and restore architectural landmarks. The list of cultural heritage sites is growing: some 700 buildings have been listed in the past 7 years. Over 370 of them are newly discovered cultural heritage buildings while 325 are cultural heritage sites of federal and regional importance.

Thus, in August the 19th century meat bourse received heritage status. The building is an example of red brick industrial eclecticism. The Burenin commercial apartment building in the Roman-Gothic style, as well as the Schnaubert Estate from the 18th-19th centuries on Khokhlovsky Pereulok are now cultural sites of regional importance.

Merchant Nikolai Titov’s commercial apartment building on Ruzheiny Pereulok has also been listed. The 15th-17th century Russian architecture is reminiscent of a gingerbread house. In June, merchant Sheshkov’s commercial apartment building, where writer Chekhov lived and worked in 1899-1900, was listed.