Restoration of constructivist garage on Novoryazanskaya Street

Restoration of constructivist garage on Novoryazanskaya Street
The building was completed in the 1930s and designed by the architect Konstantin Melnikov, one of the co-founders of the Soviet avant-garde movement, and famous engineer Vladimir Shukhov.

A garage for lorries on Novoryazanskaya Street will be done up. The City Department of Cultural Heritage has already coordinated the first-stage of the job, due to begin this year.

The garage was built between 1929 and 1931 and designed by the famous architect Konstantin Melnikov. The two-section constructivist facility is located at 27 Novoryazanskaya Street, bldg. 1, 3. The building has the status of a regional cultural landmark. The Department of Cultural Heritage will oversee all the restoration work.

The hemispheric horseshoe-shaped garage became one of Konstantin Melnikov’s experiments. The architect was commissioned to build the facility, while registering his patent for a system to design garages with straight-through traffic concepts. According to Melnikov, each vehicle would enter the garage, park and later leave it, moving forwards only. Melnikov’s new principle made it possible to use internal spaces more effectively.

“The architect made the garage look like a horseshoe. Lorries entered the building’s butt-end sections from Novoryazanskaya Street and then left the facility’s opposite section. This solution made it possible to accommodate 110 vehicles at a time. Metal floors and ceilings inside the hemispheric part are another interesting feature. Structures, invented by the famous engineer Vladimir Shukhov rest on external walls alone. Therefore drivers were able to manoeuvre their lorries inside the garage. And a separate facility accommodated the workshops in the arc’s central segment,” Head of the City Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov explained.

Specialists will reinforce the foundation and deal with the roof during the first stage, patching up brickwork and dismantling more recent extensions, Mr Yemelyanov added. The main stage of the restoration project will then get underway.

An example of constructivism

The single-storey garage on 3 Novoryazanskaya Street, bldg.3, has a huge windows divided into squares. Its butt-end sections facing Novoryazanskaya Street combine brick walls and glass windows. The main window stretching from top to bottom of the building somewhat juts out of the central part of the structure. 

The administrative building (Novoryazanskaya Street, bldg.1), shaped like the Russian letter П, has the same architectural style as the garage. Two two-storey towers in the building’s butt-end sections, are its distinguishing feature.

The appearance of the facility changed time and again. At first, the garage had 18 entrances, but some of them were later closed for good. Extensions were also added to the garage, and additional facilities were built inside.

Soviet architect Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974) co-founded the Soviet-era avant-garde style. He was interested in garage construction, launched here in the 1930s. He designed several garages which eventually became architectural landmarks. In 1927, he designed a garage on Bakhmetyevskaya Street. Just like the one on Novoryazanskaya Street, it was built based on a straight-through traffic concept. The garage of the State Planning Committee (Gosplan) in Lefortovo is his other famous masterpiece. The headlight-shaped facility was built in 1936 and symbolised the end of the avant-garde and constructivist era in Soviet architecture.

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Konstantin Melnikov also designed local houses of culture, including the Rusakov House of Culture (1929) and the House of Culture of the Frunze Dorogomilovo Chemical Plant (1929). He designed Gorky Park that same year and finished building his own workshop on Krivoarbatsky Pereulok. All these buildings survive to this day, having architectural landmark status and serving as outstanding examples of the Soviet-era avant-garde.

Vladimir Shukhov (1853-1939) was a Russian and Soviet engineer, architect and scientist. He became the very first person to use hyperboloid structures and latticed metal shrouds for assembling buildings and towers. 

This practice became widespread and is currently used to assemble high-tech buildings. Additionally, Shukhov designed the first Russian oil pipelines and Moscow’s water supply system. His most famous local masterpieces include the unique Shukhov Tower, a metal radio-and-television broadcasting transmitter, on Shukhov Street near the Shabolovka Television Centre. Built between 1920   and1922, it ranks among Soviet-era constructivist architecture landmarks.

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The city constantly continues to preserve and restore various architectural landmarks. The Garage of the State Planning Committee (Gosplan) recently began to be restored in Lefortovo and the façades of a local three-storey customs house will also be done up. This is one of the few houses in southeastern Moscow, built in the late 18th – to early 19th century that survives to this very day. It is a classic example of the industrial eclectic style that flourished during the intensive development of the city’s factories.

The Oranzhereyniye (Greenhouse) Ponds at Tsaritsyno Museum will also be restored. Last summer, workers finished redoing the outside of the Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Zamoskvorechye. 

Merchant and patron of the arts Alexei Bakhrushin had the building completed in 1894 and the design was drawn up by city architect Karl Gippius. Last spring, specialists did up the façade of the Moscow State Picture Gallery of People’s Artist of the USSR Alexander Shilov. This brick mansion has been around since 1829.