Date of Submission

Fall 2011

Academic Program

Art History

Project Advisor 1

Noah Chasin

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This project examines two of architect Moisei Ginzburg’s most famous contributions to Soviet architectural avant-garde—the manifesto Style and Epoch of 1924 and the communal dwelling Narkomfin building of 1928-1930. The primary goal of this project is to understand the theory and design that resulted in the Narkomfin building. Chapter one discusses Style and Epoch, in which Ginzburg presents the idea of a ‘constructive’ architecture as one that was unembellished and mechanical, and one that may incorporate Western technologies. When Style and Epoch was written, Soviet society was itself in its ‘constructive,’ formative stages of the New Economic Policy (NEP) (1921-1928), a contradictory period in the development of socialism, a period marked by competition. Ginzburg accounted for the uncertainty of the period by introducing a level of flexibility in the role of the architect as socialism progressed. Chapter two discusses the ‘social condenser,’ the ideal architectural type of Russian Constructivist architects. Chapter three discusses how Ginzburg addressed the future through reconciling the contradictory circumstances of the present.

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