Keywords Change this

Constructivism, Stalinist Architecture

Project timeline

1928 – 1931



Location Change this

Moscow 2 Serafimovicha ulitsa Russia

Also known as Change this

House of Government

Architect Change this

House on the Embankment Change this

Moscow, Russia
by Boris Iofan Change this
1 of 4

Description Change this

The House of Government is the largest constructivist building in Moscow and is located on the banks of the river Moskva, opposite the Kreml. The flats were mainly inhabited by functionaries of the Communist Party. They offered spacious rooms with a height of five metres; all flats featured telephone lines, gas ovens and central heating. The building also housed various communal facilities like a gymnasium, tennis court, nursery, library and laundry. The Udanik cinema, which was also part of the complex, was originally meant to have a roof that could be opened. This plan was not realised, though.

During the Stalinist purges, more and more tenants were arrested and disappeared. This era was famously described by Russian author Yury Trifonov, who had himself lived in the House during his childhood, in his novel “House on the Embankment” (1976).

New windows and advertisement like a big Mercedes Benz star on the roof changed the former face of the building.


Posted by archibald | Thursday, March 10th, 2011 | 12:12pm
Not convinced, this is a constructivist building. Iofan was one of Stalin's key architects. Roughly at the same time he participated in the competition for the Palace of the Soviets, a Stalinist monumental monster which was never completed. The heaviness of the structure is already apparent in the "House on the Embankment". Arguably Iofan's only concession to Modernism is his "Barvikha Sanatorium" which he completed before starting the Embankment project.

Register to join to conversation.