Commune house

Project academic adviser: A.P. Kudryavtsev
Project designers: V.О. Kulish, N.I. Zaytseva, A.A. Bernstein


8/9 Ordzhonikidze st., Moscow


1929 – 1931

Project Development

2004 – 2008

Reconstruction period

2006 – 2016

The Idea
Architectural and design solutions

The Idea

The student residential complex Commune House at Ordzhonikidze Street in Moscow designed by Ivan Nikolaev was erected between 1929 and 1931. It is one of the few constructivist architecture landmarks remaining in the city that perfectly incorporated the new for its time principles of social co-existence. The complex is included in the list of cultural heritage objects (cultural and historical monument).

The restoration project preserves in general the initial functional division of the building’s blocks (Dormitory, Public services, Study) as they were provisioned in the architect’s project. The dormitory block will house living rooms for students and professors of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys (MISiS). The public services block will also have residential area with living rooms as well as the offices of the administration. The study block will keep the existing canteen and the facilities for group classes and individual study.

Architectural and design solutions

Site plan:
The territory of the complex is located in the integrated protection area bounded on the south by Ordzhonikidze Street, on the west by 2nd Donskoy Drive, and on the north and east by residential development. Total area of the site – 3.21 hectares (7.93 acres).

The restoration project includes clearing of the site of the later constructions. The main entrance to the site is from Ordzhonikidze Street, second entrance is arranged on 2nd Donskoy Drive. Western area of the site opening to 2nd Donskoy Drive shall be clear of any constructions. The public garden and sports ground remain at their locations. The eastern area of the site will accommodate parking space. The main driving gate is set up from Ordzhonikidze Street. Taking into consideration limitations of the protection area the driveway runs along the former railway line. Additional parking space is set up next to the main entrance.

Block A (former dormitory) keeps its original function. The restoration project provides for a unique space-planning solution based on corridor-type arrangement with accommodation units located along one side of the corridor. Each unit consists of two rooms for maximum of three people, shower room and toilet.

Archive photos allowed recreating the original design of the dormitory block’s facade including arrangement of the balconies. We returned to the continuous window along the full length of the facade as it was designed in the original project.

The Museum of the Commune House holds a special place in the new arrangement of the complex. It will recreate original layout fragments and interiors of the accommodation units of the student dormitory. The museum will be located on the first floor of the former dormitory block.

Block B (former public services block) changes its function and becomes residential space. Accommodation units (including those for disabled residents) will occupy floors 1 to 5. The ground floor will accommodate offices of the administration. Engineering and utility services rooms will be placed on the semi-basement level. Passenger lift will be introduced next to the ramp connecting all floors of the building.

Block C (former study) recreates the original layout of the architect’s project. Multifunctional auditorium with rounded rooflight on the ground floor and the main staircase in the middle of the block connecting the ground and first floors are reconstructed. First floor space is cleared out. The reconstruction project provides for recreation of the open staircases from the ground level and the study rooms on the first floor to the walkable roof of the main floor. Southern annex facing Ordzhonikidze Street will accommodate apartments for post-graduate students.

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