Kauchuk Factory Club
|Kauchuk Factory Club|
Melnikov stands in front of Kauchuk Club
|Town or city||Moscow|
|Client||Chemists' Trade Union|
|Design and construction|
Kauchuk Factory Club (Russian: Клуб завода «Каучук») is a 1927-1929 constructivist public building designed by Konstantin Melnikov, located in Khamovniki District of Moscow, Russia on the edge of Devichye Pole park and medical campus at 64, Plyshikha Street.
History and architecture
Kauchuk rubber factory, originally based in Riga, relocated to Khamovniki in Moscow in 1915, threatened by German offensive, and was considerably expanded afterwards. Construction of a club was part of a 1920s nation-wide drive to replace religion with more appropriate entertainment. Melnikov theorized that "Club is not a stern temple of some deity. We must attain such an atmosphere, that we would not need to drag a worker in. He would run there himself, past his home and past his pub... the club, if it succeeds, will show what the new private life is all about" (Russian: Клуб – не строгий храм какого-то божества. В нем нужно добиться такой обстановки, чтоб рабочего в клуб не тащить, а он сам бы бежал в него мимо дома и пивной… клуб должен, если сумеет, показать, как устроен новый быт).
Kauchuk club is shaped as a simple quarter of cylinder, housing an 800-seat theatre hall with two balcony levels. Today, its shape and size is concealed by poplar trees and a Chinese restaurant terrace attached to the facade.
Melnikov's trademark exterior stairs were never intended for regular use; they are actually fire escapes connected to the second floor lobby.
The club, like all 1920s buildings, is under threat of demolition. In 2003, despite the federal protective listing, the City of Moscow placed the building on a condemned property list. As of March, 2007, preservationists succeeded to delay demolition. The building operates a night club and a restaurant, and is in adequate external condition; huge neon lettering that existed in 2003, has been removed. However, its interiors are lost to indiscriminate renovation, original windows are replaced with improperly-sized modern frames. According to Russian press, the building is operated by "Academy of Russian Art", established by pianist Nikolai Petrov; it is not clear who actually owns the building, the Academy or the city of Moscow (the land, most likely, is a city property).
- Khan-Magomedov, "Pioneers of Soviet Architecture: The Search for New Solutions in the 1920s and 1930s", Thames and Hudson Ltd, ISBN 978-0-500-34102-5
- Russian bio: Russian: Хан-Магомедов, С.О., "Константин Мельников", М, 2006 ISBN 5-9647-0095-0 (Khan-Magomedov, 2006)