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This organization was set up following an agreement signed on 9 January 1930 by the President of Amtorg Trading Corporation, Saul G. Bron, on behalf of the Superior Soviet of the People's Economy (VSNKh) of the USSR, with the leading American industrial architect from Detroit, Albert Kahn, for his firm to become consulting architects for all industrial construction in the Soviet Union.
Moritz Kahn, one of the three Kahn brothers, said:
- "In a short time I shall proceed to Moscow with a staff of twenty-five specialist assistants. We shall then help the Soviet Government to organize a designing bureau, which will comprise about forty-five hundred architectural and engineering designers, selected principally from Soviet Russia, but also from America and other foreign countries. The bureau will be directed by the head of the Building Commission of the Supreme Economic Council."
George Scrymgeour, an American from the Kahn company, was appointed head of Gosproektstroi and also sat on the National Technical Soviet. The Kahn company was responsible for supervising 3,000 designers across the Soviet Union in Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov, Kiev, Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Odessa and Sverdlovsk, all controlled from Moscow. They had a budget of 417 million rubles.
State planning permitted standardization of building construction: "all factory buildings for any one type of construction can be built on standardized principles. The result will be a great saving in time and in cost in the preparation of plans and the cost of buildings," as Moritz Kahn commented. He further added that the Soviet building code permitted a "saving of millions of dollars per annum because of the ultra-conservative character of that code."
- Melnikova-Raich, Sonia (2010). "The Soviet Problem with Two 'Unknowns': How an American Architect and a Soviet Negotiator Jump-Started the Industrialization of Russia, Part I: Albert Kahn". IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology. 36 (2): 57–80. ISSN 0160-1040. JSTOR 41933723. (abstract)