Tsentrosoyuz building
The Tsentrosoyuz Building or Centrosoyuz Building is a government structure in Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russia, constructed in 1933 by Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 and Nikolai Kolli
Nikolai Kolli
Nikolai Dzhemsovich Kolli was a Russian Constructivist architect and city planner.Born in Moscow, Kolli studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and then at Vkhutemas...

. Centrosoyuz refers to a Soviet bureaucracy, the Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives. The building included office space for 3,500 personnel, as well as a restaurant, lecture halls, a theater, and other facilities. The address of the building is 39 Ulitsa Myasnitskaya. Currently it is the home of Goskomstat
Goskomstat was the centralised agency dealing with statistics in the Soviet Union. Goskomstat was created in 1987 to replace the Central Statistical Administration. While maintaining the same basic functions in the collection, analysis, and publicationand distribution of state statistics,...

 , the Russian State Committee for Statistics.


There were three architectural competitions for the project beginning in 1928. Le Corbusier won all three. Upon his victory in the third competition in 1928 he wrote: “I shall bring to this task all that I have learned in architecture. It is with great joy that I shall contribute what knowledge I possess to a nation that is being organized in accordance with its new spirit.”

The project applied on larger scale Le Corbusier’s architectural principles: pilotis, curtain-wall façade, free floor plan, ribbon windows and flat roof. It was to accommodate 3500 people and Le Corbusier considered the question of circulation as of main importance. The system of pilotis for the accommodation of people and cars was proposed and proved to be very effective by allowing multiple access points to the building. The ramps were proposed by the architect for the interior circulation between the floors, detail that links back to his Villa Savoye
Villa Savoye
Villa Savoye is a modernist villa in Poissy, in the outskirts of Paris, France. It was designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, and built between 1928 and 1931....

. Le Corbusier said: “We have approached the problem as urban planners, that is, we have considered that corridors and stairs are, so to speak, enclosed streets. In consequence, these streets are 3.25 meters wide, and are always well lit. Moreover, we have replaced tiring flights of stairs with gently sloping (14%) ramps that allow for free and easy circulation.”

In 1929, the complete set of construction plans for the Tsentrosoyuz building was sent to Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 and work was started. However, delays were encountered due to the materials shortages caused by Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's First Five-Year Plan
First Five-Year Plan
The First Five-Year Plan, or 1st Five-Year Plan, of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a list of economic goals that was designed to strengthen the country's economy between 1928 and 1932, making the nation both militarily and industrially self-sufficient. "We are fifty or a hundred...

. The building is made of reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete is concrete in which reinforcement bars , reinforcement grids, plates or fibers have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French gardener Joseph Monier in 1849 and patented in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is...

, with sixteen-inch-thick blocks of red tuff
Tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption. Tuff is sometimes called tufa, particularly when used as construction material, although tufa also refers to a quite different rock. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered...

 stone from the Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 serving as insulation.

The glass façade was intended to include an innovative heating and ventilation system. The respiration exacte (mechanical ventilation system) and the murs neutralisants (neutral walls, heating/cooling pipes between the layers of glass), both Le Corbusier’s latest inventions, as well as Gustav Lyon’s aeration ponctuelle method were considered for heating and refrigeration of the glass prisms and the interior. These innovations were rejected, in part due to the materials shortage, and in part due to the experimental character of the proposed technologies (including a critique of the systems by the experts from the American Blower Corporation as unpractical and expensive). Instead, a system of radiators was introduced for heating, and roller blinds and translucent glass meant to protect the building from heat (which proved ineffective in the hot summer months).

The building was criticized by fellow Swiss
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 architect Hannes Meyer
Hannes Meyer
Hans Emil "Hannes" Meyer was a Swiss architect and second director of the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1928 to 1930.-Early work:...

 as being "an orgy of glass and concrete". Russian constructivist
Constructivist architecture
Constructivist architecture was a form of modern architecture that flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and early 1930s. It combined advanced technology and engineering with an avowedly Communist social purpose. Although it was divided into several competing factions, the movement produced...

 Alexander Vesnin
Alexander Vesnin
Alexander Aleksandrovic Vesnin , together with his brothers Leonid Aleksandrovic Vesnin and Viktor Aleksandrovic Vesnin he was a leading light of Constructivist architecture...

however called it "the best building to arise in Moscow for over a century".

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