^Bedroom inside the Melnikov House, photographed May 15, 2014.
^Construction site of a multi-functional complex at Arbat 39-41, photographed June 5, 2014.
What’s the big deal about the neighboring construction site some 30 meters away from the Melnikov House? Read about it here:
In May 2013, the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture wrote to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin:
Currently on the site at the address: Moscow, Arbat St., 39, bldgs 1 and 2, and 41, bldgs 1 and 2, the preparatory works are in progress to start excavation work on the pit for underground parking. The construction of this multi-functional complex are the following organizations:
Customer JSC “Trust OIL” (tel: 8-495-730-35-25);
Project Organization, LLC “Senab Project” (tel. 8-495-650-20-29);
Technical Customer “SKT PRAM” (tel: 8-499-255-33-65);
General Contractor Company “StroyMontazhTsentr-2000″ (tel. 8-495-995-51-54).
Given the existence of shifting karst-suffusion of soil in the plot where the Melnikov House is located, it is necessary to take urgent action to preserve the cultural heritage of the “House and Studio of architect K. S. Melnikov,” whose condition in recent months has deteriorated sharply.
In order to save a unique monument of history and culture ‘House and Studio of architect K. S. Melnikov’ we ask you, dear Sergei Semenovich, to immediately stop all construction work in the area of the protected zone of the Melnikov House and to create an independent group of experts to determine the current state of the monument and assess the negative impact of the work in the area of the protected zone on the house.
Read the letter in its entirety here.
As the photo from June 5 shows, a year after the appeal to the Moscow Mayor,
CONSTRUCTION HAS NOT STOPPED.
For comparison, here’s what the construction site looked like in July 2013:
WHY are the karsts that were found to be dangerous to the Melnikov House in the 2006 geophysical survey conducted by Education and Science Ministry of the Russian Federation, Moscow State Construction University, which can be read in its entirety here, no longer a threat?
24. Due to the design solution for the building surveyed never providing for its functioning at possible emergency loads in the high geological risk area, any construction in the vicinity of the building surveyed, including the construction in the plot adjoining the site from the Arbat Street side of the multipurpose shopping mall planned by Trust-oil Company can provoke intensification of the soil settlement and the surface caving which will be an unfavorable and inadmissible factor for Architect Melnikov’s house preservation. In addition, it should be noted that the construction of the multipurpose shopping mall with extensive underground structures is planned for the karst-prone area where the Carboniferous age primary deposits subside sharply. Development of subterranean spaces in such areas is inadmissible due to hazard of subterranean slides occurring in the overlying mass of water-saturated sand Quaternary deposits.
(last item listed in the findings of the 2006 geophysical survey)
More about the fight for the Melnikov House here.