NARKOMFIN™

Collectivity for any Context

NARKOMFIN™ is an innovative architectural solution for communal living, working, and recreation suitable for reproduction in any quantity.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

 

WHAT IS NARKOMFIN™?

NARKOMFIN™ is an innovative architectural solution for communal living, working, and recreation suitable for reproduction in any quantity.

WHERE DOES NARKOMFIN™ COME FROM?

NARKOMFIN™ is based on the Narkomfin Communal House, a highly influential experimental housing block located at 25, Novinsky Boulevard, in in the Central district of Moscow, Russia.

The original NARKOMFIN™ prototype dates back to 1928. Designed by renowned Constructivist architects Moisei Ginzburg and Ignaty Milinis, the project imagined as a prototype for all subsequent state housing in the Russian republic. Its program and household types were determined by the STROIKOM, an investigative research committee, which was funded by the Soviet Russian government and headed by Ginzburg. The Narkomfin solution was designed according to this program to accommodate approximately two hundred people in households of varying social structures.

HOW DOES NARKOMFIN™ ENCOURAGE COLLECTIVITY?

Collectivity is written into the DNA of NARKOMFIN™.  Except for sleep, solitary intellectual work, and personal hygiene, all of life's essential activities can conducted communally in NARKOMFIN™ architecture: eating in the common dining rooms, working in the studios and libraries, physical exercise in the gymnasia, and relaxation in the common rooms, reading rooms, and surrounding landscape, with child care provided in the communal children's quarters, when applicable.

In describing his design of the original Narkomfin Communal House, architect Moisei Ginzburg was insistent that the buildings not only support, but mandate collectivity. "The economic routines of the worker’s family (nutrition, cleaning, washing) as well as the education of children, their care and control and the fulfillment of the cultural and sport needs of workers and children," he wrote, "can and must be collectivized - that is, produced on a collective basis."

More than 80 years later, we at NARKOMFIN™ continue to design buildings for co-ops, corporations, and communes that share our founder's vision.

WHAT NARKOMFIN™ MODELS DO YOU OFFER?

There are currently four standard NARKOMFIN™ models. Each addresses a different set of collectivist needs and is fully customizable in terms of material finishes and amenities.

DOM KOMMUNA

Where it all began: a fully integrated apartment block for communal living, based on Moisei Ginzburg's original vision, customizable for any climate or context.

NARKOMFIN™ WELLNESS

Therapeutic togetherness and revitalizing isolation: structured on the original Narkomfin logic but adjusted to accentuate health and embrace nature, NARKOMFIN™ Wellness is the ideal solution for spas, retreats, and rehabilitation centers in a warmer climate.

NARKOMFIN™ YOUTH

Absolute order with opportunities for improvisation: NARKOMFIN™ is designed to structure life.

With slight adjustments to emphasize security, an architecture originally designed to dictate a worker's daily schedule is transformed into a modern and humane approach to juvenile detention.

NARKOMFIN™ WORKSPACE

Focus, structure, serendipity: Work in the 21st century requires an almost alchemical balance of stimulating social interaction and monk-like concentration. NARKOMFIN™ Workspace is designed to provide both, in a structured, cheerful environment that encourages inhabitants to abandon outdated distinctions between work and play.

NARKOMFIN™ MODELS:

 

DOM KOMMUNA

Where it all began: a fully integrated apartment block for communal living, based on Moisei Ginzburg's original vision, customizable for any climate or context.

THE ULTIMATE IN COLLECTIVE LIVING

In this age of skyrocketing rents and fraying social ties, many are re-considering the advantages of collective living. Dom Kommuna offers the ideal solution, an ultra modern housing complex that accommodates all aspects of communal daily life. In Dom Kommuna, all activities - except for sleep, solitary work, and personal hygiene - are conducted communally: eating in common dining rooms, working in shared studios and libraries, physical exercise in gymnasia, and relaxation in the common rooms, reading rooms, and the surrounding landscape, with child care provided in the communal children's quarters and day care.

FULLY REALIZED, ACCORDING TO A MASTER ARCHITECT'S VISION

Although based on Moisei Ginzburg's original Narkomfin Communal House, Dom Kommuna is in fact an upgrade. Political and financial complications compromised the original project resulting in material changes and the elimination of vital facilities. NARKOMFIN™ has worked to correct this history by providing a masterpiece of communal housing as the master originally intended - including a full roof garden and day care center unrealized in the original version.

BASED ON A SLIDING SCALE OF COLLECTIVITY AND PRIVACY

At NARKOMFIN™ we recognize that assembling a housing collective can be complicated, especially when not all members are equally acclimatized to communal living. Dom Kommuna anticipates and embraces this diversity of experience and expectation by providing both fully collectivized apartments (which we call F units) as well as ones that retain aspects of private, individual and family living (the K and 2-F units). After entering Dom Kommuna as K unit residents, many eventually transition to the F unit, where the full scope of Moisei Ginzburg's architectural and social vision can be experienced in its purest form.

NARKOMFIN™ WELLNESS

Therapeutic togetherness and revitalizing isolation: structured on the original Narkomfin logic but adjusted to accentuate health and embrace nature, NARKOMFIN™ Wellness is the ideal solution for spas, retreats, and rehabilitation centers in a warmer climate.

A PLATFORM WITHIN NATURE

NARKOMFIN™ exists at one with nature. Moisei Ginzburg's original Narkomfin Communal House was designed as a prototype for a new social dwelling where, in the architect's works, "the peasant can listen to the songs of larks," and where "the combines of habitation, dense and compact, permit their inhabitants to enjoy gardens, expanses of greenery, and the collective spaces of sport and relaxation."

With NARKOMFIN™ Wellness we embrace that spirit and expand it, providing a wide open architecture in which the distinction between inside and out blurs. The windows open like an accordion to transform living quarters into an open terrace surrounded by greenery. The sense of a room is lost: the center becomes a platform integrated within nature.

WHERE THE BORDER BETWEEN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE BLURS

The common rooms of the F units are provided with very large windows. By contrast, the sleeping niches have long horizontal strip windows extending the length of the eastern wall. The location of the windows in the F units ensure that morning light enters the sleeping niche and evening light filters through the trees into the large windows of the common room.

AND COMMUNAL SPIRIT BLOWS WITH THE BREEZE

The layout of NARKOMFIN™ Wellness ensures that the common room and sleeping sphere open out to one another visually as well as spatially. Based on original research conducted by Moisei Ginzburg and his colleagues, this open arrangement facilitates the hygienic circulation of air through the two rooms and the windows on either end. A truly 'open plan', the only enclosed spaces in the F units of NARKOMFIN™ Wellness are the shower and toilet.

NARKOMFIN™ YOUTH

Absolute order with opportunities for improvisation: NARKOMFIN™ is designed to structure life.

With slight adjustments to emphasize security, an architecture designed to dictate a worker's daily schedule is transformed into a modern and humane approach to juvenile detention.

AN ARCHITECTURE OF CONTROL

NARKOMFIN™ is a active architecture. Created according to Constructivist architectural principles, it provides the tools to define and monitor all aspects of the inhabitants' lives. Almost a century ago, our company's  founder Moisei Ginzburg created a facility in which, according to him, "all difficulties related to daily life appear already resolved and brought to conform to a standard, [where] the forms of […] life are not understood in dialectic terms, but in some sort of uniform and unchanging order."

IDEAL FOR DEFINING AND MONITORING DAILY LIFE

Records from the time attest to the success of his approach. In his book Home, Ginzburg quotes a certain comrade Kuzmin who described the life of a communal member in the original Narkomfin Communal House: "A worker woken up by radio call from a radio center regulating communal life, got up, opened his bed, went to his wardrobe, put on a dressing gown and slippers and moved to an exercise room." He recounts the morning schedule: "1) going to sleep at 22.00; 2) sleep for 8 hours, wake up at 6; 3) morning exercises for 5 minutes - 6.05; 4) washing for 10 minutes - 6.15; 5) shower for 5 minutes - 6.20; 6) dressing for 5 minutes - 6.25; 7) going to a canteen for 3 minutes - 6.28"

NARKOMFIN™ Youth builds on this tradition of efficiency and control. The facility accommodates the full range of collectivity and isolation:  sleeping cells and living units are connected by a bridge to a communal block that contains a gymnasium with showers, toilets, and dressing and storage rooms, as well as a kitchen and cafeteria, with a rest area and reading room.

The living and sleeping cells are spacious, with a height of  2.2 meters and, in the case of two-story spaces, 4.4 meters. A continuous side corridor connects the units and provides a easily controllable means of circulating the inhabitants.

DESIGNED FOR COST EFFECTIVENESS, BUT ACCOMMODATING COMFORT

For administrators, NARKOMFIN™ Youth also includes well designed and equipped office and residential spaces. The largest - which we call 'the penthouse' - consists of one large two-story main room with an open gallery. The entry is on the ground floor, with a separate kitchen and a primary two-story room. The second floor contains two bedrooms, two closets, and a large open gallery that leads onto a balcony. The upper open gallery accommodates an office with built-in planter and solitary pilotis overlooking the main living area.

NARKOMFIN™ WORKSPACE

Focus, structure, serendipity: Work in the 21st century requires an almost alchemical balance of stimulating social interaction and monk-like concentration. NARKOMFIN™ Workspace is designed to provide both in a structured cheerful environment that encourages inhabitants to abandon outdated distinctions between work and play.

A DESIGN FROM THE PAST, PERFECT FOR THE PRESENT

For decades, the name NARKOMFIN™has implied innovation. Considered by some too radical for its own time, Moisei Ginzburg's visionary design aspired to change the world by embracing a new lifestyle in which outdated distinctions between private/public and work/play dissolve. History has confirmed the architect's assumptions and today NARKOMFIN™ is widely acknowledged as the ultimate response to the needs of creative, fast changing companies.

A SOCIAL CONDENSER, BUILT FOR INNOVATION

Work in the 21st century requires an almost alchemical balance of stimulating social interaction and monk-like concentration. NARKOMFIN™ Workspace is designed to provide both: by accommodating the full spectrum of human activities - from solitary rigor to collective relaxation - in a single complex, NARKOMFIN™ compresses the program of office life in order make it overlap and to hybridise. This emphasis on cross-pollination makes the kind of serendipitous exchanges and unexpected connections essential to creativity almost inevitable. At the same time, through its signature, color-coded internal navigation system - developed in collaboration with Professor Hinnerk Scheper of the legendary Staatliches Bauhaus - NARKOMFIN™ Workspace provides employees an example of the structure and recognizable internal logic that all great new products must possess. NARKOMFIN™ Workspace is ultimate work-play environment, an office that ensures innovation by architecturally encouraging employees to work in ways that are proven to produce new ideas.