Ivan Ilich Leonidov

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leonidov, Ivan Il’ich


Born Jan. 9 (22), 1902, on the khutor (farmstead) of Vlasikha, in the village of Babino, in present-day Kalinin Oblast; died Nov. 6, 1959, in Moscow. Soviet architect.

Leonidov graduated from the Moscow Vkhutein (Higher Art and Technical Institute) in 1927, where he had studied under A. A. Vesnin. He taught at Vkhutein from 1928 to 1930. One of the leaders of the Association of Contemporary Architects, Leonidov made a great contribution to constructivist architecture by seeking forms relevant to the social reinterpretation of the tasks of architecture.

Leonidov’s designs from 1927 to 1934 revealed a new understanding of the principles underlying the construction of a contemporary city (maximum utilization of natural conditions, strict separation of industrial and residential zones, free planning, building cities with low-rise housing of light materials and with multistory “tower” residential buildings). He exploited the artistic possibilities of a building with understated forms (simple geometric shapes) and used the most recent designs (V. I. Lenin Institute of Library Science, Moscow, 1927; House of the Central Union of Consumers’ Societies of the USSR, Moscow, 1928; House of Industry, Moscow, 1929–30; Christopher Columbus Monument, Santo Domingo, 1929; the design of the settlement of the Magnitogorsk Combine, 1930).

Leonidov developed a number of designs for cultural and educational institutions (a new type of club building, 1928; Palace of Culture, 1930). Other of his designs that have been realized include the park terraces and stairway (1937–38) at the G. K. Ordzhonikidze Sanatorium in Kislovodsk.


Aleksandrov, P. A., and S. O. Khan-Magomedov. Ivan Leonidov. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.