Vladimir Georgievich Gelfreikh

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gel’freikh, Vladimir Georgievich


Born Mar. 12 (24), 1885, in St. Petersburg; died Aug. 7, 1967, in Moscow. Soviet architect and Hero of Socialist Labor (1965).

Gel’freikh studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1906-14) under L. N. Benois. As a student he began to work with V. A. Shchuko. From 1918 to 1939 they were the architects of a number of public buildings in Leningrad (the colonnade at Smolny, 1923-25), Moscow (the new building of the Lenin Library of the USSR, 1928-40), and Rostov-on-Don (the Gorky Drama Theater, 1930-35). In 1935 he began to take an active part in reconstructing the capital. Gerfreikh, V. A. Shchuko, and M. A. Minkus were involved in the construction of bridges (the Bol’shoi Kamennyi, 1936-38). Gel’freikh also participated in designing the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition (1939) and subways—the ground-level lobby of the Novokuznetskaia station, 1943-44, which he planned with I. E. Rozhin, and the Elektrozavodskaia subway station, 1944, for which he won the State Prize of the USSR in 1946. He and M. A. Minkus were the architects of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Smolensk Square, 1948-52, for which they were awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1949. From 1950 to the 1960’s, Gel’freikh directed the creation of architectural ensembles on Smolensk Square and Kutuzov Avenue, as well as the construction of the Kuntsevo, Fili-Mazilovo, and Rublevo housing developments. He was a professor at the Leningrad Academy of the Arts during 1918-35 and at the Moscow Higher School of Industrial Arts during 1959-67. Gel’freikh was awarded two Orders of Lenin and five other orders, as well as medals.


Pekareva, N. “Vladimir Georgievich Gel’freikh.” Arkhitektura SSSR, 1960, no. 6, pp. 51-54.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.