Центросоюз: Tsentrosoyuz Headquarters, 1936
Tsentrosoyuz [Центросоюз] headquarters [Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives], Moscow, 1929-1936. Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Nikolai Kolli.
The astounding architecture of Soviet bureaucracy: offices for 3500, restaurant, lecture halls and theatre.
The construction is reinforced concrete with 40mm thick blocks of red tuff used as insulation. Tuff is volcanic ash – small pieces of magma < 2mm – blown into the air during a volcanic explosion and consolidated into a porous aerated easily carved material. The tuff used in the Tsentrosoyuz headquarters is from the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an area rich in limestones, tuff sandstones and clay shales. This is all starting to sound familiar.