Melnikov's bricks

Konstantin Melnikov's Moscow house in construction, 1929. © www.flickr.com / janvaneyck

The AD Classics description of Melnikov's house by Tim Winstanley  explains:
'Exterior walls finished with white plaster are constructed in a honeycomb latticework using local brick.... The shapes of the windows are a direct result of the honeycomb structure, with the angles determined by quarter lengths of the standard local bricks. Nearly 60 hexagonal windows employing nine types of frames establish the aesthetic quality of the rear cylinder, showering the interior with light. The manner of structure and glazing system employed also eliminated the need for structural lintels or sills. Voids that were not glazed in the honeycomb structure were filled with clay and scraps, adding mass to a wall system that helps to mitigate the extreme temperature differentials of summer and winter.'

Is brick the material for this?  In 1929, did Melnikov say, hey we could do a diagrid. Shukov did it in steel in 1896, but times are tight so we could do it in — BRICK!  

Probably.  Embargoes, economic collapse, 5-year plan failures, absence of the full spectrum of building materials is the spur to invention.  We need them as much as we need advances in technology.