The building commissioned by Nikolai Milyutin, who was the people’s commissar for finance of the Russian federation, to Moisei Ginzburg and Ignati Milinis is an exceptional building, it is a prototype of a new kind of architecture , an architecture in which daily life, in which residential life would be re-articulated on a collective base. So, the Narkomfin was considered to be a “transitional type” of building between the conservative, the traditional apartment houses and the communal houses of the future; there was the idea, the generous and also dangerous idea, of completely collectivizing a series of domestic functions and of reducing therefore the cell, the apartment of each family or of each household to smaller spaces in which, according with the principles of scientific management of taylorists which were very popular in Russia, every movement, every step would be measured in order to reduce the amount of space consumed. So there was a very clear agenda.
J.L. Cohen, interview by OK