An art nouveau building in Yauzskaya Street declared an architectural landmark

An art nouveau building in Yauzskaya Street declared an architectural landmark
Built as a classical wing in the 19th century, it was rebuilt as an art nouveau mansion with an unusual kokoshnik-like gable by the Filippov tea merchants in the early 20th century.

This two-story building with a kokoshnik-like gable located on the corner of Yauzskaya Street and Yauzsky Boulevard in Moscow has been put on the list of regional architectural landmarks protected by the government.

This somewhat unusual structure has a long history. Initially, it was a classical one-story wing of a large estate mansion built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the 1870s, its owners commissioned architect August Weber to draw up plans so that this part of the house could be converted into a residential building. In his design Weber added a cellar as well as a second floor.

In the early 20th century, the building was sold to the Filippov family of famous Moscow tea merchants. They used the estate buildings as residential houses as well as trading and storage facilities. The mansion itself was converted to suit the tastes of the head of the family, Ivan Filippov. He wanted his house to look like an ancient castle and to stand out from among the nearby buildings.

“The Filippov mansion acquired its present look in 1906, when its façade was rebuilt using art nouveau style plans drawn up by architect Alexander Krasilnikov. The cellar was converted into a utility room and a flat for one of Filippov’s servants. Flats on the ground floor were rented out, and Ivan Filippov lived on the first floor. Today it is an office building. The facades have not been changed since the early 20th century,” Head of the Cultural Heritage Department Alexei Yemelyanov said.

The turret at the corner of the building has a tapering roof, and there are bay windows in the form of belvedere balconies on the first floor that are crowned with attics. One of these adornments resembles a kokoshnik (a traditional Russian headdress) and is decorated with multicoloured tiles. Another characteristic feature of the art nouveau style is the various ways that the outsides of structures are finished. This might be by using a frosted rustic imitation stone look on the smooth plaster and brickwork.

Alexei Yemelyanov noted that the status of a historical landmark includes government protection. Any repairs or restoration work has to be carried out only after approval has been granted by the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage who will also be in charge of monitoring the job. The building cannot be taken down, and its original historical look must not be changed in any way.

August Weber was an Austrian architect who also worked in Russia. He co-designed the pavilions of the 1882 Russian Industry and Art Exhibition on Khodynskoye Polye and drew up the plans for many tenement buildings in Moscow, including on 28 Tverskaya Street Bldg. 1, 24 Myasnitskaya Street and 11 Bolshaya Lubyanka Street.

Alexander Krasilnikov was a Russian architect who designed many small buildings in northern Moscow in the early 20th century. He was put in charge of designing the Knaush-Pugovkina mansion at 3 Bolshoi Spasoglinishchevsky Pereulok Bldg. 2 and co-designed the mansion of the Suvorovs, Baranova and Gagman at 13 Malaya Nikitskaya Street Bldg. 104.

The restoration and maintenance work on Moscow’s architectural landmarks is an ongoing process. The list of such landmarks is regularly reviewed and updated. Some 700 buildings have been placed under state protection over the past seven years, 370 of which are newly discovered cultural heritage places, and some 325 are cultural heritage sites of federal or regional importance.

In October, the city placed the main building of an 18th century estate on Malaya Ordynka Street in central Moscow under state protection. It is a typical example of wooden architecture built after a big fire in the 19th century.

A wing of the Turgenev House Museum on Ostozhenka Street has been listed as a heritage site of regional importance. This structure was part of the estate where Ivan Turgenev’s mother, Varvara Petrovna, lived between the 1840s and 1850s. The writer, who often visited his mother there, described the events that took place in the house in his short story about the Mumu dog.

Another building placed under state protection is the rental building that once belonged to the merchant Panteleyev on Staraya Basmannaya Street. This three-story high building with a cellar and a loft is a fine example of the late 19th century urban eclecticism.