Where to find a knight in Sadovoye Koltso: Shugaeva's revenue house recognized as an architectural landmark

Where to find a knight in Sadovoye Koltso: Shugaeva's revenue house recognized as an architectural landmark
The seven-storey building built in 1913 is a piece of Nordic Art Nouveau with Gothic-style elements. Its fronts are decorated with plaster bas-reliefs depicting medieval warriors, ladies and winged lions. The key peculiarity of its Gothic decor is a sculpture of a knight in armour resting on his sword.

The former Anna Shugaeva's revenue house has been listed as a cultural heritage site of regional significance. The seven-storey building was erected in 1913 by architect Vasily Volokitin in Nordic Art Nouveau. This style features solid architectural forms, no fine details and wrought elements in front decoration, as well as use of natural colours and textures.

Anna Shugaeva's building fronts overlook the Sadovaya-Samotyochnaya Street and Likhov Pereulok. The building is shaped like letter L.

"This building is an example of a revenue house of the early 20th century. It is primarily remarkable for its Gothic-style decor. Its facades are adorned with plaster bas-reliefs with figures of medieval ladies and warriors in armour. There are also figures of winged lions. The main entrances are decorated with paired sculptures of these mythical beasts. But the key element of this house is the statue of a knight in armour resting on his sword at the seventh floor level. Sadovaya-Samotyochnaya Street offers a wonderful view of the figure. People still live in this house," Head of the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department Alexei Yemelyanov said.

In addition to bas-reliefs, facades are adorned with high reliefs, prominent three-dimensional mouldings of medieval knights, as well as mascarons and individual plaster elements such as rosettes, knightly swords and shields. The building’s walls are painted light grey, while decorations are dark grey.

For merchants and tenants

According to the architect's design, the first floor and the basement were to house shopping premises. The semi-basement and the other six floors had apartments. Today the first floor houses shops, and the other six floors are residential. Windows in this building vary in size and shape ― rectangular, semicircle and lancet (acute arch). Balcony railings are made as balustrades (a row of sculptural columns) and arcades (a row of identical arches). In addition, there are straight, semicircle, twisted and faceted columns and semi-columns on the facade.

The walls of the first to sixth floor are decorated with unequal rockface stones (masonry imitation), and the walls of the last floor are finished with smooth plaster.

The front hall overlooking the Sadovaya-Samotyochnaya Street boasts well-preserved interior with painted heraldic symbols and moulded medallions. Moreover, there you can see the stairs with sculptured metal guardrails and the floor made of small ceramic encaustic tiles of various shapes and sizes.

According to Alexei Yemelyanov, after Anna Shugaeva's revenue house has been declared regional cultural heritage site, it is protected by the state. Today any alteration in its appearance is prohibited and any restoration work in communal facilities (entrances, stairwells), as well as on fronts, must be approved and supervised by the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage.

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Anna Shugaeva (year of birth and death unknown) was the owner of a revenue house on Sadovaya-Samotyochnaya Street. Her husband, Sergei Shugaev was an honoured citizen and owned several revenue houses in Moscow.

Vasily Volokitin (year of birth and death unknown) is a Russian and Soviet architect known for his Gothic-style revenue houses. Merchant Schroeder's revenue house (7 Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Pereulok) was built according to his design; together with architects Ivan Kondratenko and Semyon Doroshenko, Volokitin designed Gordon and Shugaev's aparts house (8 Malaya Molchanovka Street).

There is an ongoing program in place to preserve and restore Moscow’s architectural landmarks.  The cultural heritage list is regularly updated. Over the past seven years alone, about 700 monuments have been added. They include over 370 newly discovered cultural heritage sites and about 330 cultural heritage landmarks of federal and regional significance.

Recently, another piece of Nordic Art Nouveau architecture, a revenue house owned by the lawyer Fyodor Plevako, has been registered as an architectural landmark. Its facades are decorated with maiolica panels made at the Savva Mamontov's pottery workshop.  In addition, firebird house in the centre of Moscow was recognized as an architectural monument. It is one of the most distinctive creations of the renowned architect Ernst-Richard Niernsee. The asymmetrical facade of the building is decorated with ceramic tiles, which were also manufactured at the Abramtsevo pottery workshop, owned by the famous philanthropist Savva Mamontov.