Corinthian columns and medallions with classical profiles: Renovating the Guseva Polosa Estate

September 19

Renovation of the old Guseva Polosa Estate continues in the grounds of the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. The estate’s name was first mentioned in archive documents dating back to the 18th century. The house and the terraced park that are still there today were in fact built in the early 20th century. The neo-classical building was designed by structural engineer Alexander Shumilin who purchased Guseva Polosa in 1911.

“Shumilin built a two-storey wooden house on a stone foundation, with Corinthian columns, porticos, a triangular pediment, a semicircular sun parlour, moulding and medallions featuring classical profiles. The wooden walls of the façade were plastered. Although there is nothing too innovative about the interior or the exterior, the house was equipped with some technology that was still new at the time, such as central heating, indoor plumbing, ventilation, electrical lighting, bathrooms and warm lavatories,” commented Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage.

He added that the new owner transformed the surrounding land as well. A support wall was built near the house on the slopes leading to a ravine and it served as the basis for a terraced park. A rectangular pond was dug out to the east of the house (it survived until the 1920s). An alley leading from the road to the northern façade of the house was laid and lined with trees.

“The estate was nationalised after the revolution and was used for different purposes throughout the years. We know that in the 1960s it was used as a health resort. The building has been abandoned since the 1990s and gradually fell into disrepair. It was dilapidated before we started the renovation,” the head of the department said.

The works completed so far include reinforcing the foundation and ceilings, repairing the wooden framework and the roof, and restoring dormer windows and the façade. The window and door casing (including for false windows in sidewalls) was recreated based on the original designs. A staircase on the semicircular sun parlour facing the north was rebuilt. Original door openings in the rooms on the first floor were exposed and lightweight partitions installed.  

The work on the interior is nearing completion. Restoration experts are recreating parquet flooring based on original samples, renovating the moulding in the grand hall on the ground floor and the stairway, plastering the walls and covering them with textile wallpaper. The floors and walls in the rooms where it can be damp are being tiled. Other tasks include assembling curtain rails and ceiling roses, and installing lights. The support wall of the terraced park is being fixed up. More landscaping work will soon be done on the area surrounding the house. The renovation project is expected to be completed in early 2021.

The Guseva Polosa Estate, a cultural heritage site, is located in the grounds of the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. The renovation works are supervised by Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage and follow a plan also approved by the department. Once engineer Shumilin’s former house is renovated, it will be used for hosting receptions.

Preserving and restoring architecture landmarks is the top priority of the Department of Cultural Heritage. Many landmarks get a new lease of life in the city. They are adapted to modern uses while maintaining the historical look of the Russian capital. More than 1,400 cultural heritage sites have been renovated in the city since 2011, including 203 in 2019.


If you continue to use our website, you are agreeing to accept the use of cookies on your device. Cookie files ensure the website’s efficiency and help us provide you with the most interesting and relevant information. Read more about cookie files.
Accept ccokies