Palibin's mansion, Domzhur and VDNKh pavilions: what is being restored in Moscow today

September 25

In Moscow, they take care of the historical heritage. All ancient buildings that have cultural or historical value are carefully restored trying to preserve their usual appearance as much as possible. Over the past 10 years, restorers have saved and restored 1,578 monuments . Another 100 sites will be completed by the end of the year.

The most significant projects become laureates of the Moscow Restoration contest. This year it will be held for the 11th time: restorers, architects and workshops have submitted more than 60 applications. But the work on the monuments revival in the capital does not stop. What sites of cultural heritage are being restored by restorers today - in the material

Abrikosovs House

Ul. Malaya Krasnoselskaya, 7, building 31

During the restoration, the famous two-story mansion on Malaya Krasnoselskaya Street changed its brick-red color to a delicate olive. This is exactly how the building was conceived at the beginning of the XX century by the architect Boris Shnaubert. To find out this, the specialists needed to remove 14-15 layers of paint from the facade details. By the way, the olive shade was a favorite among modernists, and in 2020 the building was returned to its original color.

The restoration of the facades has already been completed. Work is in full swing inside the building: specialists are recreating the interiors. They are very attentive to every detail. The walls in the house will also be painted in shades of green, in the living room the fireplace will be restored, and five windows in the form of honeycombs with pink and honey shades will be installed in the bay window of the first floor. In the central part of the mansion, an amazing stained-glass ceiling lamp will be returned to the initial place. It took almost six months to restore it. The details of the plafond will be fixed on a metal frame and, as the architect intended, during the day light will enter the house through stained glass.

The restoration of the Abrikosovs mansion is planned to be completed by the end of 2022. After that, the monument will be opened for Muscovites: an educational center or a training cluster for children on confectionery-making will be created here.

Central House of the Journalists

Nikitsky Boulevard, house 8a / 3, building 1

Restoration continues in the Central House of the Journalists on Nikitsky Boulevard. Specialists carry out the work in stages, so the site is open to visitors.

The former one-story city manor house was built in the XVIII century. In the 20s of the last century, the Press House was located here, and the building itself had already become three-storeyed by that time.

First of all, the historical appearance was returned to the front part of the building and the white-stone basement with window lintels was restored. But the most serious work is inside the house. Restorers are restoring the luxurious interiors of the enfilade halls of the first floor. The large front, Marble (Oval) and Fireplace halls, Blue and Pink living rooms appeared in the mansion during the reconstruction under the management of architect Alexander Vivien in the second half of the XIX century.

In the Fireplace Room, the historical parquet has been recreated, in other rooms the walls and historical chandeliers have been restored. One of the main objects of House of the Journalist (Domzhur) is the grand staircase made of natural marble. To restore its historical appearance and recreate the lost elements, experts turned to old drawings and photographs.

Architectural Ensemble: VDNKh Pavilions

The restoration of monuments at VDNKh does not stop for a day. Now specialists are working in 23 pavilions. For example, the restoration of the Physics (former Latvian SSR) pavilion No. 5  is being completed, the creation of the Olympic Committee Museum in the Radio Electronics and Communications (former Volga Region) pavilion No. 15  continues. The main works in the Microbiological Industry (former Oilseeds) pavilion No. 30 have been completed, preparation for the installation of the future Biotech museum exhibit are beginning.

The Physics pavilion will be the same as it was conceived in 1954 by the project authors Aivars A.Ya., Zakis V.I., and Pluxne K.Ya.    The pavilion has already been restored, and in some places the stucco decor has been partially recreated. The revealed paintings on the arches and walls of the central hall were restored. The coffered ceiling was got in order and 45 daisy chandeliers of the introductory hall were restored. The front carved doors with amber elements returned to their place.

According to archival materials, polychrome stained glass windows lost in 1960 will be restored on the main facade. It is known that nine of them were taken to the Latvian SSR, where they are today. The whereabouts of the others are still unknown. The project of recreating the stained-glass windows has already been developed, experts have determined the color scheme and selected glass samples. After the sketches approval, the stained glass windows will be made in the workshop.

It is planned to complete the work by the end of the year: it remains to restore only the stained-glass windows and chandeliers, as well as install equipment for the exhibition in the pavilion.

Pavilion No. 15 is also interesting for its stained glass windows. Initially, it was called The Volga Region, and this theme was played out in the interior, the central part of which was occupied by a stained glass window with a map of the Volga region. But the pavilion stood in its original form for only four years: in 1959, it was reconstructed and renamed to Radio Electronics and Communications. Now the restorers face a difficult task - to return the building to its original appearance. The foundation was strengthened in the pavilion, the bas-reliefs were restored, the roof is partially ready.

But the main discovery for restorers was four paintings found in different halls. They have been hidden under paint over for more than 60 years. The fact that there were paintings on the ceiling was evidenced by archival photographic materials. Therefore, experts decided to clear small areas and found fragments of the painting. One painting has already been uncovered and restored, another one is in the process. In addition, the clearing and restoration of the remaining two will begin in the near future.

"The paintings are on canvases that are glued to layers of plaster. Experts understood that the foundation under the paintings is already very many years old. Therefore, restorers should have a lot of experience, it is important to choose the right chemical compositions to reveal the painting and not damage either the paint layer or the canvas, " Igor Purynov, curator of the restoration and adaptation of pavilions at VDNKh project from the Moscow Department of Capital Repairs, says.

Now the ground floor is being equipped in the pavilion, modern engineering equipment will be placed there. Cascading fountains are also being got in order: they will decorate the facades of the building again, as it was almost 60 years ago It is planned to complete the entire restoration in 2022.

In the Microbiological Industry pavilion, the main work on recreating the interiors was completed last week. The roof and facade were restored, the carved pediment with flowers of oil plants and stucco molding were restored, as well as unusual ornaments and paintings on the ceiling - they were found by specialists during the restoration.

"In one of the halls, we cleared a painting that was painted over even before the opening the renovated Cotton pavilion in 1954. In the side caisson of the ceiling, ornaments similar to Central Asian ones were depicted on a dark green background. Apparently, they were depicted at the moment when the pavilion was renamed to Cotton to emphasize the connection with cotton growing. The central caissons of the ceiling of this hall still depicted plants associated with oilseeds (the pavilion was dedicated to them from 1939 to 1953). But apparently, just before the opening, such a neighborhood of different ornaments they did not like and the side paintings were painted over with white. We managed to clear them only now, " Anastasia Zamarenova, chief architect of the restoration project of the Microbiological Industry pavilion No. 30, told.

The territory around the pavilion has been landscaped, and experts continue to restore the fountain in the form of a bouquet of oil plants located in the courtyard. The work is planned to be completed in 2022.

Palibin's Wooden Mansion

Ul. Burdenko, 23

In the area of Khamovniki, you can find a rare example of wooden architecture - the Palibin’s house. The one-story gray mansion was built in 1818 by order of Gavrila Palibin, the director of the drawing department of the Moscow Boundary Office .

In 2019, anti-damage work was carried out. The restoration began last year, but the work was carried out only in the basement. This year, the complex restoration was continued. Before the cold weather sets in, specialists will finish the facade work. The building will be painted the historical gray-blue shade, and restorers will also recreate the lost decor of the gates and fences. 

At the same time, specialists are working inside the mansion. They will restore the unique stove tiles that have been preserved in the house, as well as the glued-laminated parquet, doors and other interior details. Sections of historical wallpaper with paintings of the XIX century will be preserved on the walls.

After the restoration completion, the Palibin’s mansion will be open to Muscovites: an exhibition space will be organized here.

Moscow Imperial Orphanage

Kitaygorodsky proezd, 9

The restoration of the largest building of the pre-revolutionary period has begun on the Moskvoretskaya Embankment. The houses complex of the Moscow Imperial Orphanage was founded during the reign of Catherine II in 1764.

The orphanage is the most significant building of early classicism, it was built according to the project of Karl Blank. The scale and many architectural details make the building outstanding (the facade stretches along the embankment for 379 meters). It is also noteworthy that the house on the bank of the Moskva River is located on the same red line with the Kremlin.

The fate of this ensemble is also interesting: it was building for several centuries. So, the main building and the western square, as was planned by Karl Blank, were built in the XVIII century. And the eastern square was built only in the 1960s - the Soviet architect Iosif Loveyko became the initiator of the project. The orphanage survived the terrible fire of 1812. Despite the fact that Kitay-Gorod was almost completely destroyed by fire, the servants of the orphanage managed to save the main building.

Specialists carried out emergency work, installed supporting wooden structures and metal bands inside, and also strengthened the foundation. The installation of special scaffolding has been completed, they were developed specifically for the restoration of the monument.

In addition, the restoration of the central part of the orphanage fence with the entrance gate is coming to an end. The fence consists of more than three thousand elements, of which 2,550 (almost 80 percent) have been restored, and 950 have been reimposed. It remains to complete the work on the white-stone basement of the fence.

Manor Houses of Knops Industrialists

Kolpachny Lane, house 5, buildings 1-4, 6 and house 7, building 2

In Kolpachny Lane, restorers are restoring the city manor house of Andrey Knop and the manor house of Chetverikov-Knop. Both buildings were erected at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

The city manor house of Andey Knop is similar to a Gothic castle - the main building is decorated with crenellated turrets and a variety of geometric shapes. The mansion was built in 1900 by the architect Karl Treyman.

The Chetverikov-Kno’s manor house was built in 1869 in the eclectic style by order of Fyodor Knop, the brother of a famous industrialist.

During the preparation for the restoration, specialists discovered unique details of the interior decoration. In the mansion of Chetverikov-Knop, alfray paintings (drawings applied to low-dried plaster), ceramic air vents and parquet floors were found. All the original decorative details in the manor house will be restored, the interiors will return to their historical appearance. Specialists will restore great halls, living rooms, get windows, doors, stairs and roofs in order, strengthen the foundations of buildings, repair ceilings and renew engineering communications.

The work will be completed in 2023. After the restoration completion, a family museum will be opened in the manor house.


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