Portal Houses: Where in Moscow to Feel Like in Portugal or Sweden

August 5

One can notice a lot of interesting things looking around attentively while walking along Moscow. In the city center, there are houses that are very similar to well-known foreign buildings or built in a style typical of other countries. And the facades of some are so rich in details that one can stand in front of them for a long time - as in front of a unique exhibit in a museum. Six buildings with interesting stucco molding and other decor relief elements —see this in mos.ru material.

Arseny Morozov's mansion: lace, shells and a dragon

Do you want find yourself in Portugal without leaving Moscow? Add visiting Vozdvizhenka to the route. One of the most notable architectural objects on this street is the quaint house of the careless heir to a wealthy merchant family, Arseny Morozov. Today it arouses unconditional admiration. It is hard to believe that at the end of the 19th century, when the mansion was built, people talked about it only mockingly. The general mood of Moscow residents was expressed by the mother of the house owner. According to legend, she told her son: “I have known that you are a fool, but now the entire Moscow will know it!”

For that time Moscow, the eclectic neo-Moorish-style house was too unusual. Arseny Morozov brought its image with him from a trip to Europe, where he went with a friend, architect Viktor Mazyrin, in search of inspiration. In the Portuguese city of Sintra, both were impressed by the famous Pena Palace, built in the Manueline style.

The Morozovs: A merchant dynasty

This style is reflected in the design of the portal of the main entrance to the Morozov mansion and two towers on sides of it. The arched opening is framed by columns that look like twisted ropes. Around the front door there are stucco moldings in the form of knots: in Portugal, they are believed to bring good luck. Above the door there is a bas-relief with a dragon — another symbol of well-being, but this time, a Chinese one.

The towers are decorated with an openwork cornice and shell-shaped stucco molding, possibly borrowed from the Casa de las Conchas. It is located in the Spanish city of Salamanca, which Morozov and Mazyrin could also visit. And the stucco molding in the form of grapes again refers to the Pena Palace, which is entwined with vines (though, the real ones).

Elongated window openings with half-roses, as in medieval cathedrals, refer to neo-Gothic, and some of them frame the columns related to the classicism style. The asymmetrical composition of the mansion is typical of the Art Nouveau architecture.

House of Broido: Writers, Muses and Apollo

Want more eclecticism? Go to the Arbat lanes - one can quickly walk from the Morozov mansion. Here is one of the tenement houses of Heinrich Broido, a candidate of commercial sciences and a major Moscow developer. Built in 1907, it is considered the most interesting work of the architect Nikolai Zherikhov.

The building has two main façades in an eclectic style — western (facing Plotnikov Lane) and northern (facing Maly Mogiltsevsky Lane) ones. The difference in facades is balanced by an angular bay window that stretches from the second to the fourth, last, floor. The upper part of the entrance to the house is decorated with two stone mascarons inspired by the ancient culture.

At the level of the second floor, the house is surrounded by a sculptural frieze depicting the ancient muses, the ancient Greek god - the patron of the arts of Apollo and ... Alexander Pushkin, Lev Tolstoy and Nikolai Gogol in antique clothes. The name of the sculptor who worked on the figures is unknown, as is the motive of the customer. Why the Russian classics turned out to be in such a company remains a mystery.

Burov's House: Tracery Accordion House

One of the most famous stucco houses in the capital is located on Leningradsky Prospekt between Belorusskaya and Dinamo metro stations. It was erected in 1940 according to the drawings of Andrei Burov and Boris Blokhin by the method of block construction, but there is something in common with the Art Nouveau architecture. Concrete lattices with floral ornaments of two types, made according to drawings by the artist Vladimir Favorsky, recall the style that prevailed at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Openwork lattices, however, perform not only a decorative function - they hide kitchen loggias.

The facade of the building seems to be faced with marble pilasters. In fact, they are made of concrete, into which, on the advice of Burov, a dye was added, which resulted in unusual stains. Pilasters decorated with large medallions separate paired groups of high window openings with French balconies. The horizontal belts of the house are decorated with leaf patterns. Another name for this six-story building is the accordion house: rotation of windows and loggias makes it look like musical instruments, which are also usually decorated with openwork patterns.

House with Animals: from an Owl to a Firebird

Another house, which can be viewed for a very long time, is located on Chistoprudny Boulevard. Terracotta bas-reliefs in the form of fabulous and quite real representatives of flora and fauna are woven into a one-piece pattern, covering the facade at the level of the third and fourth floors with a carpet.

The artist Sergei Vashkov, according to whose sketches they have been made, said that he derived inspiration from the ancient decor of the Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir. This work was his first experience in architecture. Vashkov placed firebirds, owls, griffins, dragons and other bizarre creatures, in which the distant relatives of smiling lions and mysterious tigers, who have adorned the Dmitrievsky Cathedral for 10 centuries can be recognized, on the facade of the house.

The official name of the building, which for many years has been called the house with the animals, is “the tenement building of the Trinity Church on Gryazeh”. It was built in 1908 by the architect Lev Kravitsky and engineer Peter Mikini.

The four-story building has not come down to us in its original form. In 1945, the architect Boris Topaz additionally built two additional floors. In the course of the work, the openwork lattice of the roof, balconies and hipped roof, as well as part of the bas-reliefs were lost.

House of Tarkhova: Cats, Cacti and Poppies

Having admired the mysterious animals of Vashkov, one can walk to Pokrovsky Boulevard, turn into Kazarmenny Lane and reach the intersection with Podsosensky Lane. Here one of the capital's most interesting buildings in the Northern Art Nouveau style is waiting for you. In Moscow, such houses, typical of the Scandinavian countries, are rare. The mansion was built by the architect Georgy Makayev for himself in 1904, but a year later he sold it to the wife of the provincial secretary, Nadezhda Tarkhova.

Northern Art Nouveau (in Europe it is called “national romanticism”) is characterized by contrasting combinations of artificial and natural finishing materials, textures, shapes, non-standard division into parts of window frames and the arrangement of windows. The massive building looks like a rock; the decor is characterized by motives inspired by Scandinavian folklore and nature.

Tarkhova's house has several unofficial names — “a house with cats”, “a house with poppies”, “ a house with cacti”, “a snail house”.  Cats can be seen on the central bay window - a bas-relief, somewhat similar to cat's heads, adorns its upper part, and long bodies and legs go down two floors. The poppies on the house can no longer be seen — in the upper part of the house until the 1970s, there were ceramic inserts depicting red flowers. It is also difficult to call this house a snail today — a pair of “horn”- towers, which crowned before the bay window, were lost a long time ago. But the cacti are in place: a vertically located bas-relief depicting flowering succulents adorns the facade facing Podsosensky Lane. However, many people see chamomiles in these flowers.

Smirnov's Mansion: Flowers and Curls

While walking along Tverskoy Boulevard, slow down at house 18. One of creations of Fyodor Shekhtel is before you. The manor house of the 18th century was reconstructed according to the architect’s project in 1905 and today it is a fine example of Art Nouveau.

The asymmetrical structure of the house, typical of this style, worked out well due to Schechter’s decision to unite the main building of the estate and the adjacent wings under one roof. In the central part, the architect placed three elongated stained-glass windows, over which he placed a cartouche (stucco in the form of a scroll) with the monogram of the owner - director of the trading house “P.A. Smirnov in Moscow”.

The upper part of the windows is framed by ceramic tiles with stucco moldings in the form of bizarre colors, typical of Schechter’s works. An arch, also decorated with flowers, is located under the windows - it leads to the courtyard. The architect also added bay windows and a decorative balcony on the second floor with typical Art Nouveau curls and curved lines.

Source: mos.ru

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