MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
We will tell you how the restoration of the Northern River Station, the Narkomfin House and other less large-scale, but no less important monuments took place.
In 2020, Moscow brought back to life two unique monuments of the Soviet period – the Northern River Station and the House of Narkomfin. The restoration of the cinema building was completed at the end of the year “Art” – the oldest in Moscow.
“Despite the limitations associated with the difficult epidemiological situation, the capital’s restorers continued their work. Over the year in Moscow, work was completed on the preservation of more than 100 monuments; in the last week alone, work was accepted at such objects as the Church of the Sign on Ryazansky Prospect, the Church of the Trinity in Ostankino and the Church of the Intercession in the Shcherbatov estate. Among the most significant restorations are the Northern River Station, the Narkomfin House, the building of the Khudozhestvenny cinema. Over the past 10 years, over 1,500 monuments have been restored in the city. It is important that specialists carry out both comprehensive restoration and individual restoration work, “said the head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage
Northern river station
The restoration of the year can rightfully be called the restoration of a unique architectural monument of the 1930s – Northern river station… The specialists not only restored the station building, but also carried out a comprehensive improvement of the territory. A park, a cafe, an embankment and a museum appeared here, but most importantly, the river station has again become the most important transport facility in Moscow, as well as, as in the Soviet years, a favorite vacation spot for Muscovites.
Specialists have overhauled all 17 berths. The Northern River Terminal can receive or dispatch up to four ships simultaneously and up to 24 ships per day. During the season, it will handle over 1.5 million passengers – the same as in 1960, at the peak of the popularity of this transport hub.
The restorers have preserved most of the original elements and interior details, and the lost parts have been restored. The work involved 400 architects-restorers from all over Russia.
Photo by E. Samarin. Mos.ru
After the first-priority emergency response work, the specialists began to recreate the historical appearance and layout of the station with the maximum preservation of the original elements. Here is just a small list of the works carried out by the restorers: structures and partitions were made, the roof covering was restored with the historical layout of the drawing and the granite covering of the galleries (according to archival photographs), lighting devices, four anchors of the tower and the sculptural composition of the spire, as well as sculptures “Yuzhanka” were restored and recreated , “Krasnoarmeets”, “Severyanin” and “Krasnoflotets”.
Inside the station, the ceiling and walls were put in order, the decor was restored: grisaille, painting on glass, ventilation grilles, panels on canvas. The lost mechanism of the famous tower clock was replaced with a new one, which works with the help of modern automation equipment.
The 27-meter metal spire will move out of the tower at the beginning of navigation, and at the end of it will retract inside, as the architects intended in the 1930s. The restorers have also restored the unique star – the main decorative element of the station, which has been crowned with the spire for 80 years. An important and challenging work was the restoration of the historic North and South fountains that adorn the courtyards.
A separate project was the comprehensive improvement of the embankment, square and park of the Northern River Station. The main theme was the river. The decoration used natural materials, white, gray and beige colors. In front of the station building, an almost 400-meter stream was placed – a smaller copy of the Moscow Canal with locks and lighting.
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House of Narkomfin
In 2020, another important project was completed: the restorers have preserved the world-famous monument of constructivism – the Narkomfin House. In the 30s of the last century, architects Moisei Ginzburg and Ignatius Milinis conceived and implemented the project of a communal house for the employees of the USSR People’s Commissariat of Finance. It was one of the country’s first residential buildings on a reinforced concrete frame. The planning idea was also innovative: instead of apartments, there were living cells, the first floor was an open space with load-bearing columns, and the roof was used as a solarium.
Each cell had a stove and a sink. Garage, laundry room, clothes dryer, dining room and library in the amenity block were shared. The authors of the project assumed that such a layout would help Soviet people rebuild life in a new, communist way. However, the tenants did not like the idea, and in the mid-1930s the household block stopped working. After the war, the communal block was resettled, a printing house was set up there, and the unique residential units turned into ordinary apartments.
In April 2017, restoration of the architectural monument began. All late extensions and partitions were removed, the first floor was opened, the historical layout of the residential and communal buildings was recreated, the original reinforced concrete frame was restored, the facade design and the original color of the walls were restored. One of the features of the house at one time was the unique concrete frames, and the restorers removed all the later window fillings and inserted new ones, recreated from the drawings of the 1930s. A valuable stained glass window was restored in the communal building. In addition, work was carried out on the finishing of the steps of the stairs and the restoration of the fences.
The building was returned to its historical function. Living cells and dorm rooms are again used for permanent and temporary residence. The apartments have retained their original two-level layouts, and the ceiling heights vary from three to five meters. In the future, it is planned to open cafes, bookstores, venues for events in the communal building. Around the building there was a promenade with viewpoints and an original landscaping system.
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The history of the “Artistic Electro-Theater” began on November 11, 1909 with the premiere of the French film “Georgette”. The cinema amazed Muscovites with its advanced equipment and luxury: the foyer was decorated with openwork chandeliers, a fountain and palm trees, the guests were met by an orchestra. The place was incredibly popular and did not accommodate everyone who wanted to join the magic of cinema. Just three years after the opening, the new owner of Khudozhestvenny, director Alexander Khanzhonkov, started a major reconstruction. The building was rebuilt by one of the most famous representatives of Art Nouveau Fyodor Shekhtel.
The oldest cinema in Moscow in its history has survived bombing, shelling, perestroika and the threat of demolition. 111 years after its opening, thanks to a comprehensive restoration, “Khudozhestvenny” began a new life. The authors of the project faced a difficult task: to restore the monument, preserving Shekhtel’s ideas, and at the same time to place modern cinema equipment in the historical building. Several architectural bureaus, both Russian and foreign, were involved in the restoration project.
The main facade was reconstructed according to Shekhtel’s drawings. Experts have uncovered the pledged window openings, restored the historical decor: mascarons, bas-reliefs depicting ancient gods, the inscriptions “Entrance”, “Exit” and “Artistic electro-theater”. The cast-iron lanterns returned to their places, which were also made according to the sketches of Fyodor Shekhtel.
In the foyer, the preserved ceiling cornice and frieze have been restored, and the historic staircase has been restored based on the models of two authentic dolomite steps. It leads from the north foyer to the balcony of the main hall. Unfortunately, the balcony was lost, but the restorers were able to preserve its fence, which was included in the protection of the monument.
The renovated cinema has four halls with modern cinema equipment. In addition to high-contrast laser cinema projectors, there is a film projector that will allow you to watch movies from 35mm film. “Khudozhestvenny” will show not only world premieres, but also retrospectives.
Monument to Zhukov
The famous monument to Georgy Zhukov was created by the sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov in 1995 for the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. It was installed on Manezhnaya Square on May 8, 1995, and was restored on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Victory.
Qualified specialists in monumental sculpture and the heirs of the author of the monument were involved in the restoration. The frame of the sculpture was put in order, the surface of bronze was cleaned, completely preserving the author’s relief of the monument. Also, experts have cleared the surface of the pedestal, carried out work to preserve the patina of decorative elements. The pedestal was strengthened, as there were discovered movements of the basement blocks, the flower garden around the monument was put in order.
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House with a mezzanine in Yelokhovsky proezd
A wooden house with a mezzanine on a stone base is located at the intersection of Elokhovsky passage and Nizhnyaya Krasnoselskaya street. The one-storey building with a superstructure in the central part was erected at the beginning of the 19th century. A classic example of a Moscow residential building from that period miraculously survived the fire of 1812. The building is recognized as an architectural monument.
The restorers have done a lot of work, from the restoration of the wooden facades and the mezzanine wall to the reconstruction of the historic interiors. In the building, the frame was strengthened, the floors and roof of the mansion were renewed, and the wooden and metal surfaces were treated with a protective compound. According to archival descriptions and surviving fragments of decor, the white-stone cladding of the basement and the white-stone belt, which conditionally separates the facades, were recreated. New metal canopies were fixed over the entrances – exact copies of the original ones that had been lost.
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In the house, restorers removed all the later partitions. It turned out that on the basement floor, where a separate entrance led, there were utility rooms. The floor, located above the basement, was ceremonial, and some of its rooms had an enfilade layout. A wooden staircase led to the mezzanine with living rooms. The restoration was carried out in all rooms, and in the rooms the atmosphere of the beginning of the nineteenth century was recreated. The stoves, which heated the mansion at that time, were repaired – some of them retained the tiles from the tiles, they were also restored. Ceiling plastering, chandelier rosettes and other moldings were also tidied up. All engineering communications in the building were hidden so that they did not interfere with the view and did not contrast with the decoration of the 19th century model.
City estate on Goncharnaya street
In the spring, the restoration of the main house of the 19th century city manor house on Goncharnaya Street was completed, the work lasted for about two years. The facades were cleared of old layers of paint and plaster, the brickwork was repaired, and all defects were eliminated. In addition, the windows, doors and roof of the house were renewed.
Particular attention was paid to preserving the fragile stucco decoration on the facades: platbands, cornices and graphic rustics. In the interior, restorers restored columns, rosettes, garlands and shades. The brick vaults of the basement were restored to their historical appearance. The staircases of the 19th century were also restored, including the front one, decorated with figured metal railing.
A stone building with a wooden gallery along the courtyard facade was built on Goncharnaya Street in 1818. In 1865, the main house of the estate was rebuilt: the courtyard wall of the building, the wooden gallery and part of the outbuilding were dismantled, and the house was expanded. The layout and decoration of interiors that have come down to us date back to this period.
In October, the restoration of Lopatina’s house on Bolshaya Nikitskaya, which has been the residence of the Brazilian Ambassador to Russia since 1963, was completed. The restoration of the federal cultural heritage site lasted three years.
The building was designed by the architect Alexander Kaminsky in 1876. The house belonged to Anna Lopatina, the wife of a hereditary honorary citizen. In 1914, it was rented out, and after the October Revolution, it was planned to settle the workers of a housing construction cooperative here, for which a third floor and an attic were added. In 1963, the building was transferred to the Brazilian Embassy.
The restoration took place in four stages. This made it possible to use the building for its intended purpose as long as possible, even during work. At the first stage, the specialists tidied up the basement, at the second – the floor overlaps: they replaced the damaged sections of the roof, treated metal and wooden elements with protective compounds.
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The most ambitious was the third stage of restoration – work with interiors and roofing. In addition, experts have opened and restored the previously laid enfilade openings. The stucco decoration, ceilings and walls of the premises, as well as ceramic wall cladding, plaster profiles and ventilation grilles, were restored to their historical appearance. In the main halls, parquet flooring was recreated, and on the ground floor – paintings.
At the final stage, the facades and fences were restored, as well as the territory was landscaped. The restorers paid special attention to the tiled inserts, which were partially broken and lost. Craftsmen removed the mold from well-preserved old elements and made new tiles from it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.