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The complex restoration of the building of the Brazilian Embassy was completed, it was carried out at the expense of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil.

In recent years, more than 30 architectural monuments have been restored in Moscow, where diplomatic missions of foreign countries are located. In 2020, the building of the Brazilian Embassy on Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street was restored to its historical appearance. On Diplomatic Worker’s Day Sergei Sobyaninappreciated the result of the restoration.

“Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate the Ambassador, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the missions of foreign states on the Day of the Diplomatic Worker, to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the contribution it makes to the restoration of monuments that belong to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And, of course, thanks to the Brazilian Embassy, ​​which has revived a real pearl of 19th century architecture on Bolshaya Nikitskaya, ”said the Mayor of Moscow.

As Tovar da Silva Nunes, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Brazil to the Russian Federation, noted, the restoration is a gift from Brazil to Moscow, as well as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

“We are very proud of our home in Moscow – in a city that is so warm, despite the cold Russian weather, so hospitably receives us,” he stressed.

In the last decade, Moscow has experienced a real restoration boom. Over the years, 1560 architectural monuments have been put in order. The plans for this year include the completion of the restoration of more than 100 historic buildings.

Pearl of Moscow architecture

The main house of the city estate on Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street (house 54, building 1) was built in 1876 according to the design of the famous Moscow architect Alexander Kaminsky. Among his projects are the Botkin estate on Pokrovka, the Karataeva-Morozov estate in Leontyevsky lane, the Chetverikov-Knop estate in Kolpachny lane, the Nosenkov-Balin mansion on Povarskaya, the house of Princess Shakhovskaya-Glebova-Streshneva on Bolshaya Nikitskaya (here is now the theater opera”). The owner of the land plot was the wife of a hereditary honorary citizen Anna Lopatina.

The stone two-story building in the Russian style with an unusual diamond-shaped pattern on the facade, lined with colored bricks almost 150 years ago, is one of the most interesting architectural structures on Bolshaya Nikitskaya, it is rightfully considered the pearl of Moscow architecture of the late 19th century.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the building turned into a tenement house. Then the interior layout was changed so that small living quarters could be rented out. In the 1920s, a hostel was located there. In 1928, according to the project of the architect Sukhanov, a third floor appeared in the house.

In the early 1960s, the building was transferred to the Brazilian Embassy. In the same years, a large-scale reconstruction was carried out. Thus, an elevator was installed in the central part of the house, a three-march wooden staircase from the first to the second floor was built in the western part, window blocks and engineering equipment were replaced. The volume and dimensions of the building have not changed.

In 1974, the architectural monument was given the status of a cultural heritage site of federal significance. After 14 years, it was bought by the Federative Republic of Brazil, and since then the building has been in its ownership.

How the embassy building was renovated

Comprehensive restoration of the historic building began in 2015 and was completed in 2020. The work was carried out at the expense of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs under a project developed by the Moscow design bureau.

The chief architect of the project, Elena Konstantinova, and the general director of the general contractor, Valery Avdeev, became laureates of the Moscow Restoration – 2020 competition.

During the work, the main attention was paid to the restoration of the facades, which are the main value of the cultural heritage site. Experts have carefully cleaned and restored the semicircular ends of the windows, decorated with a belt of archivolts and united by a wide frieze, as well as keeled kokoshniks over the windows of the second floor. Several decorative tiles were made according to the surviving analogs and installed in the place of the lost ones.

Most of the damaged tiles were restored using weather-resistant materials. This made it possible to carry out restoration work without removing the destroyed elements and replacing them with a remake. The damaged tile was strengthened in place and supplemented, its color and texture were restored.

The unique diamond-shaped pattern of the main facade has been carefully and carefully restored – chips and losses of the surface layer of each brick have been replenished. The rest of the facades of the building were restored to their historical appearance: the late yellowish painting was removed and the original natural color of red brick was revealed.

The roof has been updated based on historical photographs and archival materials, and the lost decorative tops have been recreated on the basis of a preserved fragment of the ridge. The restoration of the fence along Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street has been completed.

Inside the building, in the front area, all the valuable planning elements have been preserved, and the artistic decoration has been restored. In the absence of information about the original layout and interiors of the building, the authors of the restoration project applied solutions typical for manor houses of the late 19th century, and eclectic techniques typical for the author of the building, architect Alexander Kaminsky.

The painting and stucco molding on the ground floor was recreated according to analogs in the neo-Russian style. For example, the ceiling painting of the music hall is based on samples of the painting of the vaults of cathedrals. Pine window blocks, installed in the 1960s, have been replaced with oak-bound windows, while retaining the historical deflections. The internal doors were partially restored, partially recreated according to the surviving samples and analogues. The outer doors, along with decorative grilles, were also put in order. During the restoration of windows and doors, it was possible to partially use the surviving fittings, the missing ones were made additionally.

An original element of the mansion’s interiors is the wallpaper of the dining room, which appeared in the 1980s. They depict engravings with views of Rio de Janeiro in the 1820s, made according to drawings and watercolors by the Bavarian artist Johann Moritz Rugendas, a member of the scientific expedition of the Consul General of Russia in Rio de Janeiro, Academician G.I. Langsdorf. At one time, the wallpaper was made at the French factory Zuber using 19th century technologies. In the course of the current restoration, they managed to be recreated according to the samples preserved in France.

The walls of the house are decorated with tapestries and paintings. During the work, historical interior items were carefully preserved and restored, including the tapestry “Pergola with vases” (handmade, first half of the 17th century, Brussels), two verdures with flamingos and herons (handmade, 19th century, France, Aubusson), mantel clock depicting a lady with a horse (bronze, enamel), two Louis XV dressers with wood inlay, pink marble top and bronze ornaments, ebony chest of drawers with bronze inlay, black marble top and tortoiseshell patterns (France, Boulle). The missing details in antique chandeliers have been recreated.

The disclosure of previously laid doorways, as well as the preservation of their shape, brought the aesthetics of the interior space closer to the architecture of the facades, ensuring the integrity of the perception of the house.

In addition – within the framework of adapting the building for modern use – a centralized ventilation and air conditioning system was delicately integrated. In addition, the historical building was equipped with architectural and artistic lighting, and the adjacent territory was landscaped.

More than 1.5 thousand objects

Since 2011, 1,560 cultural heritage sites have been restored in the capital, work on 12 of them was completed in early 2021.

“A large-scale program of restoration of architectural monuments continues in Moscow. Currently, more than one and a half thousand monuments have been restored. This is an unprecedented program in its scale. Despite the economic difficulties, it continues, ”Sergei Sobyanin said.

The restoration is carried out at the expense of the Moscow and federal budgets, owners and tenants of cultural heritage sites, religious organizations, sponsors and benefactors. So, at the expense of the Moscow budget, work was carried out at 594 sites (in 2021 – at one site), at the expense of the federal budget – at 363 sites (this year – at four sites) and thanks to private funds – at 603 sites (in 2021 – at seven sites).

Large-scale restoration work has reduced the number of Moscow monuments requiring renovation by 5.3 times (since 2010). The share of cultural heritage sites in good and satisfactory condition increased from 66 to 94 percent.

Significant objects of restoration this year should be:

– a dwelling house of 1843-1845, 1892-1893 with valuable artistic interior decoration, architect K. Duvanov. The building is located at: Zemlyanoy Val street, 56, building 3;

– the building of HPP-2 (Bolotnaya embankment, 15, building 1);

– three pavilions of the Exhibition of Economic Achievements, including No. 15 “Radioelectronics and Communication”, No. 30 “Microbiological Industry” and No. 5 “Physics”.

Restoration of diplomatic missions

Since 2011, the Main Production and Commercial Directorate for Servicing the Diplomatic Corps of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which is in charge of many Moscow architectural monuments, has completed the restoration of more than 30 cultural heritage sites. Among them are the buildings of the embassies of Abkhazia (Gagarinsky lane, house 11), Vietnam (Bolshaya Pirogovskaya street, house 13), Greece (Leontyevsky lane, house 4), Egypt (Kropotkinsky lane, house 12), Iceland (Khlebny lane, house 28, building 2), Morocco (Prechistensky lane, house 8, building 1), New Zealand (Povarskaya street, house 44/2, buildings 1, 2), Palestine (Kropotkinsky lane, house 26), Syria (Mansurovsky lane, house 4, building 1), Chile (Denezhny lane, house 7, building 1).

They also put in order the residences of the French military attaché (Prechistenskaya embankment, building 29, building 1), ambassadors of Australia (Kropotkinskiy lane, building 13, building 1), Spain (Spasopeskovsky lane, building 8), France (Bolshaya Yakimanka street, 43) and Chile (Khlebny lane, house 20/3, building 1).

In 2021, it is planned to complete the restoration of the facades, roof and main fence of the Reception House of the Russian Foreign Ministry (17 Spiridonovka Street, Building 1).

Every year, on the Days of Historical and Cultural Heritage of Moscow (April 18 and May 18), excursions are organized in buildings – monuments of architecture, where diplomatic missions are located. Last year, due to the difficult epidemiological situation, they were conducted online. Virtual tours of six iconic cultural heritage sites have been published on the Discover Moscow portal.

City programs

Since 2011, the city has completely renovated 55 churches, including 34 shrines under the city’s program of subsidies to religious organizations. This year, restorers will work in 43 churches (10 sites were included in the city’s subsidy program).

Within the framework of the program “1 ruble per 1 square meter” since 2012, 24 emergency architectural monuments have been leased to private investors. The complex restoration of 19 buildings has already been completed. Work continues at five sites.

From 2011 to 2020, 117 works of monumental art and 456 architectural and artistic gravestones and objects of the historical and military necropolis, which are objects of cultural heritage, were restored.

Last year, 30 burials with artistic gravestones were put in order at the Armenian, Vagankovsky, Pyatnitsky, Vvedensky, Miussky cemeteries and in the Donskoy necropolis. The monuments to N.V. Gogol on Gogolevsky and Nikitsky boulevards, Yuri Dolgoruky on Tverskaya square, V.V. Vorovsky on Kuznetsky Most, D.N. Pryanishnikov on the street named after him, A.A. Fadeev on Miusskaya Square. Also, 50 works of landscape gardening sculptures of the Kuskovo estate have been restored.

This year 76 burials with artistic gravestones and one object of monumental art – a monument to I.A. Krylov at the Patriarch’s Ponds.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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