Post sponsored by

MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

The building in Khokhlovsky lane is based on the 17th century chambers. For more than 300 years, first a manor was located here, then a boundary office, and after the revolution – city institutions. In 2014, the house almost burned down, and in 2018 it began to be restored.

A large part of the pre-Petrine architectural structures located in the capital are chambers. They can also be seen, for example, in Veliky Novgorod, Pskov, Yaroslavl, Gorokhovets and other ancient Russian cities. The word “chambers” in Latin means “palace”, referring to the Palatine Hill in Rome, where since the time of Octavian Augustus was the residence of the emperors.

The Moscow Boundary Office (Khokhlovsky Lane, 10, Building 1) is at first glance a typical example of 19th century architecture, but it is based on chambers of the 17th century. In the course of a full-scale study of the building, which precedes any restoration, experts have discovered brickwork from the original period. The bricks are stamped with animalistic designs of two types.

“It can be assumed that the approximate date of the building is 1650-1680s. But who was the architect of the chambers is unknown, because in those years they were built by artels, ”said Tatyana Borisova, chief architect of the restoration project, honorary restorer of the city of Moscow.

According to her, these chambers could be built by the same workers as the chambers on Zabelin Street, known today as N.A. Sumarokova – N.A. Tyulyaeva.

The earliest of the discovered archival plans of the building dates back to 1744. Then the house was owned by the collegiate assessor A.Ya. Sytin, and the development included two-storey stone chambers with an extension on the south side and three small wooden houses. Then the estate passed into the possession of the counts Sheremetevs, after – Princess E.A. Lobanova-Rostovskaya.

Survey office and nationalization

In 1802 the state bought the estate. 37 years earlier, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, by the order of Empress Catherine II, land survey offices (in the provinces – land survey offices) were formed, where draftsmen and land surveyors worked. The Moscow department was located first on Tverskaya Street, then in the Kremlin, and from there in 1802 it moved to the former estate in Khokhlovsky Lane, where it worked until 1917.

The new functional purpose of the building influenced its external and internal changes: the brick decor was dismantled, instead of the internal vaults, wooden floors were made. By the end of the first half of the 19th century, hewn windows and plaster decor appeared on the facade, which was typical for Moscow architecture of that time.

In the middle of the 19th century, the building acquired a U-shape due to two-storey outbuildings in the corners. A staircase was placed in the northern part, and additional premises for employees in the southern part. In the 1880s, the third floor was built; the architect Alexander Kaminsky was the author of the project. The facade of the third floor was made in the same style as the lower ones, but the internal layout was different – there were more rooms connected by a long corridor. The southern extension of the building remained two-story.

The interiors of the house were very rich: the office had a club, expensive furniture, a billiard room and even its own theater.

After the 1917 revolution, the building was nationalized. For almost 100 years, various institutions and departments were located here. The premises were adapted for certain needs, without much concern for the preservation of the interiors, decor and facade. A lot of drywall partitions appeared, forming new rooms, the walls themselves were also sheathed with drywall, the thickness of which reached 14 centimeters.

The volumetric-spatial composition of the site was also distorted: in 1936, a school appeared next to the building of the former Moscow Land Survey Office, and in 1970 – a multi-storey residential building.

Restoration and new life

After 1991, the building continued to deteriorate. Air conditioners were installed on the facade, engineering networks were worn out, and they did not plan to carry out major repairs at all. In 2014, as a result of a strong fire in the house, the roof and the upper ceiling partially collapsed; it was in an extremely unsatisfactory condition.

In 2017 Moscow City Heritage included the building in the register of cultural heritage sites of regional significance, and a year later it was decided to restore the mansion. The restoration was carried out under the preferential program “1 ruble per 1 square meter”: the tenant restores the object, returning it to its historical appearance, after which a preferential rental rate begins to operate for a period of 49 years.

The task of the restorers was not only to renovate the building and adapt it for modern use, but also to discover historical elements, including the oldest fragments of the 17th century.

Work began in April 2018 and ended at the end of 2019. Specialists have cleared and restored the white-stone basement, restored the brickwork of the facades (rejected with authentic bricks), performed a fragmentary reconstruction of the interfloor cornice, windows and pilasters of the 17th century on the facade. In addition, the plaster decor was restored: cornices, platbands, sandriks and window frames. We also managed to recreate the balcony on the third floor.

The mansion of the Moscow land survey office in Khokhlovsky lane will be restored

“We recreated the historical layout by dismantling the late partitions, wall and ceiling cladding. Due to the poor quality of the masonry, the walls were injected and reinforced. In addition, on the first and second floors, fragments of the 17th century – the pechura, traces of felled vaults and stripping – are fragmentarily revealed for public viewing. We managed to restore the staircase, and the carpentry fillings of the doorways were made according to archival photographs and analogs of the 19th century with the use of historical cripples, ”explained Tatiana Borisova.

Last year, the building of the Moscow Land Survey Office became a laureate of the competition for the best project in the field of preservation and popularization of cultural heritage sites “Moscow Restoration – 2020”.

Now the office building houses offices.

13 landmark objects: laureates of the Moscow Restoration 2020 competition

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

MIL OSI Russia News