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April 30, 2021, 09:12

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Photo by M. Denisov.

Renovation of a historic building involves a balance between the technical requirements for modern buildings and the preservation of the authenticity of a unique object.

This year specialists Fund for capital repairs of apartment buildings the city of Moscow has planned to renovate the facade of the historic building at 29/18 Alexander Solzhenitsyn Street. The work will take place within regional overhaul program.

Famous tenants

At the end of the 18th century, it was the property of the mayor, the merchant of the first guild, Vasily Zhigarev. He bought a stone house that had stood on this site since 1767 and rebuilt it thoroughly. The project was prepared by the architect Rodion Kazakov, a student of the famous architect Matvey Kazakov. During the restructuring of the mansion, Rodion Kazakov, using his own money, erected a church of St. Martin the Confessor nearby, on the spit of Bolshaya Alekseevskaya and Malaya Alekseevskaya streets.

After the fire of 1812, the manor was bought by the industrialist Semyon Alekseev, and until the end of the 19th century the mansion belonged to the Alekseev dynasty. In 1863, Konstantin Alekseev (Stanislavsky), the future great director, theorist and theater reformer, one of the founders of the Moscow Art Theater, was born in the right wing of the building. From the middle of the 19th century, the Alekseevs owned both the neighboring house 27, and the houses on the neighboring Malaya Alekseevskaya street (now – Stanislavsky street), as well as the building of a gold-thread factory. By the way, at the beginning of the twentieth century it was re-profiled for the production of an electric cable.

At the very end of the 19th century, the mansion was acquired by the Moscow Merchant Society, and the appearance of the house changed again. According to the project of the architect Vladimir Sherwood, in 1907, the side wings of the main house were added with an additional floor, and the wing was extended to the red line of Bolshaya Alekseevskaya Street.

In Soviet times, there were communal apartments in the house. In one of them, in the left wing of the estate, the sister of Andrei Tarkovsky lived, her friends sheltered Vasily Shukshin, who had just arrived in Moscow to study, for a while.

Some of the interiors and the main staircase to the second floor have survived to this day. Today, the striking architectural features of the building are a large triangular pediment on the roof, half-columns at the height of the second and third floors, different sizes of windows, spectacular cornices over the windows of the second floor.


How historic houses are restored

The best way to preserve a building is to renovate it regularly. On average, after a quarter of a century, each of them needs major repairs, so almost all Moscow houses are included in the regional capital repair program. There are few exceptions: houses for demolition, reconstruction included in the renovation program, as well as houses with fewer than three apartments.

In the houses-monuments, the specialists of contracting organizations of the capital repair fund of the capital give a second life to facades and foundations, basements and roofs, as well as change engineering communications and carry out a comprehensive overhaul of the entrance. The restoration of such a house does not always take longer than the repair of an ordinary high-rise building. For example, it takes the same time to change pipes and communications. But some of the works, which are typical for memorial houses, require a special approach. First of all, this concerns the renovation of the historical facade, especially if there are many decorative elements on it.

When forming the capital’s overhaul program, the age of residential buildings, lifespan of elevators, years of reconstruction and previous overhaul, the state of internal engineering systems and the need for renovation were taken into account. Based on these data, the engineering systems of Moscow high-rise buildings were distributed over three-year capital plans. A year before the work is carried out, apartment owners receive notifications about the overhaul, including proposals for the scope of work. Thanks to the convenient digital service you can even see the list of systems with the distribution by the proposed overhaul years from your own smartphone.

After receiving notification of the upcoming overhaul, the owners must hold a general meeting to determine the timing and scope of work.

Overhaul in a memorial apartment building is a complex process. Such renovation requires a delicate balance between the technical requirements for modern buildings and the preservation of the uniqueness of the object. For example, plastic windows cannot be installed in a memorial house or the historically inherent color must not be changed.

The method and technologies for repairing a monument house are defined in the design and estimate documentation, which undergoes state expertise and is agreed with the city Department of Cultural Heritagethat provides supervision.

Based on the results of competitive procedures, a contractor is determined from among those licensed by the Ministry of Culture of Russia, which will have to perform work as part of the overhaul.

The general repair scheme is not applied at cultural heritage sites. Builders always use customized solutions. To preserve the historical appearance, strict control is carried out throughout the entire process. The renovation is supervised by both the Overhaul Fund and the Department of Cultural Heritage.

“The overhaul program includes more than 350 memorial houses. Their repair imposes special obligations, including work in accordance with Federal Law No. 73 “On objects of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments) of the peoples of the Russian Federation,” “the press service said.

Fund for capital repairs of Moscow.

The terms and types of work under the overhaul program are specified by the short-term plan. There are 4,437 houses in the plan for 2021–2023. This is part of a large-scale regional overhaul programs… All construction and installation work is carried out in strict accordance with building standards, including city rules for maintaining silence.

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

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