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We find out why the building of the power plant is an ideal space for art, and get acquainted with the engineering discoveries of Lev Kekushev.

For the seventh time, residents of the capital choose the laureate of the competition “Moscow restoration”… Voting in the project “Active citizen” is already underway, and the building, which is preferred by the majority, will be awarded the first place in the nomination “The best object of restoration according to the version of” active citizens “”. Muscovites are invited to choose one of five restored architectural monuments. Among them is a tenement house, one of the most beautiful pavilions of VDNKh and the former HPP-2. The most interesting information about the applicants and the work of the restorers can be found in the article.

HPP-2: a new generator of culture

In early December, a new cultural space will open in Moscow. The restoration of the GES-2 power plant, built in the neo-Russian style back in 1904–1908, can be called one of the landmark projects of the year.

The author of the HPP-2 building was the architect Vasily Bashkirov, but in its original form the power plant stood only until the end of the 1920s. It changed several times: extensions appeared, the tower with the clock disappeared, and at the very beginning of the war, the stone pipes of the boiler room were dismantled so that the German aviation could not use them as a reference point.

In 2014, the development of a restoration project and adaptation for modern use began: it was decided to create a modern House of Culture in the building of the former HPP-2. The authors of the concept emphasize that this will be a space in which visitors will become active participants in the events. It will house exhibition spaces, creative workshops, a library, a concert hall, educational classes, a recording studio, a photo lab, a cafe, a shop and a bakery.

At the first stage of the restoration, all late extensions were removed. Experts have strengthened the construct, since a large load is expected on it. And the appearance of historical flights of stairs, bearing metal trusses and vaults has been carefully preserved.

“This is a significant and unusual building of the early 20th century. The architect chose a non-standard embodiment for the production facility: there are features of the neo-Russian style and even temple architecture. Vasily Bashkirov used engineering solutions that were interesting for that time: very thin profiles and sections, effective geometry, due to which a high bearing capacity was achieved. The building originally had a hall structure with an open multi-lumen space. Having saved it from numerous annexes, additional floors, mezzanines, we returned it to its original appearance. The historical layout organically blended into the new concept of the facility. Now, instead of equipment, works of art will be placed there, ”says Anastasia Nadeeva, chief architect of the project from the Russian side.

The restorers have recreated the hipped-roof turret with the clock. “There is a library in the tower, and we had to think of something to access the upper bookshelves. We installed there an unusual spiral staircase with a frame made of a swirling channel, ”said Anastasia Nadeeva.

Sergei Sobyanin: The upcoming opening of the House of Culture “GES-2” is a great event in the life of Moscow Generator of creativity and ideas: how HPP-2 will be transformed

VDNKh pavilion No. 11: Kazakhstan’s agriculture and a succession of successes

The pavilion “Kazakh SSR” at the main exhibition of the country was built in 1949-1954 according to the project of Igor Petrov, Nikolai Kupriyanov and Toleu Basenov. The central part of the main facade is designed in the form of a three-span arch and decorated with majolica ceramic décor, and is also decorated with four sculptures: a collective farmer, a steelworker, Kazakh poet Dzhambul Dzhabayev and an agricultural leader Chiganak Bersiev. In 1964, the pavilion was renamed Metallurgy, and in 1966-1967 it was completely reconstructed. The modern restoration started in 2017.

“No one imagined that huge facade high reliefs were hidden under the cladding of the 1960s. However, to our surprise, when some of the skins were removed, it turned out that the high reliefs were almost completely preserved. This is a huge success. Only one of the pieces of the composition on the northeastern façade, about two meters long, was dismantled – a doorway was cut through there at one time. And everything else, although spoiled, painted over, but quite vividly healthy. The high reliefs there are interesting, on an agricultural theme: they depict cows, horses, sheep, ”says Grigory Mudrov, project scientific director, general director of Firm“ MARSS ”LLC, honorary restorer of the city of Moscow.

Facade decor was the first big challenge for restorers. The majolica that adorned the building was in color, while archival photographs from the 1950s were in black and white. The restorers calculated the structure from the photographs, but it was almost impossible to determine the original colors.

“The color and character of the relief cannot be invented; they must be recreated with a high level of reliability. We were lucky: in the backfill in the attic and in the layer of soil that we dug out for the blind area, we found fragments of this decor, about 30–40 pieces. And, luckily, the original color. The range is interesting, for example, a combination of lemon yellow and cobalt, such an energetic dark blue, ”recalls the project’s scientific director.

But this was not the last problem and not the last good luck that the restorers were waiting for. The central hall of the pavilion had two light domes: an external and an internal one, which were lost. The inner image remained only in black and white photographs. It was not clear how to restore it.

“It is logical to assume that the leaves should be green, the apples should be red-yellow, the ears should be yellow. But it remained unclear exactly what shades all the elements have. Good luck again! A 1950s color film was found showing this dome. Another story was related to the recreation of sculptures. Dzhambul Dzhabayev had to be taken from a photograph, because we did not find analogues, but it is good that the pictures were sufficiently detailed. And when we started making a model for Chiganak Bersiev, the VDNKh historian provided information that the second casting of this sculpture is still in Kazakhstan, ”says Grigory Mudrov.

“Beauty will not save if we do not save beauty”: restorer Grigory Mudrov – about his work

Bykov’s house: engineering findings of Lev Kekushev

The apartment building for the merchant Vasily Bykov was built in 1909 according to the project of the famous architect Lev Kekushev. The four-story building with undulating bay windows and curved cornices was one of the last works of the master of Moscow Art Nouveau.

At the time of Bykov, the ground floor housed a bakery, a pharmacy store, a home office and apartments. The rest of the premises were occupied by apartments for rent. The house was equipped with sewerage, hot water and steam heating – a rarity in those days. In the project, Lev Kekushev applied advanced technologies, for example, instead of wooden he used reinforced concrete floors.

Back in the early 2000s, the house retained its original layout and decoration: Kekushevsky window and door joinery, blown glass panes, facades and stucco moldings. But in 2009 there was a big fire. In 2013, emergency work began, and then a comprehensive restoration.

As the author of the restoration project, Vladimir Kuznetsov, said, despite the emergency state of the house, some of the original elements have survived, for example, fragments of stucco molding, window and door joinery fillings. But the decor was badly damaged as a result of exploitation, fire and subsequent ingress of moisture. So it had to be restored on site, then cut out, cast in a workshop and reinstalled. There were hundreds and hundreds of details, the specialists did a tremendous job.

“Lev Kekushev is not only a brilliant architect, but also an engineer. And in my opinion, the most interesting thing in this project is the engineering side. A scheme, unique for that time, was used there: the main supporting structures (external walls and walls of staircases) were masonry, and the entire internal layout was based on a metal frame, that is, it was free. This means that during operation it could change, while neither the floors nor the supporting structures were affected. I asked experienced restorers – this was not the case in the residential architecture of that time in Moscow, this is the only example, ”says Vladimir Kuznetsov.

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Little Russian courtyard: four centuries of history

In the first half of the 17th century, mainly foreigners lived in the area of ​​modern Maroseyki Street, among them – the Hanseatic merchant D.N. Rutz, who in the 1630s-1640s began to erect stone chambers in his courtyard. Over the course of several centuries, they were rebuilt many times, the owners of the building changed, among whom were, for example, the Naryshkins and Prince Kantemir. In the early 1870s, part of the building was divided into residential apartments. From 1889 to 1912, in addition to residential apartments, the building housed the Elisabeth Gymnasium for women, a handicraft school, a pharmacy, and a printing house with a shop.

The history of the building is rich, as the restorers were convinced of, layer by layer revealing elements of different times.

“Our task was to preserve not only the earliest parts of the building dating back to the 17th century, but also the later layers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Many openings and probes were made throughout the house. We found many interesting finds. For example, on the first floor, which had an economic purpose, fragments of columns of the 17th century, Naryshkin time, were found. It was a great success, and together with the new owner of the building, we decided that the fragments should be left in the interior after restoration, ”says Elena Odinets, scientific director of the project.

They also found traces of an in-wall staircase and stoves, unique platbands and much more. Stove tiles from 1760, which depict scenes from rural life: a fisherman, young ladies with umbrellas, houses, have become a particularly valuable find. In the piers, a 17th century white clay candlestick, a fragment of a kerosene lamp, a bast shoe, and a malachite chest were found.

On the third floor, restorers found church murals from the 19th century (in the 1880s, a chapel was set up in one of the rooms). “Since the plot was depicted on a plaster of shingles, the work was difficult and costly. The images were cut from plaster, applied to canvas, and then restored. They decided to leave this painting in the interiors of the house, ”notes Elena Odinets.

House of Tretyakov: a combination of the authentic and the late

The house on 1st Golutvinsky Lane is famous for the fact that famous patrons of art were born here: the founder of the Tretyakov Gallery Pavel Tretyakov and the collector Sergei Tretyakov. The building has belonged to the Tretyakov family since 1795 for over 100 years. In the 19th century, it was rebuilt several times. Now the house is run by the State Tretyakov Gallery. It was decided to restore the building and open a museum and memorial center dedicated to the Tretyakovs. It is planned to start operation at the end of December.

“This is a typical Zamoskvoretsky house: a stone bottom and a wooden top. It is notable for the fact that the Tretyakov brothers lived in it for about 10 years. When the family moved, the house was rented out. In the 1980s, it was partially restored, but the work was not completed, and it was actually abandoned. Our task was to separate everything later from the real and to emphasize this in the space of the new museum. Visitors will see interesting elements of the walls and basements thanks to the open probes, ”said Narine Tyutcheva, head of the Rozhdestvenka architectural bureau.

Experts have strengthened the dilapidated walls and excavated the brickwork. Wooden oak window frames were restored according to drawings based on historical data, and brass fittings were cast by hand according to ancient samples. On the facade of the first floor, sections of a white-stone cornice, plinth facing, window sills were reproduced. The surviving fragment of the underground with a bow-shaped arch was mothballed and became an exhibit of the museum.

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

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