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Apartment in Arbat  Moscow




A beautiful building with a tree-filled courtyard in the vicinity of Smolenskaya Metro Station. Architect Pavel Zheleznov’s vision of his future residence appeared close to impossible but dreams do come true. An apartment consisting of two isolated rooms and a tiny kitchen was absolutely bare, Pavel reminisces, but what a building!

The block of apartments for the Bolshoy Theatre employees built in 1954 was designed by Mikhail Posokhin, the architect of the Stalin Skyscraper at Vosstaniya Square and the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. The block of apartments consists of two parts built at various times. The façade decorated with magnificent plasterwork conceals it but the two parts are clearly distinguishable on the inside. The first features entrance halls decorated with rusticated stone and apartments with plasterwork.

The second part where I live has nothing of the sort although the layouts are identical. The priority was to find a place for the books. Bookshelves in my previous apartment became insufficient long ago and the books arguably became the main reason for the move. Pavel forwent the long angle-shaped corridor connecting the entry way to the kitchen and replaced with a capacious lacquered-steel bookcase, as strong as it is elegant.

The living room with a hinged door leading to the kitchen and the bedroom became the focus of the apartment. The bedroom-living room-kitchen suite axis is underscored by three crystal chandeliers. Combined with the hinged doors these bring stateliness to the entire apartment.

Furthermore, the glass-panel doors let the light in, which also makes the area visually larger. “When designing the interior I imagined myself an architect of the 1950s who would not have known of the decoration materials deficit, Pavel says. — I treated myself to plasterwork, glass-panel doors, oak herring-bone parquetry and windowsills of Jurassic marble embedded with archaic shells.

My furniture is rather eclectic but it creates an impression of a home with a history. An early XX century cupboard appears to be inherited from the grandmother while the aluminum chair was purchased by the grandson. So, it all comes together”.


Stylist and scriptwriter – Polina Chesova

Photos by Sergey Ananiev


ELLE DECORATION №142, February 2015