Extraordinary Moscow houses — Residential house of Pertsova

House of Pertsova (DOM PERTSOVOY) — 5 th. Soymonovsky per.

Year build: 1886, 1905–1907

Engineer: N.K.Zhukov

Artist S.V.Maluytin


Moscow — the city which could hardly be called a calm and comfortable place to live with it’s frantic pace of life, crowded subway and huge traffic jams. All the life changes actually turned into architectural artwork masterpieces. Moscow`s dreams, ambitions, complexes, fantasy, culture, history, life circumstances, fashion, faith, politics. There are many reasons why Moscow has these phenomenal and extraordinary buildings which are worth seeing for everyone who want to feel and understand such a complicated and interesting city.

The story of building

Residential house of Pertsova, which is also known as a fairy-tale house, is one of the finest examples of Moscow art nouveau buildings constructed in 1905–07 by the architects Schnaubert B.N. and Zhukov N.K. The house itself was built based on a sketch of a talented artist Sergey Malyutin. Enamored of Russian folklore fabulous epos, he created not only the buildings but also the furniture and everyday objects. What made his creations unique was a sense of fairy-tale, with symbols and history he found in folk art. Malyutin also authored the most famous Russian souvenir– Matryoshka doll.

Photo of Pertsova House in 1910
First Matryoshka-doll created by S. Malyutin

The history of the fairy-tale house began when a well-known railway engineer Petr Nikolayevich Pertsov decided to build a guest-house with residential apartments and workshops for artists and theatrical people. Pertsov was a passionate admirer of art and wanted this building itself to be a masterpiece of Russian modern art showing all the beauty and distinctive character of Slavic culture.

Slavic motives inside the house

Before the construction works, Pertsov held a closed competition, where all the famous artists and architects of Moscow participated. The main condition was that the project should combine the spirit of ancient Russian traditions and, at the same time, meet modern trends of that time. The house had to draw the eye with its extravagance and appear to be a cosy `teremok` for the residents and their guests.

Fairy-tale house is a true masterpiece of art nouveau style — the facade of the steep-roofed and angled building is covered with colorful mosaics, all windows and balconies are located asymmetrically, there are also tower-like projections of the roof and rich décor outside and inside. This magical house has a huge variety of fantastic animals on it — dragons holding balconies, owl being a part of a smoke-stack, lions on the roof, bear, bull, fishes and a gilt cock on the top.

This building has so many different colors, wavy forms, decorative elements and materials in it but all this join together and create the greatest example of the Moscow art nouveau epoch.

Fish and owl in a smoke-stock and mosaic windows
Dragons holding balcony
Lions and cock on the top of the roof

After the revolution the building was used as a hostel for military officers. Nowadays, it is possible to see it only from outside, there is no entrance as it belongs to The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Fairy-tale house nowadays

You can easily find it — the fairy-tale house is located on the bank of Moscow River, not far from the bridge near Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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