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Bay window, West-side elevation

Apartment building of St. Anna's Lutheran Church.

9 Furstatskaya St.
1903-4.
In co-operation with L. A. Ilyin.

In 1902 St. Petersburg Architects' Society announced a project competition for a Apartment building of St. Anna's Evangelical-Lutheran Church. There seems to have been twenty projects competing. The first prize was awarded to the project created by Alexey Bubyr' and Lev Ilyin who had graduated from the Institute of Civil Engineers shortly before.


Ground floor plan

To quote the jury, "The project has been created on the idea of two circles. <...> Judging on its simple, clear, and rational planning as well as beautiful, finely drawn elevations, the project should surely be considered the best of all those presented. Although the building's usable area is smaller than that in many other projects, <...> the "two circles" project has still been found the best one, as the author managed to avoid creating undesirable dark rooms and to illuminate all lavatories and bathrooms with direct sun light. Front staircases are wide and well illuminated. Sizes of flats as well as their layouts are very apt. This project being completed, it will adorn the whole street."

The house did adorn the street, it blended perfectly with front buildings and sorted with St. Anna's Church to their mutual advantage. Apart from the good planning and impressive elevations distinguished by the jury, it should be noted that the building looks very cheerful in any season. No one could say what influenced such image, either Ilyin's visit to Italy a short time previously* or the spirit of the age itself, before the 1905 Revolution. Anyway, later, austere Bubyr's buildings can't be described so.

As for the style, something prevents from considering this house belonging to Art Nouveau, though the Art Nouveau's style limits are quite wide. The way bars and door windows are drawn shows the coming style, but the house as a whole still belongs to the leaving eclectic epoch.


Ground floor plan

2nd floor plan
2nd floor plan

Corner bay window. Rotunda of the church.
 
Bay window on the Furstatskaya Street side elevation
 

*Most probably, Bubyr' did planning, Ilyin developed elevations. Such division of labour was common in later works as well, e.g. plans of H. A. Luther's apartment house in Revel (now Tallinn) were signed by Bubyr', its elevations – by Nikolay Vasilyev.


Photos and text by A. Mamlyga

Drawings: Zodchy magazine 1903.


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