Unveiling History: A Timeless Fusion of Past and Present in a Russian Apartment Renovation

A Seamless Blend Of History And Modernity 35

It is an apartment renovation project in an old apartment building in Russia, completed in 2023 by Alexandra Helminskaya-Leontieva from SHURARCH. It is her family apartment with an awesome view of the Griboedov’s Canal in the historical center of Saint-Petersburg. Inside, you can find an amazing seamless blend of history and modernity.

The project aimed to “reveal” the apartment’s architectural history as much as possible, expose the masonry, the blocked opening (in the past of an apartment building), and also focus on the large windows. Minimalism wasn’t just a random choice; it was carefully selected to showcase the apartment’s architectural potential to the fullest, to introduce the bright elements in the form of modern art, natural stone, and modern pieces of furniture.

This apartment is located in a historical building that has a captivating history. Once named the Neapol Hotel, it later transformed into the Apartment House of Kitner (named after its original owner) before becoming the Mussar House as it is known today.

In the mid-19th century, the building took on a new identity as The Neapol Hotel. Afterward, it transitioned into an apartment house. Following the 1917 Revolution, it transformed into a communal apartment building, reflecting a very typical kind of apartment building in the USSR. Despite accumulating drawbacks during the Soviet era, such as uncomfortable zoning filled with walls from different time epochs with historical traces on them and the poor state of the floors and ceilings, Alexandra and her team decided to turn all the minuses into unique pluses according to a famous architectural tradition.

The living room is the center of the apartment. It is a unique space offering captivating views of the canal and the historical center. As construction progressed, the living space expanded, evolving into a multifunctional space perfect for both relaxation and work.

During the apartment reconstruction, the design team stumbled upon some remarkable historical masonry, a delightful surprise that inspired their interior design vision. Opting to preserve this piece of history, they integrated it into their future interior, complementing it with historic doornails. This unexpected find altered their original plan for a purely white apartment. Instead, they incorporated the historical masonry as a striking accent in the kitchen and bedroom. Additionally, they adorned the bathroom with red marble and extended its use to decorate the TV zone, using a unique type known as the Revolutionary Wave.

The main challenge of this project was to design a minimalist apartment while also preserving and showcasing its historical layers.

The design employed a white foundation complemented by accent colors of black, red, and gray throughout the interior. While the majority of the furniture embodies a contemporary aesthetic, we integrated several captivating vintage pieces such as the Skye lounge chair in the living room, a vintage chair in the office area, and a similar piece in the bedroom.

The historical furniture combination shows the main idea: the connection between the past and now. While the design team typically incorporates abundant art into their interior designs, the exceptional space and captivating views led them to forgo additional embellishments such as pictures, paintings, or other décor items.

However, we do feature a sculpture by the renowned Russian artist Petr Zaytsev, as well as a painting by a talented young artist from Saint Petersburg, Lilya Kovgan. Alexandra is delighted that both of them have seamlessly integrated into the overall interior concept.

A Seamless Blend of History and Modernity Gallery

Project Details:

Property type: Resale

LCD or house series: Apartment in a historic building

Location: Russia, St. Petersburg

Year of creation: 2023

Interior style: Minimalism

How many square meters: 69m2

Budget: 18 million

Who lives here: Guest apartment for an architect in St. Petersburg

Photographer: Sergey Krasyuk @skrasyuk www.krasyukproduction.com

Stylist: Yes We May @yes_we_may

Main brands: Zalf, Caliaitalia, Midj, Ikea, Aromas del Campo, Wever&Ducre lighting, Hansgrohe, Cielo, Dremma, Asket, 101 Copenhagen, Piet Boon, Kristina Dam Studio, Sphagnum, New Works, Wuu, Paola C, Ateliertati


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Karin Hoover

Karin Hoover

Total posts created: 3007
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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