In spring of 2022, the Major Projects Department of GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia completed repair and restoration of the Schepochkina- Lvov city manor.
Over the years, the manor has been rebuilt several times, according to Dmitry Drachev, Head of Building Control on Reconstruction, Restoration, Major and Current Repair Projects of the GlavUpDK Major Projects Department. “Every new architect wanted to leave a mark in Moscow’s history, not always caring about longevity. When we began the restoration in April 2021, we realized what enormous challenges we were to face. The wooden framework and the white-stone plinth were in critical condition. The Major Projects Department specialists actually “saved the life” of this unique building – it was a challenge that we accepted and successfully completed,” he said.
The façades of the wooden building required special care. The survey revealed multiple layers of different periods: plaster areas of numerous compositions on the metal mesh, fragments of lathwork and felt were made on the wooden frame of the cladding. Many of the façade and basement elements have deteriorated over the two hundred years since construction, with rot and wood engraver damage. A plinth of white stone blocks was also found under the layer of later concrete facing.
Much effort has been put into restoring and preserving the white-stone basement: the basement brickwork was repaired, and the bottom of the façade posts were cleaned out, with lost elements replaced. In addition, vents were arranged in the basement to provide air change under the building. The wooden frame was re-built and replaced, with fire and biosecurity applied to prevent insect re-emergence. The plaster layer has been recreated using an authentic technology – limestone-gypsum plaster on lathwork and felt. The Major Projects Department specialists and the contractor worked with special reverence for the cultural heritage site using technology and materials similar to those used when the building was erected propped by modern experience and technology.
Once the work was completed, the plinth was lined with granite identical to that in the main house of the manor. Recreated molded platbanded belt courses, hood molds and other details of eclectic decorations, cornices, window ledges took their place on the façades, and the plaster elements were reinforced. Color solutions for the façades were chosen following a technological study of the extant paint layers.
The picturesque décor of the building was recreated from archival photographs: a skylight, decorative chimney caps, and art metal roof fence were made. The entrance group with an art cast-iron canopy, made in the style of the late 19th – early 20th centuries, was reproduced.
The work has made it possible to bring the building back to its historic appearance with its singular architectural elements and functional solutions conceived during construction.