In the second half of the 1920s only few houses were built in Odessa. But these buildings had left an indelible mark on the architecture of the city. Play of volumes, laconic forms, large green courtyards — cour d'honneur facing the street — these are houses of constructivism architects, where the shape was submitted to sense and the dwelling house was interpreted as a machine for living.
Building type: apartment building (or tenement house)
Style: constructivism , Art Deco
Architect: P. N. Didenko
Date of construction: 1931
Status: local architectural monument
Second address: 22, Preobrazhenskaya Street
General view of the construction
View of the exterior facades and corner tower
In 1931, the crossroad of Mayakovskiy Lane and Preobrazhenskaya Street was decorated with one of the best samples in residential architecture of Constructivism. The author of the building, staff architect of Black Sea Shipping Company P. N. Didenko designed the houses among other things. There were built at least two large dwelling houses for employees of Soviet mercantile marine, one of which grew in 1930 at 22, Troitskaya Street. It is possible to see a number of features and design techniques in his architecture that have found application in the subsequent construction of the house in Mayakovskiy Lane (the average part of the facade retreating from the building line, rounded corners of the yard wings, etc.).
Facade of Preobrazhenskaya Street
Facade of the Mayakovskiy Lane
In the conditions of the historically formed central core the responsible town — planning task was the development of corner sites. In spite of the sharp contrast to the neighboring abounding in stucco buildings, the house on the crossroad of Mayakovskiy Lane and Preobrazhenskaya Street was inserted successfully into the architectural background of previous times. It was assisted by complicated, far from monolithic composition of facades and picturesque silhouette of the house in whole.
Historic house types
Building is cut out of five different volumes. Three of them are located along the lane; the central is moved deep into sector and thus forms a small cour d'honneur. The facade in Troitskaya Street and a number of constructivist buildings under the authorship of other architects have a similar composition.
Central part of the facade along Mayakovskiy Lane
The facial hall from Preobrazhenskaya Street side of smaller length is devoid of any extensional-dimensional drops and is a strict parallelepiped. Both wings are placed at some distance from each other and are interconnected by high prismatic volume of stairway. Thereafter the stairway occupies a corner portion which is back away the building line, creating an undoubted emphasis in perception building entirely.
Corner part of the house
Lighting of the corner stairs is performed by continuous vertical fenestration, which emphasizes the compositional importance of corner of the house additionally and separates it by contrasting combination with horizontal articulation facade planes. Perhaps triangular corner porch in plan is out-and-outer in Odessa and has no analogues even among the Art nouveau era buildings abounding in original designs.
Staircase has two entrances from the street and the courtyard. Rounded canopy girding the tower of the stairwell and reflecting in the form of steps is located above the facial entrance.
Entry into the corner porch from the street
Entry into the corner porch from the yard
A similar solution has been used in the design of the yard entrance. From the side of the street, on two planes of the stairwell volume the doors with the paned openings are disposed. The doors are in mirroring to each other and arrange in cascade that creates unmistakable association with the style art deco.
Entrance door from the street, inside view
Besides the entrance, combining facial wings, the house is equipped with three stairwells (one on the side of the Mayakovskiy Lane and two on the side of the yard). Unlike the corner one , the rest of the entrances are quite traditional in layout and don’t present something outstanding. Railings of all four entrances are typical for residential buildings of constructivism, but are made in a plastic manner, with curvatures between flights of stairs.
Entrance from Mayakovskiy Lane side
Ingress flight of stairs
Illuminated windows on the top floor
One of the yard entrances
mayakovskogo-9_4.jpg Landing of the ground floor and the entrance flight of stairs
Luminance porch window in the wing on Preobrazenskaya Street
Arch of the passage
In the time of building facades of the house were painted in light-sand color, and in the 60s were tiled and because of this their erosion undoubtedly was delayed. Then the geometric patterns of the green tiles revealed itself under the eaves and in the upper corner of the stair tower. The geometric patterns fitted the guise of the building successfully.
Patterned fragments of tiled facades
Perfectly preserved to the present day the building of Soviet mercantile marine belongs to the best examples of residential constructivist architecture of Odessa, taking the worthy place among such important art works as the house of the NKVD (1a, Marazlievskaya Street) and residential complex in 7/9 Pirogovskaya Street.
References and archives
- «Architects of Odessa» V. Pilyavskiy;
- «Buildings, structures , monuments of Odessa and their architects». V. Pilyavskiy;
- «Odessa. Architectural and historical essay». V.I. Timofeenko;
- Odessa’s constructivism: Strange houses of the totalitarianism epoch
- Alexander Levitsky, art director and colorist
- Dmitry Shamatazhi, photographer and composer
- Maria Sopkalova, translator
- Marina Tomenko, editor
1931 Art Deco Didenko P.N. Mayakovskiy’s constructivism Soviet mercantile marine of Black Sea Shipping Company