Stone island


A peculiar, and so strikingly different from other buildings, view has a mansion, which previously belonged to the engineer of communications, who built the Trans-Siberian Railway, S.N. Chaevu. The design of the building was developed by a military engineer and architect, critic and theorist Vladimir Apyshkov. This was his first serious work. The project was greatly influenced by the work of von Gauguin A.I., it can be traced both in the dynamic layout inside the building and in the clarity of the geometry of the external volumes. The similarity is the presence of a winter garden with a glass roof. V.P. Apyshkov used for decoration similar materials as von Gauguin: light-colored brick, granite blocks, tile for frieze in bluish tones.

But although V.P. Apyshkov followed the principles used by von Gauguin, but at the same time he developed a completely different, his own, space-planning structure. Distinctive features of this structure were: rational organization of the internal space, bold articulation of volumes, compositional movements tend to the central part of the building, objects are connected by a diagonal axis, the axis represents their resultant.

According to the basic concepts of the Apyshkov structure, the hall with high ceilings is a vertical rod, on which the layout of all floors of the building is strung. It is a kind of spatial core, because of this an illusion of the monolithic character of all three-dimensional forms of the building is created. One form continues another. The architectural work created by Apyshkov was attributed to the heights of Russian Art Nouveau. He anticipated many of the tricks and principles that had become characteristic in the twenties of the twentieth century, avant-garde architecture.

One of the new architectural solutions found by Apyshkov was the use of a dynamic diagonal axis, with the help of which he connected several increasing volumes of a cylindrical shape. The increase in these cylinders occurs sequentially. The narrow spiral staircase and the vestibule were placed by the architect in the first outer cylinder. The inner cylinder is a room consisting of three tiers, the main function of which is to provide communication between rooms belonging to different zones and groups of the house. The use of the central round hall Apyshkova was prompted by the desire of the future owner of the house to avoid the darkness in the corridors. The first floor of the hall was reserved for the reception, a ring-shaped balcony was designed as an art gallery. On the third floor there was a dining room for staff. Natural lighting was provided through a light located in the center. Light entered the lower rooms through a glass floor.

The forms of the back facade of the mansion have a clear composition. If you look at the winter garden from the street, you can see a transparent cylindrical shape, which occupies a semicircular angular volume and harmoniously correlates with the straight lines of the building.

The interior decoration of the premises combines the signs of two areas: classic and modern. Venetian secession (stucco on a floral theme, wreaths with female masks) can be traced in the decor. The risalit of the main facade was first decorated with a female figure, then it was dismantled.

The new design style proposed by Apyshkov allowed a mixture of motives inherent in different styles. The influence on the choice of style was provided by the furniture available to the owner of the house.

At different times, the appearance of the building was subjected to changes that were made at the request of changing owners. Sometimes these changes introduced disharmony in the general appearance of the building. For example, in 1914 an extension was made to the rear facade, the original composition was violated. Already in our time, some windows were laid with bricks.

At the moment, the building is a dental clinic.

Island Mansions

The house of Princess Kugusheva is one of the rare buildings on the island, not fenced. Thanks to this, you can well see the wooden decorative elements of the mansion. Already in 1917, the house was given over to communal apartments and by the 70s brought to emergency condition. The exterior of the building has been restored, but the interiors have been lost. Now the house is occupied by an art school.

One of the main attractions of Kamenny Island is Dacha Gauswald, an example of Art Nouveau and the first building made in this style in St. Petersburg. For the end of the XIX century, the architectural techniques of this building were an innovation: asymmetry, geometric shapes, broken lines - and all of them are embodied in a tree. For a long time, the cottage was not repaired and came into emergency condition. Now it is being restored, but at the end of the work, most likely, it will look a little different.

Nearby, on the banks of the Grand Canal, stands the Fallenweider mansion. Like all the mansions of Kamenny Island, it was built as a private house, and, like all the mansions, in Soviet times it was nationalized. For a long time the building was occupied by a sanatorium, and then by the Danish embassy. Like Gauswald's cottage, it is an example of an early and bold Art Nouveau with unusual asymmetry and massive elements. Many northern Art Nouveau buildings resemble castles, and the Fallenweider mansion is no exception.

The Goze House is another example of a wooden Art Nouveau beginning of the last century.

Meltzer’s mansion, unfortunately, is practically hidden from the eyes of passers-by. The architect mixed elements traditional for Northern Art Nouveau with Russian national style: asymmetry and large logs, combinations of stone and wood, rough forms and typical for Art Nouveau decor. The mansion is often called a fairy tale house. More photos here.

Neo-Renaissance mansion on the embankment of Bolshaya Nevka.

Dacha Petrova in Soviet times became a sanatorium, then it was occupied by communal apartments. After the fire, the mansion was dismantled and recreated several years ago. Now here is the hotel.

Ruadze's mansion in 1989, along with many wooden buildings of the island, fell into disrepair and was dismantled. It was restored in 2003-2005 on projects.

Oldenburgsky's dacha is a classic building built entirely of wood. Unfortunately, the building burned down in 1978, after which it was rebuilt. The mansion is not used, it seems abandoned and in the summer is barely noticeable due to the thickets surrounding it.

According to legend, it is believed that on the embankment of the Krestovka River an oak grew, which was planted by Peter I. The tree had to be cut in 1988, after which a new oak was planted here. There used to be an alley, but now the road goes around this place.

Chaev's house, built at the beginning of the 20th century in a neoclassical style. It may seem that the building lacks a dome, but such was the architect's idea. There was a rest house, then a theater, but now the building is not used.

Also a neoclassical house in which the scientist Bekhterev lived. Now it is a residential building.

Leonova’s dacha where, after the Revolution, Kirov lived first, and then Zhdanov. It is currently a closed residence and access to the building is not possible.

Photo from

On Kamenny Island there is also an example of pseudo-Gothic - the Church of St. John the Baptist at the Kamennoostrovsky Palace.

At the Kamennoostrovsky Theater there is the mansion of Countess Kleinmichel. Evenings took place here, which gathered all over secular Petersburg. In 1918, the cottage was nationalized and given to the workers' leisure club. Subsequently, after several unsuccessful restorations, most of the interiors, the gates and the fence were lost. Now the appearance is reduced to pristine, and the fences are restored.

Near the theater is Polovtseva's cottage. Built as a neoclassical manor, a few years later it was converted into a sanatorium and began to be called the Workers' Rest House. In general, before the Revolution, on the Stone Island, aristocrats lived in mansions and estates, and after that, it was decided to turn the island into a public place for recreation, and the island was renamed Workers' Island. For the official opening of the Holiday Home in 1920, the Arc de Triomphe, the rostral tower and the monument were built. All these structures were wooden, but painted under stone. Subsequently, they were disassembled.

Island now

Gradually nationalized mansions ceased to be workers' houses and passed into the hands of the party elite, and some were given over to communal apartments. In the 1990s, all buildings were privatized. Now many of them have become private homes again, and some have taken over public organizations, such as schools. Unfortunately, many of the mansions remained abandoned, they are gradually in disrepair, and some have already been demolished.

The construction of new buildings is ongoing on Kamenny Island, most of them in the neoclassical style. By the example of the buildings above, it is noticeable that retrospectivism is also widespread: the reconstruction of historical mansions from scratch according to projects.

Now Kamenny Island is the place with the most expensive real estate in the city (together with the neighboring Krestovsky Island), because here you can live in a private house in a park zone in the historical center.

Kamenny Island is a great place for walking: there are many unusual architectural attractions, and in summer the island is buried in verdure. In winter, it is a place with a peaceful atmosphere where you can walk in absolute solitude. The minuses of walking in this area, of course, include the fact that some places cannot be seen because of the fences: Kamennoostrovsky Palace, Leonova's dacha, Meltzer's mansion and others.

Map for planning a walk route.

Historical photos from

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