The mansion was designed by the master of Russian Art Nouveau Fyodor Schechtel. The building bears some resemblance to Schechtel's other famous project, Stepan Riabouchinsky's mansion. The families of both families had a history together: Alexandra Derozhinskaya (née Zimina), a 16-year-old heiress of a wealthy merchant family, was married off to Stepan's son, Pavel Riabouchinsky. Their marriage fell apart and Alexandra married Vladimir Derozhinsky, Lieutenant of the Life Guards. After her second divorce, Alexandra commissioned Schechtel to build a rather minimalist mansion on today's Kropotkinsky Lane.
There is an elegant metal fence in front of the house. The facade is decorated with glazed ceramic tiles and stucco moldings shaped like flowers and garlands. The building has a huge arched window with two small round towers on top. Schechtel also took care of the mansion's interiors: furniture, fabrics, lamps, and many other objects were created based on his drawings. In 2009, the building underwent a large-scale restoration and now looks exactly as the Russian Art Nouveau genius intended it to.
Over the past century, the building has been occupied by various diplomatic missions. It has been the residence of the Australian Ambassador to Moscow since 1959. Access to the building is normally limited, but you can visit it on historical and cultural heritage days.
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