St Petersburg

dom Mertensa

M.S. Lyalevich, 1911-1912
Nevsky prospekt 21

Marian Lyalevich, the architect of this imposing shop building for fur-trader F.L. Mertens, was particularly fond of the device of three linked Renaissance arches (see, for instance, his apartment blocks at Kamennoostrovsky prospekt 9 and ul Pestelya 7). Here, unlike in the latter two buildings, the arches boldly take up the entire width and most of the height of the facade, forming a glazed archway of monumental presence. Massive and yet light at the same time, this gateway stands exactly opposite the entrance to ul. Bolshaya Konyushennaya, to which it forms an effective end stop. The building’s Neoclassical form both coincides with and lightly veils its ultra-modern structure of reinforced-concrete columns and floor plates.