Hotel Metropol Moscow

A historical hotel in the center of Moscow, Russia, built in 1899-1907 in Art Nouveau style

Hotel Metropol and Revolution Square
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It is notable as the largest extant Moscow hotel built before the Russian Revolution of 1917, and for the unique collaboration of architects (William Walcot, Lev Kekushev, Vladimir Shukhov) and artists (Mikhail Vrubel, Alexander Golovin, Nikolai Andreev).

At night
pinterest button At night Brateevsky, CC BY-SA 4.0

In 1898, Savva Mamontov and Petersburg Insurance consolidated a large lot of land around the former Chelyshev Hotel. Mamontov, manager and sponsor of Private Opera, intended to redevelop the area into a large cultural center built around an opera hall.

The Chelyshev Building on the north-eastern corner of Teatralnaya/Voskresenskaya Squares of Moscow. This was one, and the last remaining, of four identical neoclassical facades designed by Joseph Bove and built in the 1820s (see map at File:P143 Teatralnaya Square plan by Bove, 1825.jpg). By 1880s it remained more or less close to Bove's design. In the next decade it was torn down to make way for Savva Mamontov's Opera House, which became better known as the Metropol Hotel.
pinterest button The Chelyshev Building on the north-eastern corner of Teatralnaya/Voskresenskaya Squares of Moscow. This was one, and the last remaining, of four identical neoclassical facades designed by Joseph Bove and built in the 1820s. By 1880s it remained more or less close to Bove's design. In the next decade it was torn down to make way for Savva Mamontov's Opera House, which became better known as the Metropol Hotel. unknown, Public Domain

In 1898, professional jury of an open contest awarded the job to Lev Kekushev, however, Mamontov intervened and assigned it to English architect William Walcot, who proposed a refined Art Nouveau draft codenamed A Lady's Head (implying the female head ornament repeating in keystones over arched windows).

Mamontov eventually hired Kekushev as a construction manager. Soon, Savva Mamontov was jailed for fraud and the project was taken over by Petersburg Insurance, omitting the original plans for opera hall.

Princess of Dreams, artwork by Vrubel
pinterest button Princess of Dreams, artwork by Vrubel NVO, CC BY-SA 2.5

In 1901, the topped-out shell burnt down and had to be rebuilt from scratch in reinforced concrete.

Kekushev and Walcot hired a constellation of first-rate artists, notably Mikhail Vrubel for Princess of Dreams mosaic panel, Alexander Golovin for smaller ceramic panels and sculptor Nikolay Andreyev for plaster friezes.

The hotel was completed in 1907. However, it is nowhere near Walcot's original design (Brumfiels, fig.56, compare to actual, fig.59-60).

Hotel Metropol and Revolution Square
pinterest button Hotel Metropol and Revolution Square NVO, CC BY-SA 2.5

A notable feature of Metropol is:

In 1918, the hotel was nationalized by Bolshevik administration, renamed Second House of Soviets and housed living quarters and offices of growing Soviet bureaucracy.

Eventually, in 1930s it was converted to its original hotel function and went through a major restoration in 1986—1991 by Finnish companies as part of Soviet-Finnish bilateral trade. Today, Metropol has 365 rooms, and each is different in shape or decoration.