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The inner courtyard dwelling

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10, Marazlievskaya Street

The inner courtyard dwelling at 10 Marazlievskaya Street is a sample of constructivist architecture of the post-revolutionary Odessa. The street is built-up mainly of aristocratic mansions and magnificent apartment houses. In Soviet times construction work was rarely implemented. Since then, only four buildings have survived to the present day. One of the least studied is located in the depth of the Kotlyarevsky’s former site.

Type of building: residential apartment house
Style: constructivism
Architect: unknown
Date of construction: the second part of the1920s
Status: object of the background development


10 Marazlievskaya Street. The inner courtyard dwelling.  Architecture of Odessa. History of Odessa. Tourism in Odessa.  Architecture in Ukraine.
General view
General view General view

Due to the accentuated asymmetry the building looks quite picturesque despite its laconic general appearance.

On the right of the avant-corps of the stairwell the facade plane has three window axes, their quantity is similar on the left, but their piers are much narrower here.
On the second and third floors, the width of the two outermost axes is occupied by a group of three narrow loop windows.

The sidewall on the right is at an obtuse angle relative to the main facade of the building to avoid the deterioration of the premises insolation of the neighbouring outbuilding. An identical group of the narrow vertically prolonged windows is located in the end wall just as it is in the left part of the main facade.
The stairwell is illuminated continuously through an aperture along entire height of the building.

10 Marazlievskaya Street. The inner courtyard dwelling.  Architecture of Odessa. History of Odessa. Tourism in Odessa.  Architecture in Ukraine.
The avant-corps of the stairwell.

On the facade of the house, the balconies with railings were preserved. The design largely inherits its artistic techniques of the rational Art-Nouveau and modernized Neo-Classicism of the 1910s.

Balconies railings

General view General view

Their motif is partly replicated in the design of the stair railings, however, most of them consist of a simple geometrical pattern with square profile bars. In the design of handrails there is a number of small decorative elements. Their presence is uncommon to the houses built in Soviet times (even in its early period).


Entrance flight of stairs Fragment Fragment Horizontal section
Decorative detail in the cross of the central section Stand detail

If to discard all ideological barriers that restrain a real evaluation of the Odessa architecture development in the post-revolutionary period, it is possible to speak confidently of Art Nouveau continuation in the 1920s under the conditions of poor city opportunities caused by the Civil War and its lost old cultural ties. Nevertheless, both young architects and some builders, that were constructing the city during the previous decade, proceeded experimenting with enthusiasm on the further Art Nouveau rationalization and mastering the emerging constructivism.
The house at 10 Marazlievskaya Street can be attributed to precisely this transitional period. If to analyze the decorative and plastic solutions in the architecture of the building, the most probable project designers could be N. Kanevsky (tripled loop-windows, compositional solutions in the large objects layout), M. I. Linetsky (decorative techniques) or A. N. Klepinin.

Nameboards of the Soviet time

List of emergency services List of residents

Unfortunately, this house currently represents an entire mystery, and there is still the question of not only the project authorship but the building departmental affiliation as well.

References and archives

  • “Architecture of Odessa. Style and time”. V. Pilyavsky
  • “Buildings, constructions, monuments of Odessa and their Architects”. V. Pilyavsky
  • “Along Marazlievskaya Street…”. Tatiana Zayarnay’s publication
  • Old photos from the website of the Odessa photo gallery. User Brassl’s archive