15 Krasnoarmeyskaya street
Architect Alexander Zelenko
Built in 1903
Architect Alexander Zelenko worked in Samara for three years, but he designed a mansion for the Kurlins merchants after returning to his native Moscow. The building was built in 1903 in the spirit of Viennese Art Nouveau. In the work of the young architect the influence of the outstanding Moscow architect Fyodor Shekhtel is felt, in the studio of whom he was working at that time. In the same 1903 according to the project of Shekhtel the famous Ryabushinsky mansion was completed which could serve as inspiration for Zelenko.
Images of butterflies and floral motifs in the decor, ceramic tiles in the decoration of interiors and facades are characteristic features of early Art Nouveau. And individual elements refer not only to Moscow and Vienna, but also to the Belgian modernist style. For example, forged elements in the form of butterflies with folded wings remind balcony fencing in the mansion of the pioneer of the European Art Nouveau Victor Horta.
Green ceramic tiles on the facade of the Kurlina’s mansion are made according to the sketches of the great Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel, and the portrait of a man in the interiors of the dining room - a variation on the theme of majolica sculpture of the Prophet (Assyrian) of the same author.
Kurlina's mansion was one of the richest houses in Samara at the beginning of the 20th century, the writer Alexey Tolstoy in his novel "The Ordeal" even calls it "absurdly luxurious". The monument is rightly considered one of the best examples of Samara Art Nouveau, its architectural landmark. It is no coincidence that today it houses the Museum of Art Nouveau.