This house embodies the best features of the Northern Modern (Art Nouveau) style. Originally the building was reconstructed for a building contractor K. I. Kapustin in 1910 – 1912. The clerk was born in 1879 and was the 5th son of a merchant Ivan Kapustin. In 1908 he graduated from St. Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineering and started contract works. He inherited houses #157 and #159 and decided to rebuild house #159, having delegated this task to Alexey Bubyr, who was his fellow student. At that time Alexey had already been a famous sculptor.
It was very difficult to develop the full project: inconsistencies occurred all the time. For instance, the building plot had inconvenient location, among the great amount of different and rather boring buildings. Thus, Bubyr took the risk and built a memorial house which would be a center of the vast area around. The building had to become a family symbol, a secure place, which would protect from all trouble. The architect had been developing such projects throughout all his art activity.
It was the Kapustin House that had become an ideal of all numerous works invented by the architect. The building looks powerful, its south side, facing the Fontanka River Embankment, represents a supremacist composition. You should look carefully to notice interrelated axial symmetries. They may seem ordinary facade windows: the entrance axle moves smoothly into bay windows, later into tongs; verticals of the bicolor façade are decorated with light hue plaster.
Before the Revolution it was a commercial apartment building and was being rented. Kapustin lived in a flat #9. Today it is a common dwelling house.
The house is unique, that is why, the character of the film, who was an architect himself, admired it so much.