A Professional Approach to the Study of the Earth’s Interior

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GeoGrid’s Intellectual Mansion

One of the key aspects of GeoGrid's activities is developing the company's own basic assets. This includes the company's office premises, computer facilities and the creation of workplaces with designated equipment, as well as the acquisition and development of the most advanced software packages.

Besides, the company deliberately and purposefully refuses from lease options. This contributes to its stability and independence. Since 2012, GeoGrid has invested about 500 million roubles in the acquisition and equipment of its office premises. In addition, the company has in place a development program which implies new investments into this area in the coming years.

Currently, GeoGrid has three offices, two of which have a total area over one thousand square meters and are located in the modern business centers in the South-West of Moscow, and one (head office), a mansion, a monument of cultural heritage - in Malaya Kaluzhskaya Street. It was built in 1911 and once served as a residence for Sherwoods - the family of architects and artists. The headquarters area is about three thousand square meters.

Now - about the history and present days of this house.

The Sherwood family lived in Moscow from the 18th century, and in 1816 they acquired the large plot of land with a manor house near the old Kaluga road. In 1869, the major part of the estate was sold to the manufacturers, brothers Fedor and Edward Bromley. By 1879 they built up the territory with stone factory buildings - turnery, foundry and pattern shop.

In 1873, the remainder of the estate passed to Vladimir Osipovich Sherwood (1832-1897). At the end of 1890s, his son, Sergey Vladimirovich, worked as a Bromley family's chief architect, and supervised both the construction of new industrial buildings, and the reconstruction of the existing buildings to meet the factory requirements.

Vladimir Sherwood himself, who was the academician of painting, was known as an artist, sculptor and architect. He designed the building of the Historical Museum in Moscow, the monument chapel to "Grenadiers - Heroes of Plevna", as well as the monument to the outstanding Russian surgeon Nikolai Pirogov. Vladimir Sherwood is considered one of the creators and ideologists of the "Russian" (or "Neo-Russian") style in architecture. Some ideas of that style were used in the design of the mansion where the GeoGrid head office is currently located.

Initially the first mansion was built of wood. At the end of the 1890s, Vladimir Sherwood applied to the Moscow City Duma for a permission to build a stone house on the estate. Despite the fact that the applicant was a well-known member of Moscow society, it took more than 10 years for his application to be considered. In those days, the rules for urban planning and construction were very strict, and so his application was approved only after his death.

Nikolay Dmitrievich Butusov, a local architect already known for his designs of several tenement buildings and mansions in the old part of Moscow, was hired to build the new house.

According to experts in the field, the architect was not entirely successful in maintaining the uniform original "Russian style", however, that may have been his own plan. However it be, the result was a building of fairly eclectic forms, sometimes - with exaggerated traditional Russian motifs, and sometimes - with elements of the Art Nouveau. One interesting detail is that the house does not have two windows alike. It has sometimes been linked to a fairy-tale "gingerbread" house. Nevertheless, many contemporaries saw it as a monument to the traditional Russian style, and to the memory of Vladimir Sherwood, of course.

Since April 24, 2015, the Sherwood mansion has been under government protection by the Order of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow No. 189. GeoGrid Geological Data Research Center, as a law-abiding company, treats its "gingerbread" house with the utmost respect and the greatest care. Prior to refurbishment, the company entered into an agreement with the Department of Cultural Heritage. According to the agreement, in addition to the refurbishment, Geogrid undertook to carry out serious restoration as well. According to the terms of the agreement, GeoGrid does not have the right to rebuild the mansion or make any alterations to the premises.

During the repairs, the entire sketch of the house, as well as the supporting structures, walls, the main staircase, which is a protected monument in its own right, as well as the statues of griffins at the entrance, were preserved in their original form, and all of these architectural elements were carefully and diligently restored. Interestingly enough, when the top layers of plaster were removed, the original colours were revealed, as well as numerous drawings on the walls. All of this has now been fully restored.

As for the interiors of the house, they have sadly been lost. During the Soviet period the building was used as offices for a Communist Party committee, the Trade Union committee and Communist Youth League committee of the Krasny Proletariy factory, which redecorated the premises of the mansion (literally and figuratively) in accordance with their own taste.

After the repairs were completed, the mansion became home to the company's Management, Data Processing Center, Production Department, and the technical services needed to monitor the functioning and the maintenance of the building's utility systems (power supply, autonomous water supply, air conditioning and communication lines).

The work of the Data Processing Center requires the most complex engineering and technical support, which naturally consists, among other things, in the use of numerous and very massive equipment. Moreover, multi-core computers, the uninterrupted operation of which must be provided around the clock, require a very large amount of electricity (with the prospect of further growth in the volume of its consumption). Therefore, the computer rooms of the Information Processing Center were placed in the basement rooms without using the main areas of the house.