Flat House in Odessa

Flat House in Odessa

This building in Odessa looks pretty simple from the frontal side. However, when you change the point of view you can spot that there is a reason why it is called the ‘flat house’.

The Flat House is perhaps the most unusual building in Odessa, its architectural highlight that gathers crowds of tourists all year long. Located in the very center of the city, a stone’s throw from the famous monument to Duke de Richelieu, this building with unique structure is very popular among locals, who are keen on brining the Southern Palmira’s guests here and watch their puzzled reaction.

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The thing is when one stands in front of the house it seems to be the ordinary old one with fine hammered balconies, original cornices and stucco work on its walls; it doesn’t differ much from the rest of the edifices of the Odesa historical part. However, if you look at it from a certain angle, the house will present a new image of itself, giving an impression of being completely flat as though the house features only facade wall.

The interesting visual effect is caused by an unusual architecture of the edifice. It lacks the back wall, and lateral ones are adjacent to the main facade at an acute angle therefore the building has triangular structure. Because of this architectural feature, the building was nicknamed the Flat House. The same reason serves as a basis for mystical properties and sometimes the edifice is named the Witch’s House.

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It is uncertain when this original building was constructed in Odessa. It is believed that the house was built in the end of 19th century, and its first residents were courtiers of count Vorontsov, whose palace stands nearby. Moreover, the history also lacks the name of an architect, who designed Odessa architectural masterpiece.
According to the most common version that is to explain a unique peculiarity of the building, the architect faced the lack of money during the construction, so it was decided to adjoin two lateral walls and save some money on the back one. Another popular version of the story says that the lack of land and impossibility to violate the historical facade of the street obliged the architect to use such an unconventional structure of the house.
Address: 4 Vorontsovsky Alley, Odessa

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