The Basin House at 5 Ostrovsky Square is a historical apartment building (1878-79) in the Neo-Byzantine style in St. Petersburg. The pink house reminds one of a Russian fairy tale hut, the teremok. It was quite controversial when first unveiled and still remains controversial to this day, and for the same reason: it breaks away from the surrounding architectural styles. Perhaps even more than merely breaks away – it shows utter contempt and disregard to the classicism of the architectural ensemble of the square.
A fine example of the Russian renaissance in Petrograd, and one which is easily accessible to strangers visiting the capital is the Dom Bassin* in the Square of the Alexander Theatre, by Nicholas Nikonov. This picturesque facade with its rows of windows in the old Russian style — three lights, of which the middle one rises above the others — its short columns thickened in the centre, and its clear- cut cornices, charms by the relief and contrast which it affords. It should be seen on a bright day when mysterious depths of shadow contrast sharply with the high lights upon its salient decorative features. The house is crowned by low cupolas of very original design. The Russian Arts. Rosa Newmarch, 1917