Ivan Dernov's investment resulted in the construction of the first large apartment building (dokhodnyi dom) on Tavricheskaya Street. The detail that gave this house its character and appellation was the round, tower-like structure on the corner.
The numerous new building projects in big cities were accompanied by lively debates among professionals over the need for a new style. Innovations in building construction brought in a contender to the old profession of architect: the engineer. Also Dernov commissioned the project from Mikhail Kondratiev, a graduate of the Institute of Civil Engineering. Stylistically the house at Tavricheskaya represented a conservative approach. It was an example of neoclassicism, still preferred by many investors and architects over the newer style moderne.
Dernov house décor
With its classical heritage and successive generations of architects trained in the old Academy of Arts, Petersburg became the center of the more traditionalist neoclassical style in Russia. The choice of decorative elements served a practical purpose – the need to attract clientele to the commercial product. The debates in professional journals did not concern only decoration; some of architects called for more radical experiments in organization of interior space.