The general headquarters becomes more general

  • contemporary architecture

Tomorrow in St. Petersburg there will be launched the first stage of reconstruction of the eastern wing of the General headquarters. The project is titled “novaya Boshaya Anfilada” , it will be housing collections and exhibitions of the State Hermitage. The Petersburg architects Oleg and Nikita Yavein ("Studio 44") are the authors, “Intarsia” company is the contractor, the Ministry of Culture is the client and the investor is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This is not the opening yet, the paintings will be here in summer. This is more of an architectural event now. Really a significant event. Nikolai Malinin specially for Arhi.ru.


  • Architect:

    Nikita Yavein

    Nikita Yavein
    Oleg Yavein

    Oleg Yavein

    Oleg Yavein
  • Firm:
    Studio 44
  • Object:
    The Hermitage. The new great enfilade
  • Address:
    Russia. St. Petersburg Dvorcovaya ploschad, 6-8
  • Design Team:
    architects: Oleg Yavein, Nikita Yavein, Vladimir Lemehov, Pavel Sokolov in participation of: Vitaly Antipin, Irina Golysheva, Evgeny Elovkov, Veronika Zhukova, Dmitry Kosov, Irina Krylova, Georgy Snezhkin, Varvara Hmeleva; constructors: Oleg Kurbatov, Irina Lyashko
The idea is solely of St. Petersburg, only reconsidered. It combines the original yard-wells and enfilade of Petersburg prospects, both street and palace. 15 years ago Nikita Yavein tried to implement the idea to join the city and the courtyard in the project of retail and office complex “Atrium” on Nevsky avenue. But there was not enough space and it turned out ridiculous. Here helped Rossi himself - he designed these yards unfolding in perspective, as a street surrounded by theatrical scenery – fortunately the building is triangle on the plan. But the passages among the courtyards have been built up. Now, however, the platform laid through the courtyards turned them into a completely new, apace never seen before. Between the courtyards there are inserted giant 12m wooden doors: closed they turn each room into a separate exhibition space, open they turn them into single enfilade. This transformability refers to Peter’s "mechanical amusements" (who loved everything to be rising and spinning) and symbolically joins the two images of the city. Impression of a trick continues in each new room, connecting the courtyards. There the doors transform into the walls from both sides of which there will be paintings – the displays can be easily rearranged. At that the space changes as well. There is such idea in the London Museum by John Stone, only the scale of the "magic box" is much smaller and changes only for 5 minutes. The grand front staircase also has a prototype - for example, the staircase of the Berlin Pergamon Museums. But ours is more showy, even excessive. For a reason, Remment Koolhaas, whose project failed the contest dropped his favorite: “hierarchia”. Yes, they do not invite to seat and think after the meeting with the beauty, they are truly a gala rise to the art. It is the ground floor is responsible for democracy, it is a kind of Forum – packed with cafes, galleries, book shops and gift shops and such. The area was designed open throughout open for the city and citizen but it is most likely that security requirements will make disappointing adjustments.
Text by: Nikolai Malinin

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