The opening of a new Mariinsky Theatre scheduled on 2-4 May, this year, is among the current projects of Canadian architecture firm Diamond Schmitt Architects, known for its innovative design excellence in a wide range of building types and recognized as one of the Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, in collaboration with the Russian firm KB ViPS and acousticians Müller-BBM. Designed to complement St. Petersburg’s 19th-century outstanding architectural heritage, but in the same time to add a unique element to the region, the new opera house comes to join and transform a much larger cultural complex, which includes also other two venues like the legendary Mariinsky Theatre ( which dates from 1860) and the Mariinsky Concert Hall ( which was inaugurated in 2006) into one of the world’s premier centres for opera, ballet and classical music.
Marrinsky II Theatre is funded by the Russian Government and its contemporary design will be of course consistent with the international stature of the Marrinsky Theatre, Ballet and Orchestra as a centre of innovation and artistic excellence, creating one of the world’s largest, most dynamic and most acclaimed performing arts institutions. Situated on Dekabristov Street and connected to the legendary Theatre by a pedestrian bridge over the Kryukov Canal, the 851,580 sq ft new opera house aims to channel the tremendous creative spirit through state-of-the-art facilities that will allow the Mariinsky to show the most ambitious, technically-demanding art productions, beyond the current remarkable schedule of performances, recordings, tours and events on the historic stage.
It will have a 2000-seat opera and ballet house with six rehearsal rooms and six stages, dressing rooms as well as other support facilities. The auditorium is designed taking into account the acoustics, audience comfort and sight lines. Its exterior architecture will reveal a contemporary identity that fits perfectly with St. Petersburg’s historic settings. Form, material and color contrasts in an original manner highlighting a gently curved metal roof enlivened by a glass canopy and a fenestrated masonry base. The opening days will include a ballet and opera performances as well as a gala concert followed from 24 May by Mariinsky’s XXI ‘Stars of the White Nights’ Festival which will end on 14 July.
Photos © Diamond Schmitt Architects
Architecture company: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Project Team: A.J.Diamond, Gary McCluskie, Michael Treacy, Michael Lukasik, Mattew Lella
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Client: Ministry of Culture