The City and the Site
St.Petersburg which is located by the Nieva River is a city of only 4 centuries of age. Being initially constructed by Peter the Great in 18th century and further expanded within the 19th century, there are many monuments built within the town. With the beginning of the 21st century and the birthday of city being around, the city is now ready to take off for the modern technologies and architecture to take the lead within the city. Mariinsky Theatre I, built in1860s, has been one of the monuments within St.Petersburg by resembling a large extent of significance for the city such as hosting the premier of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Moreover this building contains many of the traditional architectural identities of St.Petersburg. However for the city to transform from the past to future it has been decided to make a new Mariinsky Theatre II across the river. A competition was hold in 2002 in order to gather chose a design for the new theatre. One of the entrants designs which came out to be the winner was Eric Owen Moss’s ice sculpture.
Figure 1-St.Petersburg’s Map
Eric Owen Moss began his core career in 1973 when he initiated his 25 person firm. With two architecture masters degrees each from University of California and Harvard University and the experience gained from teaching in Southern California Institute of Architecture, soon he became able to design a lot of magnificence master pieces within Culver City, turning a wasteland into an architectural wonderland. As his becoming more recognized they made efforts to introduce their style in different parts of the world. In such endeavour they designed the Mariinsky Theatre II. Figure2-Eric Owen Moss
This new design consisted of a solid piece in combination with a sophisticated glass structure lobby. According to Eric Moss himself the new building is designed “to acknowledge and re-confirm the essential visual ordering methods of Mariinsky 1 while simultaneously proposing its own iconic identity.” Furthermore the building consists of a 2,000 seat world-class theater, public lobbies, lecture halls, theater shops, rooftop restaurant, production area to accommodate 12 separate staging modules, allowing for complex assemblies and staging schedules, Rehearsal halls, design and costume facilities, and administrative offices and two glass bridges to connect the new and the old theatres within an area of 35000 sq.m.
Form of the Glass Structure
There are multiple motivations behind the design of this part of the building. First of all there is the Nieva River passing through the new and the old theatres. Since St.Petersburg is located near North Pole, during most of the year it is snowing and icy. Consequently the river is either iced or the old ice is being melted by the warmer
weather in spring and summer. Also the relaxing and pleasant sound of the river during summer is something that can not be ignored easily. This feeling reminds the city’s people of the same feeling given to them through orchestra and dances performed within the theatres. These are the reasons that led the designers to come up with the ice sculpture like design of the new building. The design of the building is implemented in such way to remind the viewer of melting ice pieces which are stacked above one another like sand piles. Also the ascendings and the descendings within the shape of the glass structure is inspired by the shapes of the dance performances inside the theatre in order to further reflect on what is going on with in the building. Finally making use of glass roof has been a long tradition is St.Petersburg. Architects have been able to extend this tradition to a whole new level by extending the glass part all the way from roof to the ground. Hence a more modern aspect is give to the design by making use of the combination of the new technologies and...