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Mikhail Shvydkoi:"The construction of the new building of the Mariinsky Theater would be launched in July-August 2005 and completed in two years"
Head of the federal culture agency Mikhail Shvydkoi announced in St. Petersburg that the construction of the new building of the Mariinsky Theater would be launched in July-August 2005 and completed in two years. "The problems with the building of the Mariinsky Theater have been solved and we can start the construction," he said. French Dominique Perrault, one of the best architects in the world, who designed the new building, told Kommersant about the implementation of his project. "Currently, we are working at the initial stage. We have achieved much progress. For example, we have decided that the hall will sit 2,000 people. The new Mariinsky Theater should be in harmony with the old building and the surroundings," the architect said. In his words, the theater itself, the city authorities and the government are involved in the project. About 70 experts from all over the world have worked on the project. Russian architects are tackling the problems of geology and foundation. "I must say that we were lucky to find solid ground at the depth of 25 meters. This is unbelievable because St. Petersburg has mainly swampy ground. So we should not lay down a very deep foundation and can save our time and money," Mr. Perrault noted. German architects are involved in metalwork. A French company that already worked in Russia is designing ventilation and air conditioning systems. Mr. Yasuhisa Toyota's company is working on the acoustic system. He designed Frank Gehry's hall in Los Angeles. He is one of the world's leading theater acoustics experts. Metropolitan Opera is the chief consultant of the project. According to Dominique Perrault, the building quality is highly important for the Mariinsky Theater. "We can design anything, the problem is how it will be built. If it is done badly this will mean not only my defeat but also the defeat of the theater, the city and federal authorities," he noted. If the project is a success, the building will start a fashion of new architecture, he said. Mr. Perrault hopes the building will stand forever as a landmark of the modern epoch. Dominique Perrault won the competition for the construction of the second stage of the Mariinsky Theater in summer 2003. In 1989 Dominique Perrault won a similar competition for the construction of the new building of the National Library in Paris. Four glass towers shaped like opened books were discussed by all media and prestigious orders followed: the Olympic cycle track and swimming-pool in Berlin (1992), a business center in Innsbruck (2002), etc. In all his projects Perrault uses his favorite material, metallic net. The secret of its production is known to a few initiates
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