DANCE PALACE - ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
UNStudio designed a new theater complex in the historic centre of St. Petersburg. The design for the Dance Palace presents an open and inviting theatre building. On completion, the project will comprise a 21,000m2 dance theatre for 1300 guests (large auditorium 1000, small auditorium 300) which will be home to the Eifman Ballet, headed by prolific choreographer Boris Eifman. The 'dance palace' will form part of the European Embankment city quarter masterplan for a new urban square in St Petersburg
Programmatic considerations focus on the spacious circulation of the public foyer and the transparent relationship to the surrounding public square and the city. Integration with the existing neighbouring buildings is achieved by both the scale of the building - which in elevation follows and respects St. Petersburg’s typical 28m roofline – and the transformative transparency which is introduced by the façade. The innovative façade system comprising opaque and perforated triangular cladding panels, the combination of which can be varied to allow more or less openness depending on performance, desired views and required orientation.
Essential to the design for the main auditorium are both the acoustic considerations and the proximity of the audience to the stage. For this reason the horseshoe form was chosen for the large auditorium. This form is considered to be one of the most successful forms acoustically in ballet and musical theatre for both performer and audience, whilst the proximity it affords to the stage ensures an intimate and collective experience for the spectator.
Offices, installation rooms and class rooms are located on the top two floors. A structural layer of steel trusses support this small grid of functions and span the open area’s of the entrance and the foyer.
The building and its services need to cope with an extreme range of climatic conditions ranging from -23◦ in winter to +27◦ in summer. The systems need to be resilient to protect the high levels of comfort demanded by one of the world’s best ballet theatres.
as employee of Arup: structural project leader, structural designer
seats: large auditorium 1000, small auditorium 300
building surface: 24,000 m²
building height: 28 m.
location : St. Petersburg, Russia
client: Petersburg City LLC Foam
executive architect: Grigoriev & Partners
structure: Arup Amsterdam
MEP: Arup Amsterdam
façade: Arup Berlin
acoustic: Arup London
theatre consultant: Theateradvies bv, Amsterdam and TDM, St. Petersburg