Mariinsky II golden shell
@ DPA

DPA won the international competition for the new theatre Mariinsky of St Petersburg in 2003. For administrative reason it was put on hold and started back in July 2004, date of my arrival in the office. The project was chosen for its permeability with the public space, that had been allowed by the creation of a large shell enveloping the theatre and the surrounding spaces at its feet. The Golden Shell is the interface with the city, formally and functionally. It comes licking the canal, opens up at the mains streets for the entrances, and protect the public spaces of the theatre: the restaurants, the museum and the balconies of the auditorium.
As project architect of the golden shell for the stages C & D, I had to develop structural solutions in collaboration with the structural engineers Bollinger and Grohmann, to develop the skin and the maintenance scheme. We developed a system based on 57 triangular pyramids linked at their edges. It was decided to clad the beams to deal with the fire and terrorism safety, the extreme weather conditions, and the workmanship. The perforation of the pyramids reveals the hinge like details of their connection. Lately the program of the theatre reduced and the shell too.