The Hermitage XXI
The New Art Museum in the General Staff Building
- ISBN 9780500343012
- 27.00 x 25.00 cm
- 283 Illustrations, 164 in colour
- First published 2014
Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s great museums. Occupying a large complex of six historic buildings along the Palace Embankment in St Petersburg, its collections contain over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world
For the 250th anniversary of its founding, a decision to convert the eastern wing’s General Staff Building into a museum of 19th- and 20th-century art led to an international architectural competition.
St Petersburg-based Studio 44 won the commission over a field of global figures. The centrepiece of Studio 44’s elegant scheme, which addresses both the project’s complexity and the needs of a 21st-century museum, is a breathtaking enfilade with ‘hanging gardens’ that will enthral visitors from around the world.
The scale and dramatic outcome of the new building – the most important new cultural museum in Russia for a generation – is captured in this handsome publication and will inspire architects, museum visitors, curators and anyone interested in the next chapter of Russia’s rich cultural heritage.
‘The architects have shown real insight both in trying to understand what the East Wing is, and in expressing what it might want to be ... It is fair to say that the Hermitage in the General Staff Building is a project quite unlike any other large-scale museum project in the Western world’– Hans Ibelings
‘Studio 44 has provided an answer to the question of how a museum can be both conservative and progressive, closed and open, imposing and inclusive. This gives the building a chance to be a real attractor for the cultural life of the city’– Aaron Betsky
Aaron Betsky is a critic of art, architecture and design
Hans Ibelings is a Montreal-based architectural historian and critic
Rem Koolhaas is a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and founding partner of OMA
Mikhail Piotrovsky is director of the State Hermitage Museum
Will Pryce is an award-winning photographer of international acclaim
Yulia Revzina is an eminent Russian architectural historian and critic
Dmitry Shvidkovsky is an internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist, and a fellow of the Russian Academy of Architecture
Oleg Yawein is a scientific consultant of Studio 44 Architects in St Petersburg and the director of the project for the restoration and conversion of the East Wing of the General Staff Building at the State Hermitage Museum