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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia

Diamond + Schmitt win Russian theatre job
Toronto based architect, Diamond + Schmitt has won an international competition to design a $454 million opera and ballet house at the renowned Mariinsky Theatre complex in St. Petersburg, Russia. The wining design, done in collaboration with St. Petersburg architects, KB ViPS, bested four others and was the top pick of Mariinsky Theatre conductor and general manager, Valerie Gergiev.

In a statement to the press, Gergiev praised the Canadian firm for its design of similar projects, particularly the recently completed Four Seasons Centre, the first theatre in Canada specifically built for opera and ballet. Of that building Gergiev said: “I was struck by its beauty, its practicality and friendliness with neighbouring buildings, its superb acoustics and of course, its budget. Clearly, the architect knew what was needed and delivered on all those large challenges." Diamond + Schmitt’s design replaces an earlier one by French architect Dominque Perrault, which was scuttled due to cost overruns.

The new Mariinsky Theatre will be located across the street from the original theatre building built in 1860 and two blocks west of the new Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, which opened in 2007.

Construction is slated to begin immediately.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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