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12 Feb 2020
Glazed wooden Tchaikovsky Academic Opera and Ballet Theater will be a monument to the arts
By Stu Robarts
Glazed wooden Tchaikovsky Academic Opera and Ballet Theater will be a monument to the arts
The body of the structure will be locally crafted with timber sourced through Russian forestry, while huge glazed expanses wrapping it its entirety
Photo: AtChain
wHY Architecture are to build a monolithic but welcoming glazed, wooden theatre in a new park on the Kama River as a beacon for the emerging arts district in Perm, Russia.

The firm began working on the Tchaikovsky Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in September 2019 and their design was given the go-ahead in January 2020 by a vote of approval from the City Council of Perm, the planning commission and members of the public.

Located on an outcrop where the city meets the valley, the theatre is intended to be a focal point for the city and the signature piece of its cultural revitalisation.

The design strategy is aimed at reintegrating the river and the site into the city’s cultural identity – and the theatre's raised position and the surrounding open parkland will contribute to this by helping to ensure its visibility.

The theatre's flowing elliptical shape was conceived to echo the movement of dance and music, while its palette of materials references the region's geology and copper mining heritage.

Its body will be locally crafted with timber sourced through Russian forestry, while huge glazed expanses will wrap its entirety.

Not only will the high-performance glass and curtain wall system provide 360-degree views of the surroundings and allow passersby to see what is going on inside, but it will also help to moderate the interior temperature.

Unlike with typical theatres or concert halls, the building's setting means a curved plaza will run all the way around it, allowing visitors to approach from all angles and integrating it with the rest of the park's winding paths and terraced landscaping.

There is a continuation of the paths inside the theatre, with ramps and walkways intended to create a sense of flow through the building.

"Our goal is to create a new cultural landmark and an international destination for Perm and Russia, with a space that reflects the dynamism and creativity of the performances held within," said Andrija Stojic, wHY's New York director. "I believe that music acts as a bridge between past and future: our design will embrace the history and local culture of Perm, while providing the world-class building that the Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet deserves to have."

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