The Star: Canadian to design Russian opera house

Discussion in 'Buildings, Architecture & Infrastructure' started by khristopher, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. khristopher

    khristopher Senior Member

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    Canadian to design Russian opera house
    Jack Diamond replaces French architect

    Dec 13, 2008 04:30 AM
    Martin Knelman
    Arts Columnist


    Toronto architect Jack Diamond and his partner, Donald Schmitt, have been chosen to design what has been called Russia's most important building project in 70 years.

    The building, St. Petersburg's second opera house, known as Mariinsky 2, will go along with the renowned Mariinsky Theatre, which was built in the 19th century.

    Diamond – who was drafted because of his work on Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts – is set to replace the prominent French architect Dominique Perrault, whose proposal will be shelved after being selected by a jury in 2003 over 10 other candidates. Perrault designed the French National Library in Paris.

    More than $20 million has already been invested in Perrault's scheme, which featured a dome of black marble and golden glass. But there were problems with practical issues like maintenance in a severe climate.

    No official announcement has been made, but the Russian business daily Kommersant reported the change yesterday. And the Star has learned that Diamond is in St. Petersburg negotiating details.

    The commission would be a huge vindication for Diamond, who was criticized in some quarters because the Toronto opera house, built on a tight budget, is not an iconic monument when seen from the outside.

    But it's the marvels inside that wowed Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, when he was given a tour of the Four Seasons Centre in 2007 by Richard Bradshaw, the late Canadian Opera Company leader.

    The new Mariinsky theatre, which could open in 2011 or 2012, will have about 2,000 seats – making it the same size as Toronto's intimate opera house.

    Source
     
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  2. mjl08

    mjl08 Senior Member

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    St. Petersburg... prepare to be underwhelmed.
     
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  3. wyliepoon

    wyliepoon Senior Member

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    Here's photos of the original Mariinsky that I googled...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nothing D+S designs will ever compare to something like this.
     
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  4. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    Notice how it doesn't fit in with those humble buildings in the background.
     
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  5. khristopher

    khristopher Senior Member

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    Why? Is it possible that modern architecture can't possibly be better than classic?
    Is it that D+S are not good enough?
    Why discredit something before it's even presented?
     
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  6. adma

    adma Superstar

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    For that matter, why bother even comparing?

    Then again, there's the matter of the Opera de la Bastille, also by a Toronto architect...

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. TKTKTK

    TKTKTK Senior Member

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    Is that what he said? Because it sounded more like he was suggesting that, specifically, Diamond and Schmidt wouldn't be able to create a better looking building. And, since D+S have recently completed an Opera House that quite clearly proves that...why are you disagreeing?

    That green and white wedding cake isn't my favourite building by a long shot, but I'd still prefer it over 4SC. Having said that though, I much prefer 4SC over Opera de la Bastille; that thing looks like a Cineplex!


    Track record counts for something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
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  8. khristopher

    khristopher Senior Member

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    Who said I was disagreeing? I was just asking questions to understand his response more.
     
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  9. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Internationally speaking, is Jack Diamond's track record especially bad? Haven't heard of Jerusalem City Hall getting a whole lot of brickbats...
     
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  10. khristopher

    khristopher Senior Member

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    The client also has a say in the design, no?
     
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  11. wyliepoon

    wyliepoon Senior Member

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    I'm not discrediting D+S. One thing I'm almost certain is that the old theatre pays more attention to detail than anything D+S, or most major architects, are able to produce these days.

    Although I am wowed some of Toronto's modern spaces (Calatrava's Galleria, the AGO's Galleria Italia, to name a few), classical spaces combine the vastness of the space with detail which make people doubly amazed. In that, the classical is better than the modern.
     
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  12. adma

    adma Superstar

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    You mean, this is preferrable? Well, maybe to Russia's vulgar robber-baron capitalist class...
     
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  13. ganjavih

    ganjavih Senior Member

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    What's wrong with that, adma? It's neoclassical that looks like it was done exceptionally well without cutting corners or using cheap materials. Do you have something against it because it opened in 2006?
     
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  14. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    2006 BC, right? Because otherwise that's laughable.

    [​IMG]

    42
     
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  15. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    If they get a building even half as good as Diamond's beautiful and acoustically perfect Four Seasons Centre, the Russians will be blessed indeed. Toronto appears to have set the gold standard for excellence in opera house design, as three sold-out seasons at the FSCPA attest.
     
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