Cosmogony of the second sky

apartment with a total area of ​​203 m2 (St. Petersburg) Oleg Shirinkin, Andrey Negodyaev Modeling St. Petersburg of the XIX century in a single apartment. White beam constructions as the image of the sky

Passing the gallery

Text: Lyudmila Likhacheva

A photo: Peter Lebedev

Architect: Andrey Negodyaev, Oleg Shirinkin

Painter: Ivan Bondarenko

Magazine: H (54) 2001

Fyodor Dostoevsky called Petersburg "the most deliberate city on earth." The architectural idea of ​​this apartment is the modeling of a "city in a city", a smaller projection of St. Petersburg, made on the scale of a dwelling. The apartment accurately reproduces the physics and metaphysics of the northern capital - a space that has absorbed the drama of Russian history, saturated with cultural myths, literary reminiscences ... Therefore, the structural relations of the external and the internal turn out to be reversible: in the internal interior one can discern the outlines of the external - the urban, street space. The basis of the "Petersburg" concept in this apartment is the image of the sky. "The burden of a northern sky burden," wrote Osip Mandelstam. It was as if the architects decided to overcome this stereotype, making it as easy as possible by raising the ceilings. Once, looking at the still bare supporting structures of the roof, the customer and the architects understood: a banal flat ceiling is not needed here: it’s a pity to lose this luxury - high air space. Of course, not in all rooms, but in the main part of the apartment. So, steel beams sewn into massive white boxes. It turned out, according to the authors, "architectural layout of the structure." There was a kind of "second sky" over the model of the city. In turn, white girder designs on the ceiling evoke associations with mystical white nights. And yet - the emphasized nakedness, the installation view of the ceiling correlates with the urban theme common to the whole interior. Under the improvised "sky" - a miniature city with its own Agora - a living room, a kitchen "sheltered" in a kind of house with "showcase windows", and "street": it is formed by two rows of massive cabinets with antique dishes. The rotunda at the junction of the hallway and living room plays the same role as the triumphal Roman tetrapilons at the crossroads. It generates all centrifugal and centripetal forces acting inside the "policy". Here, in the apartment, as in its great prototype, a strict classical order prevails, only here and there (the colored stained-glass windows of the kitchen or the openwork bends of the chandelier) one feels the influence of Art Nouveau. Doors and portals are deliberately low, like the arches of St. Petersburg courtyards. The greater contrast is created at the sight of a colossal spherical dome above the dining room. The street space is recreated in the apartment so convincingly that the author's intention in this sense leaves no doubt. The stylistic dominant of the apartment, of course, is an orientation to the classic Russian XIX century. Decor, interior, furniture is a rich quotation material. These guidelines are not accidental, but, on the contrary, are consonant with the bold, even bold, initial idea - to vividly capture the history and aesthetics of the city itself in a residential interior.