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The Alexander Palace

2 Dvotscovaya str., Pushkin, Saint-Petersburg

Engineering and economical performance:

  • Total floor area: 14,994 sq.m.
  • Total useful area:12,242 sq.m.
  • Total structural volume: 107,795 cu.m.
    • overground part:85,995 cu.m.
    • underground part: 21,800 cu.m.
  • Building area: 7,165 sq.m.
  • Number of floors:2 floors.
  • Type of construction: Reconstruction
  • Term of realization: The first stage is scheduled for the period 2011-2014
  • Customer: Federal State Public Cultural Institute «State Palace-and-Park Museum-Preserve of Arts and Architecture «Tsarskoye Selo»

The Alexander Palace erection was launched in 1792 under the supervision on Catherine the Great for the wedding of her beloved grandson Alexander Pavlovich (future Emperor Alexander I) and the great princess Elizaveta Alekseevna. The building was finished in May 1796, the last year of Ekaterina II government, and on June 12, 1976 Alexandr Pavlovich and his spouse moved into the new Palace. The architectural design belongs to the famous Italian architect G. Quarenghi; the works were carried out under the supervision of the architect P.V.Neelov. The subsequent finishing and decoration of the Palace required the forces of such famous architects as: L.Ruska, K.Maker, S. Cerfolio, A.A.Thon, V.P.Stasov, D.E.Yefimov, A.I.Stakenschneider, A.F.Vidov, S.A.Danilin, R.F.Melzer. The Alexander Palace became the residence of the Emperor Nicholas II who was born there in 1868 and since then had special attitude towards Tsarskoye Selo. He spent his last 13 years there; hence in the morning August 1, 1917 the Emperor’s family was exiled to Tobolsk. In the early 20th century, the Alexander palace saw nearly all the important events of the Russian State history: receptions of ambassadors and statesmen, celebration of anniversaries — 300 years of the House of Romanoff and 200 years of Tsarskoye Selo. The Alexander Palace was open for the visitors in 1918 as State Museum. The exposition included historical interiors of the ground floor, apartments of the Romanoff family in the right aisle of the Palace. At a later date the left wing was occupied by the Rest house for NKVD officers, whereas the second floor with closed rooms of Nicholas II children housed the Children’s home in the name of Young Communists. In the first months of the Great Patriotic War, the Alexander house-museum was the victim of valuables and historical treasures evacuation, such as: carpets, furniture, porcelain and marble pieces of art of 17th century. The most of the palace treasures was left in the halls. When Pushkin was occupied, the Alexander Palace was utilized as the fascist headquarters and gestapo, the underground floor was used as a prison, the square in front of the Palace was used as a SS soldiers cemetery. When the war was over, the Palace was conserved and in 1946 transferred to the Academy of Sciences of USSR for Russian literature collection storage and for exposition of the Pushkin All-Union museum exhibits. In this connection repairing works began in 1947–1951 in the Palace, in course of which it was planned to restore the survived interiors by G. Quarenghi and decorations, as well as to reconstruct the historical interiors of the age of the emperors Nicholas I and Nicholas II. However during the restoration the Maple and Palisander Drawing-Rooms, as well as Nicholas II’s (Moresque) Dressing-Room were destroyed. These rooms of the palace were recreated under the project of the architect L.M. Bezverkhny «in accordance to the architectural norms of the time of Quarenghi and Pushkin». In 1951 the government decided to transfer the Alexander Palace to the Naval Department, while the palace’s collections that were among the evacuated items in the Central Repository of Museum Stocks from the Suburban Palaces-Museums, passed to the Pavlovsk Palace Museum. In 1996 the World Monuments Fund awarded a grant for the restoration of the Alexander Palace and work on repairing the building’s roofs began. A year later, in the right wing of the palace, formerly the location of the private apartments of Nicholas II and Alexandra Fyodorovna, was opened a permanent exhibition «Memories of the Alexander Palace» created by the Museum-Reserve out of pieces of the museum collection. This display exhibits partially preserved historical interiors and rooms that lost their decoration during the war, features furnishings from the apartments and personal possessions of the last Russian Emperor and his family. Emergency repair of the roofs, facades and terrace took place in 2007-2010. In 2010 restorations works were carried out in the Portrait, Semi-Circular and Billiard Halls of the Front suite of rooms. The works on central heating repairs in the exposition area of the ground floor were held in order to prepare the building to the winter conditions of 2010-2011. The territory in front of the central facade was improved and landscaped. It was offered to implement the reconstruction of the Alexander Palace in two consequent stages in accordance to the technological scheme of the building and subsequent technological order. The first stage presupposed reconfiguration and enforcement of the structures. The second stage included reconstruction and restoration. The first stage is scheduled for the period 2011-2014. According to the target specification for design and planning, the Palace is to be adapted to the requirements of the multifunctional museum complex including:

  • Museum area:
    • Visitor service premises
    • Permanent exposition premises
    • Temporary exposition premises
    • Premises for exposition servicing, scientific rooms, temporary storing areas.
  • Cultural and recreational area:
    • Premises of cultural and historical centre the Alexander Palace
    • Library and lecture rooms
    • Children centre
  • Commercial area:
    • Premises for public dining
    • Группа арендных помещений под сувенирную торговлю
  • Building exploitation area:
    • Administrative premises
    • Engineering and technical support service premises
    • Security and guarding service premises
    • Technical and storage premises

The project provides for general deeping of the floor up to the existing in the western part of the central building relative mark of -3.430, as well as the reconstruction of the inner staircase and the entrance of the underground passage of Danini leading to the Kitchen house. The entrance to the Children Centre situated at the second floor is arranged in the eastern aisle; the western aisle comprises the entrance for the visitors of the cultural and historical centre at the ground floor leading to the premises of the administration and research and methodological departments located at the second floor. The central part of the building and the eastern wing represent permanent exposition. The western part of the central area represents temporary exhibitions of the cultural and historical centre and a lecture area for 100 persons, as well as a library of 15,000-20,000 storage units and library collections with both open and closed access. Here one finds medical centre. The eastern wing hosts the areas of children centre and temporary exhibition areas. The western wing hosts the premises of the administration and research and methodological departments, a meeting room, a public dining, ancillary facilities and other utility rooms. In the central, western and eastern parts of the main building there are halls of temporary exhibitions, WC for visitors, special fireproof area for limited mobility people. The facade projections host the areas for excursion group formation leading to the open gallery. Ventilation facilities are adjusted on the attic floors above the portals. Technical areas with ventilation facilities and engineering communications (central heating system lines, heat and water supply, transit air ventilation areas, electric and low power networks) are located in the roof space. There are various types of internal stairs and staircases, including evacuation stairs. The building is equipped with the elevators and ascensors. The Alexander Palace is the venue of the federal level cultural value that was stated in the Russian Federation Government directive No.527 of July 10, 2001. .

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