Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s great museums. Occupying a large complex of six historic buildings along the Palace Embankment in St Petersburg, its collections contain over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world
For the 250th anniversary of its founding, a decision to convert the eastern wing’s General Staff Building into a museum of 19th- and 20th-century art led to an international architectural competition.
St Petersburg-based Studio 44 won the commission over a field of global figures. The centrepiece of Studio 44’s elegant scheme, which addresses both the project’s complexity and the needs of a 21st-century museum, is a breathtaking enfilade with ‘hanging gardens’ that will enthral visitors from around the world.
The scale and dramatic outcome of the new building – the most important new cultural museum in Russia for a generation – is captured in this handsome publication and will inspire architects, museum visitors, curators and anyone interested in the next chapter of Russia’s rich cultural heritage.
'Studio 44 has provided an answer to the question of how a museum can be both conservative and progressive, closed and open, imposing and inclusive. This gives the building a chance to be a real attractor for the cultural life of the city'
'The architects have shown real insight both in trying to understand what the East Wing is, and in expressing what it might want to be ... It is fair to say that the Hermitage in the General Staff Building is a project quite unlike any other large-scale museum project in the Western world'