Ermolova Moscow Theatre. Interior Renovation

By Valya Voinova & Olga Khomko Moscow / Russian Federation / 2015

1
1 Love 1,264 Visits Published

Getting started on the project, we primarily studied the history of the building in which the theatre is located. The building in question is the Yermolova Theatre, it has a unique history, it being the only building that remains from the bygone days of the Old Tverskaya street in Moscow. A street where its walls preserve the memory of Dolgoruky, Musin-Pushkins, and Meyerhold. We, of course, could not ignore this historical fact.


Our task was to remain true to the spirit of the history of the theatre, whilst at the same time making the interior modern, ambitious and relevant, regarding the character of the new artistic Director of the theatre, Oleg Menshikov.


Developing the concept of our project, we realised how important it was to pay special attention to the atmosphere of the theatre. We desired to see that this atmosphere could be seen in every corner of the interior and not only in the auditorium. For understanding of theatrical space, we got acquainted with the works of theatrical figures such as Edward Craig, Michael Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavsky. Subsequently, we conducted a survey amongst the visitors of the theatre, interviewed them and followed the main streams of the movement of people inside the theatre.


With this knowledge, we came to the conclusion that it is very important to support and retain the atmosphere of theatrical action outside of the play itself.


The question arises: what is the illusion of live theatre?
What is it we see? What is it that our human eyes first feast upon, when the curtain opens?
Well, what we see is a unique atmosphere conjured up by the creative process that is lighting design.


Thus, the main role in our interior is the light. For light, not only provides light, but in the theatre environment, light transcends the threshold, it breaks down the barrier that exists between performer and audience. Once light floods into the theatre, it seems that the performance has undoubtedly begun and the interior of the theatre begins its mystical connective dance with the audience. Slowly but surely, a cosy slightly dimmed light wraps up its theatrical haze and sets a creative path for those on both sides of the footlights.


In the auditorium, we have also created a subdued soft lighting for the audience during intermission. Our aim being, to not pull the audience away from the atmosphere already created by the play.


As for the materials used, we of course paid special attention. In order to emphasise the texture of each of them, we have the tender and luxurious velvet in the neighbourhood with cold mirrors with aged amalgam, noble carved wood with brass coexists with brutal texture of the concrete. Colour palette based on different shades of gray, shades of elegance and nobility, with the addition of muted shades of grey and "colour of pigeon neck". Gray as the basis, not chosen by chance – it is neither colour, nor light, nor dark. Gray is not intrusive and has no mental tendencies, it simply allows other colours and details to play the leading role. As well as in the lobby of the theatre, it is expected to conduct exhibitions. Here, grey velvet will be the perfect background for any work of art.


A striking feature of the theatre building is the presence of its facade of courageous figures of the Atlantes. The way we have brought into the interior of the theatre: Atlantes appears in the lobby in the form of murals, at the fireplace two Atlantes become the protagonists of the fireplace, while the café on the second floor, Atlanta comes alive on the screen.


It should be noted that in this cafe, we have equipped the improvised stage, where it will thus be possible to carry out the poetic and musical evenings.


Possibly, the only surviving element of the interior from the time of the architect S. S. Abashidze, is a coffered ceiling with lots of stucco elements, everything else having since being replaced. The flooring in the halls, we replaced with an interior self-leveling floor. This allowed us to turn what was deemed a somewhat difficult space into a far more accessible area for all concerned.


Inside the theatre, with a total area of 1.500 m2, in addition to the auditorium, we have placed a comfortable lobby, much of which has been turned into dining areas. This decision will once and for all remove the drudgery of queues during intermission and will give patrons the opportunity to enjoy a coffee or if it is their wish, even a glass of Champagne.


It is our wish and desire that guests can now spend an enjoyably evening, sharing their impressions, in a theatrical fireplace that is an absolute innovation in the structure of the grand historical art of Russian theatre.


 

1 users love this project
Comments
    comment
    user
    Enlarge image

    Getting started on the project, we primarily studied the history of the building in which the theatre is located. The building in question is the Yermolova Theatre, it has a unique history, it being the only building that remains from the bygone days of the Old Tverskaya street in Moscow. A street where its walls preserve the memory of Dolgoruky, Musin-Pushkins, and Meyerhold. We, of course, could not ignore this historical fact. Our task was to remain true to the spirit of the history of the...

    Project details
    • Year 2015
    • Work started in 2015
    • Work finished in 2015
    • Main structure Mixed structure
    • Client Ermolova Moscow Theatre
    • Status Current works
    • Type Town Halls / Theatres / Interior Design / Lighting Design / Recovery/Restoration of Historic Buildings / Furniture design
    Archilovers On Instagram
    Lovers 1 users