Vitebsky Railway Station Reconstruction (with pictures)

by Elena on October 19, 2018

The first stage of the restoration of the Vitebsky railway station in St. Petersburg, which is being considered the most beautiful in Russia, has ended. Here, the facade has been completely rebuilt, the interiors of the station and the Imperial Pavilion have also been partly reconstructed, new lightning system has been organized. Federal monuments’ protection committee monitors the progress of the work: all the details – including even the color of paint in the paintings – should be historically accurate. After the restoration at the station officials promise to update the navigation system of this railway station.

The main intrigue is when the restaurant on the second floor is going to start working (the Soviet wall separating it from the picture hall was demolished – now these are adjacent rooms, as it was originally). Now the railway station management is looking for a food retailer who could place his business here.

In the meantime, the exhibition of the fashion historian and collector Alexander Vasiliev “The Fashion of Russian Modern” (it will last until the end of the year, entrance is free) is taking place in the picture hall. In the meantime, tours of the station are periodically being held.

We are now publishing some photos of the newly-reconstructed Vitebsky Railway Station:

The modern building of the Vitebsky railway station was built between 1902 and 1904. During the construction, new technologies for Russia have been used – similar to those used at that time throughout Europe: for example, at Kings Cross and Orsse stations. It is often compared to the Eiffel Tower: both the frame of the Tsarskoye Selo station, and the tower built in 1889 have a riveted metal truss structure. For Saint-Petersburg, the decision to bare the bearing frame of the building was very radical, but that was the main trend of late European modernism.

The station was one of the first fully electrified buildings in St. Petersburg, but at the same time the officials tried to include in the design as much natural light as possible. Plus, the idea of the absence of borders – social and technical, is embodied, it is generally inherent in modernity. At the station there were no blank walls, the rooms were connected to each other and flowed into one another. By the way, according to the project, third-class passengers could enter the waiting room and the restaurant of the first and second classes: the area of the restaurant was calculated based on this. But the main function of the building – proper distribution of passenger traffic – was the key to comfortable movement around the station.

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