The Palace was built in 1961, under Nikita Khruschev, as a modern arena for Communist Party congresses and conferences, performances and concerts. Preserving the tradition of a single palace ensemble, the architects connected the new building with the Grand Kremlin Palace by a passageway with a small Winter Garden and a suspended glass passageway leading to the Patriarch’s Palace.
In 1992, the Palace of Congresses was renamed the Kremlin’s State Palace.Today, it is a public building and a theater.
The main part of the building is one of Europe’s biggest and finest auditoriums with 6000 seats, used mostly for concerts and ballet performances today. It is also the scene of the Kremlin Ballet Theatre and the second stage of the Bolshoi Theatre.
The palace has an underground portion as deep as a five-story building. The State Kremlin Palace, popularly known as the Palace of Congresses, contains more than 800 rooms.
At the time of construction, this large public building, made of concrete, metal and glass, was considered one of the biggest technical achievements of the Soviet era, despite a controversy that it was built within the previous older ensemble. The architects working on the project, headed by M. Posokhin, were awarded the Lenin Prize for their work on the building in 1962.
Fifty years later, Russian authorities wanted to give a new, contemporary look to the building and upgrade its performance. The fact that it is very rare for foreign architects to take part in projects within Moscow’s Kremlin makes the success of the architects’ work from Belgrade’s OTASH studio an even greater one. Architects from the studio “OTASH”, Dejan Otasevic, Ivo Otasevic and Uros Otasevic created a modern interior for the concert hall, applying the latest technological achievements in collaboration with experts for acoustics and visual effects from Great Britain, US and Germany.
The basic concept of the architectural team was to preserve as much of the previously existing geometry of the Hall and, with the use of Led lighting integrated into the wall paneling, to create the effect of large screens so that the whole interior would actively participate in the scenic experience, allowing a director vast possibilities in the conceptualization of plays. Computer controlled, it projects not only static lighting effects but also moving images that contribute to the dynamics of the space. Particular emphasis should be placed on the entirely new film projection equipment that includes Dolby Surround Sound standards and the most modern rotating spotlights that are able to throw light throughout the Hall. Such use of technology gives this reconstructed Hall multifunctionality, which was main task the architectural team was presented with. This now enables the Hall to be used as a venue for anything from rock and pop concerts, through ballet, opera, and folklore performances to various national gala events.
Applying the new acoustic solutions to the design of the interior was a particular challenge, as it required the sheathing of all surfaces with specially designed acoustic panels (high frequency and low frequency). For these panels to act properly, the sheathing before them had to be more than 50% sound permeable, which was accomplished by different manners of perforation and the use of acoustic materials. We should also mention the very innovative solution used in the design of the ceiling above the scene itself, before which three large panels with special canvas stretched on the inner construction have been placed, thus playing the role of light shades, as well as acoustic effects, and preventing the ceiling lighting from going directly into the eyes of the audience. Precisely these facts had a significant effect on the final appearance and characteristics of the Hall, which is now included among the most technologically advanced halls in the world. [via]