A unique collection of architecture patterns which was laid in the beginning of the 18th century during the first years of the Academy and its Museum is a pearl of its magnificent architecture collection in spite of relatively small amount of items.
This is just a brief, far from complete representation, overview of the main exhibited items which let us appreciate this unique and single collection of design patterns in the world. In addition to architecture patterns the exposition also includes drawings, paintings and prints which reveal the history of creation and existence of the exhibited monuments.
Pattern making came to us from Europe, where in Medieval ages already in creation of especially complicated and important structures there were often used patterns of wood which gave the comprehensive understanding of not only dimensional composition of a future building, but also of its internal structure and interior decoration. After the construction completion the pattern was usually stored in the building for erecting of which it was made. In Saint Petersburg these works of architecture art of a particular kind were handed over to the Academy of Arts “for the benefit of the scholars”, future architects which studied here together with painters, sculptors and engravers. So there was created the single collection of design patterns in the world.
Exposition is started with the pattern of Voskresensky Novodevichiy monastery which is called Smolny after its location on the place where the tar (“smola” in Russian) was melt for household and military purposes. The ensemble design was created in 1747 by a great master of the Baroque epoch F.B. Rastrelli (1700 - 1771) which was able to combine in its design the traits of the general European style and traditional themes of the Russian architecture.
The exhibited pattern of the building of the Academy of Arts is a graphic example of the classical style, one of the first in the Russian architecture. The building was designed by two professors of the faculty of architecture of the Academy – A.F. Kokorinov and J.-B.M Vallin de la Mothe in 1764.
Troitsky cathedral of Alexander Nevsky laura was built in the period of 1778-1790 after the design of an outstanding Russian architect I.Ye. Starov (1745-1803) in the spirit of the strict Classicism. In comparison to other items of this exhibition the pattern of Troitsky cathedral is not colored which let us praise the skill of the carvers who were able to precisely reproduce the fine architecture details.
Romantic stream of the Russian Classicism is reflected in the design of Mikhailovsky castle (1796 – 1801) the idea of which itself was supposed to appeal to the themes of the Medieval European architecture. The pattern shows us the luxurious decoration of its interior in details: the painting imitates the ceiling coffer, pink and lilac marble of columns, fornication and the cupola are decorated with painting, the walls - with the gold-plated molding.
One of the most unique works of Saint Petersburg architecture which unites the traits of Baroque and Classicism style could become Isaac Cathedral designed in 1768 by A. Rinaldi on place of which O. Montferrand built the present Isaac Cathedral. So, the design pattern became a more realistic embodiment of A.Rinaldi’s conception.
The pattern of a famous Isaac Cathedral built after the design of O. Montferrand in 1818 – 1858 precisely represents the initial conception of the author. Ten masters worked over creation of this, according to a contemporary observer, “magnificent and trig toy” which surprises with the smart performance.
The bronze depiction of a Lutheran church of St. Peter, so called Petrikirche, built in 1833 - 1838 in the Nevsky prospect by an outstanding Petersburg architect A.P. Bryullov takes a distinguished place in the exposition of patterns. This pattern is not a design one, it was produced in 1867 for an international art and industry exhibition in Paris which is proved by an engraving made on its back façade.