Veliky Novgorod-based Acron, a major employer in the region, is sponsoring renovations to the Fyodor Dostoyevsky Academic Drama Theatre.
A competition was held to choose a concept for the renovations, and the winner, Rhizome architectural bureau in St. Petersburg, was announced during an online press conference on 24 December.
The press conference was attended by Governor of Novgorod region Andrey Nikitin, Managing Director of the project’s operator Strelka KB Elena Mandryko, Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov, and Deputy CEO of the DOM.RF Foundation Anton Finogenov. Roger Watts, British architect and the competition’s curator, spoke about the unique format of the contest and the finalists’ work.
Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov explained that the Company has a history of funding local social initiatives. ‘As the leading production company in the region, we strive to contribute to social development, support healthcare, educational, and environmental initiatives, and help create a positive environment. We are deeply honoured to be partnering with a project of this significance. The Academic Drama Theatre is a true architectural masterpiece and one of the most popular cultural institutions in the region. These kinds of infrastructure improvements should bring more tourists to Veliky Novgorod, stop the outflow of young people from the region, and attract more non-resident students to local universities. Quality-of-life initiatives like this one will also make it easier for Veliky Novgorod-based companies and institutions to employ experienced specialists from other regions, making local economic growth more sustainable’.
The competition to renovate the Fyodor Dostoyevsky Academic Drama Theatre was launched on 12 August 2020 by the government of Novgorod region with the goal of choosing a project that would preserve the building’s unique style, originally designed by the architect Vladimir Somov in the 1970s and 1980s. Finalists Archiproba Studios, Form, and Rhizome were selected from 16 start-up architectural studios. The competition was curated by Roger Watts (Haworth Tompkins).