The church of the Compound of Saint Anthony of Siya Monastery in Saint Petersburg

The following is the project of the church of the Compound of Saint Anthony of Siya Monastery in Saint Petersburg. It is designed in the Neo-Russian style with a reference to the traditional stone church architecture of the Russian North. The Prohram studio received for revision a project completed by another organization. The design assignment did not provide for significant changes in the main body of the building, its area, height and layout. However, after working on the project, the appearance of the church changed significantly. The changes affected not only the facades, but also the architecture itself. The main volume of the building was preserved, while the proportions of some elements were somewhat changed.
Project: The church of the Compound of Saint Anthony of Siya Monastery in Saint Petersburg
Location: Saint Petersburg, municipal district Prometheus, Demyan Bedny street.
Capacity: 650 people
The total area of the church building: 896,3 square meters
Stage: architectural and city-planning design
Year: 2022
Head of the project: Dmitry Ostroumov
Architects: Polina Askarova, Andrei Dutsnik, Maria Shivilko
The original project by another organization, that the Prohram studio needed to change:
Project after changes:
Master plan scheme
The style of the project is Northern Art Nouveau. This choice is due to the interrelation of the Saint Anthony monastery in the Arkhangelsk region, with Saint Petersburg, the location of the planned church. In this city the Northern Art Nouveau was greatly developed. It is represented by the following church buildings of Saint Petersburg:
  • Our Lady of the Sign church in Tverskaya street;
  • Our Lady of Saint Theodore church in Mirgorodskaya street;
  • The Compound of the Valaam Monastery;
  • Saint Peter of Moscow church in Romenskaya street.
There are also secular buildings such as Vollenveider Mansion, Bubyr tenement house, Protasov house etc. The aesthetics of these landmarks of Saint Petersburg contrasts with the dominant Palace style. The focus on the Northern Art Nouveau, expressed in the Neo-Russian church architecture, seems to be the most appropriate in this case. This ascetic church will not be in discord with the surrounding non-historical typical buildings. It will be a beautiful architectural dominant of the park and microdistrict. The project also contains some reference to the work of the famous architect Andrei Aplaksin. He was the diocesan architect of St. Petersburg before the revolution and worked in the Neo-Russian style. Aplaksin combined the retrospective of Old Russian stone architecture with the trends of the Northern Art Nouveau.

The project also references some of the lost churches of the city:
  • Saint Alexius of Rome church in Chkalov Avenue, 50;
  • Our Lady of Kazan church in Podrezova street, 14;
  • Saint Nicholas and Saint Alexander church at the intersection of Bakunin Avenue and Mytninskaya Street;
  • Dormition of the Mother of God church in Volkovo cemetery;
  • Saint Alexis of Moscow church in Tsarskoye Selo, unrealized project by Alexey Shchusev.
The stylistic decision of the project can be supported by the following modern church buildings of Saint Petersburg:
  • Saint Apostle Peter church in Iskrovsky Avenue;
  • Church complex in Piskarevsky Avenue with its main Nativity Cathedral.
The church is located in the Prometheus municipal district. It is in the part of the park between the Demyan Bedny street and Olga Forsh street, next to the sports complex. There is a wooden chapel with an altar on the provided site. The site is flat, without significant height differences. The total area of the site is 0.46 ha. The site provides a parking lot for 30 cars, including 6 for Persons with Reduced Mobility. The project provides for a fire passage and the possibility of religious processions around the church. The entrance to the territory is from Olga Forsh street. The concept for the landscaping of the site is designed. The church building has a lower floor at around 0.000, raised by 0.45 m above ground level and the main floor at + 3.300. The floors are connected by two staircases and a lift for Persons with Reduced Mobility.
On the lower level, a baptismal church with extra functional rooms is designed. There is a refectory with a kitchen, a resting room for priests, an assembly hall with a library, a study room, bathrooms and engineering rooms. In front of the entrance to the temple there is a large entrance group with a tank for distributing holy water. Two exits outside are provided.

Access to the main hall of the church is by the central and additional stairs. The church consists of a narthex, a prayer hall and a sanctuary. From the narthex, a staircase leads to the choirs and offices located at + 7.400, as well as to the bell tower. The temple is single-domed, with one main dome and four corner cupolas. The lighting tholobate is located on strengthened arches with pendentives, standing on four bearing pillars. The central parts have barrel vaults, turning into zakomaras on the facades. The corner parts are covered with cross vaults. In the exterior, the base of the tholobate has a system of traditional kokoshniks. The corner cupolas stand on non-illuminated lesser tholobates located on the central axis of the cross vaults.
The entire main body of the church is a traditional scheme of a four-pillared temple with zakomaras on the facades. The altar is raised above the main level of the floor by 360 mm (three steps). The central part ends with an apse with a conch. The material of the church walls above +3.300 is brick, the walls are 770 mm wide. The vaults and the dome are monolithic. The tholobate has a reinforced concrete ring at the base. The supporting pillars are reinforced and may also have a reinforced concrete core. Foundations and walls below + 3.300 are also from reinforced concrete. The vaults in the narthex can be made of moisture-resistant gypsum fiber board on an aluminum frame, or with a supporting metal mesh with plaster. The outer finish of the lower part is rough stone slabs with a granite profile above them. Above + 3.300 mark there is plaster on lime mortar, or white stone cladding (limestone slabs), or molded clinker bricks. The windows have decorative white-stone frames with carving, which will be worked out at further design stages. Some of the windows have pilaster-like decorations. There are also carved white-stone bas-reliefs on the facades. All decorative elements, pilasters and moldings can be made either from stone, or from a composite material based on stone chips, or from ceramic compositions by molding and casting. There are water drains from the roof. The roofing is copper. There are decorative elements on the comb of a roof.
The preliminary design is made in accordance with the architectural and construction regulations and the approved terms of reference. It is designed in the spirit of traditional Orthodox church architecture. It takes into account the designated stylistic guidelines, as well as liturgical features and functional needs of the parish.