Moscow music school façade to depict fragments from opera Ivan Susanin

Moscow music school façade to depict fragments from opera Ivan Susanin
Design solution
The first notes of a phrase of music of the chorus Glory, Glory to You will adorn the new building of the Glinka art school in Pechatniki District.

The Moscow Committee for Architecture and Urban Development has approved an unusual building project for one of Moscow’s music schools. The façade of Glinka children’s art school No 58 that will be built in Guryanova Street, in Pechatniki District, will feature the first few notes of a musical phrase from the chorus Glory, Glory to You from Mikhail Glinka’s opera, Ivan Susanin. The construction will be finished by late 2018.


“The new modern building will house children’s art school No 58. From 1993, the school has been renting accommodation at Patriarsheye courtyard of Nikolo-Pervinsky Monastery. For many years, the school lacked its own accommodation,” said Chief Moscow Architect Sergei Kuznetsov.

The new building will occupy 3,500 square metres. It will have a capacity of about 600 children, which is almost double that of before. This will be a different-storeyed building – from three to four floors. There will be classrooms on each floor. There, music, singing, dancing and painting lessons will be conducted. The ground floor will accommodate a doctor’s office, a cafeteria, and a cloakroom. Part of the first floor will be occupied by a concert hall with a seating capacity of 300. The second floor will include classrooms as well as a chamber hall. The third floor will house a library.

According to Sergei Kuznetsov, the facade’s architecture will be influenced by creative heritage of composer Mikhail Glinka after whom the school was named. To the right of the entrance on the second floor there will be a small fragment from the chorus Glory, Glory to You from the opera Ivan Susanin (A Life For the Tsar). The musical notes that are heard in the opera’s final movement will be created out of metal which will be up to three metres high. The extract from Ivan Susanin wasn’t chosen at random. It was this very composition by Glinka that became Russia’s first classical opera. Before that, theatres staged operas which were not composed by Russians. A Life For the Tsar was completed and presented for the public in 1836. The libretto (the text of an opera) was written by baron Yegor Rozen. The plot is based on a story of peasant Ivan Susanin who rescued tsar Mikhail Romanov at the cost of his life. He volunteered to show the road to Kostroma to a group of lost Polacks who were going to kill the tsar there. Ivan Susanin led them to a swamp where he died with them. The first Russian classical opera was based not on a borrowed but on a national plot.

The building’s facade will be laid out with ceramic light and dark brown slabs. Light will come into the rooms through arched windows measuring 13-18 metres. They will be made of stemalite – solid stained glass up to 1.2 cm thick. A glass walkway will decorate the façade on the first floor. A ramp will be provided at the building’s entrance for visitors with reduced mobility. The premises will be upgraded by planting a lawn and fixing the benches.

The Moscow Committee for Architecture and Urban Development has recently approved a project of a new school in Sosenskoye settlement. It will meet disabled children’s needs. In addition to this, projects of 14 kindergartens and schools with bright individual exteriors have been adopted to be built in different parts of Moscow. These include a kindergarten in Moskovsky settlement at Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas. The building’s facade will feature colourful puzzles.