The famous Bolshoi Theatre in Russia is being reconstructed with the use of ROCKWOOL insulation. The ROCKWOOL solutions will insulate the roof and raise the fire safety of the building. Saving the Bolshoi Theatre With more than 230 years of history, the Bolshoi Theatre - which means 'big theatre' in Russian - is the main national theatre of Russia and a centre of world music culture. The theatre has staged numerous historic premieres such as the ballets "Swan Lake" and "The Nut Cracker", and the opera "The Queen of Spades". The Bolshoi Theatre has burnt down twice, survived by a miracle during the civil war but suffered bomb damage in 1941.
Safe with ROCKWOOL insulation For the past few years, the Bolshoi Theatre has been undergoing massive restoration; the project started in 2005 and is expected to finish by the end of 2008. A tenfold increase of the cast, a radical change of the scenography and the production of large-scale operas has created a huge need for more working space. However of even more pertinence, the theatre was in a very sad state because no serious reconstruction had been done for almost 150 years. Consequently, there were problems with the foundations as well as with the load bearing elements. The theatre was also at risk from the danger of fire. Build in 1824 the theatre did not fully meet modern demands for fire safety, which ROCKWOOL insulation will now help to remedy.
"The roof construction will be insulated with ROCKWOOL materials, and this will improve the fire resistance significantly. ROCKWOOL insulation is known to endure temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees C. We are, of course, proud to be able to contribute to the safety of this landmark theatre," says press secretary at ROCKWOOL Russia, Nadezhda Vyborova.
A historic monument Undertaking such major repairs to the theatre is not an easy task. The building is an historic monument protected by UNESCO but, at the same time, it also has to accommodate state-of-the-art scenery and equipment. Overbuild and adding new elements to the theatre was not allowed, so spectacular methods have been used to strengthen the structure and preserve the bearing walls. One of the most amazing examples is the erection of an ingenious underground concrete platform which the historic building is now standing on. The restoration of the Bolshoi Theatre is a one-off event that will not be repeated. All the contractors have given a 150 year guarantee that after reconstruction the building will be properly protected against thermal contraction and earth movement as well as water, wind and fi re damage.
The total cost of reconstruction is estimated at RUB 25 billion (approximately EUR 670 millions) and is funded from the federal budget. When the Bolshoi Theatre reopens in 2009, it will be on a par with other great international venues such as London's Covent Garden and the New York Metropolitan Opera.