Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre

Moscow, Russian Federation
Project Year
Stories By
ROCKWOOL International A/S


Bolshoi Theatre

ROCKWOOL International A/S as Manufacturers

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.

An icon restored to its original splendour the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow

GROHE as Manufacturers

Behind the scenes of the reopened theatre, GROHE products help keep things running smoothly

Upon entering the Bolshoi Theatre in central Moscow you immerse yourself in almost 250 years of history and a truly unique atmosphere. A preeminent stage for the stars of opera and the home base of the renowned Bolshoi Ballet, the building has always held a special fascination. Originally built in 1776 under the name Petrovsky Theatre, the world famous venue burned down twice and was subsequently reconstructed in the 19th century. Many of the interior fittings dating back to the last reconstruction in 1856 are still in place today. Designed in Russian classicist style, the Bolshoi is considered one of the world’s most beautiful theatre buildings. In order to preserve this highly symbolic national treasure for future generations, a major restoration was launched in 2005. Following six years of complex works on a building whose foundations and brickwork date from three different epochs, the re-opening was celebrated with a big gala performance in October 2011. The reconstruction included a complete renovation of the sanitary facilities which were equipped with state-of-the-art GROHE water fittings.

Blending the modern with the traditional

The modernised Bolshoi Theatre is a radiant reminder of the splendour of Tsarist Russia. Advanced construction techniques were used to remove the rotten wooden piles which supported the original building. They have been replaced with more than 2,300 reinforced concrete supports anchored in the rocky ground beneath the city. The building is fronted by eight giant columns topped by a quadriga of Apollo, the god of arts, which combine to give it a proud and dignified appearance. Inside, the tone is set by red velvet and creme coloured fabrics, purple trimmings and gold-leafed ornaments. To improve the acoustics and to create more legroom for audiences, Moscow-based architect Nikita Shangin reduced the number of seats from 2,000 to 1,700. The refurbishment also included the entire stage equipment, lifts and comfortable dressing rooms. A small secondary stage is available for the performance of modern dance works.

Utmost precision all down the line

Whether it is a fairy tale ballet, an opulent opera or a performance of pumped up rock ballads it is important to get all the details right before the artists step out onto the stage. To make sure that everything runs smoothly also behind the scenes and that visitors are made to feel welcome in every respect, the planners specified state-of-the-art technology for the sanitary areas. For example, the WCs are fitted with GROHE Rapid SL flushing systems, meaning TÜV-approved safety in terms of load-bearing capacity and installation. This versatile and safe installation system for WCs and urinals adapts to the most varied on-site conditions. The single-part water connection and the QuickFix feature speed up the tool-free installation process. Fitted with a pneumatic drain valve, the cistern offers a choice of three different flushing functions, namely start/stop, single flush and dual flush. A single plug-in hose connects the drain valve with the flushing plate. Assuming that the toilet bowl is suitable for low-volume flushing, the flushing volume can be reduced to 4.5 and 3 litres, respectively, thereby reducing water consumption and helping to conserve natural resources. While urinal flushing is intelligently controlled by touch-free GROHE Tectron Skate plates, GROHE Skate Air plates help save water on the WCs. GROHE Whisper® technology minimises noise transmission into the building structure. Last but not least, the GROHE Rapid SL frame consists of closed profiles which ensure the highest levels of dimensional stability and load bearing capacity.

The reopened Bolshoi Theatre is committed to the very highest standards not only on stage but also behind the scenes where GROHE water fittings are trusted members of the ensemble.

Project Credits
Products used in this project
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct link
ManufacturersGROHERapid SL
ManufacturersROCKWOOL International A/S
Product Spec Sheet
by Roca
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