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July 29 marks the grand opening of The Bottle, the third of the restored historical buildings to make its debut on New Holland Island.
The former naval prison — whose name comes from its distinctive shape — was originally built by architect Alexander Egorovich Shtaubert in 1828. With a total area of 6,000 square meters, the three-story, ring-shaped building and its interior courtyard were constructed in record time: less than two years total.
In this new chapter of New Holland’s history, The Bottle serves as the center of the island, bringing together some of the most exciting projects in the fields of design, fashion, gastronomy and active recreation, all under one roof. The round courtyard now features the Park’s Small Stage, with its own program of concerts, film screenings and other events.
In an echo of its original construction period, the restoration and adaptation of the building for its new function took almost two years. This is due to the complicated shape of The Bottle, and the challenges it posed for installing modern wiring and plumbing, a powerful ventilation system, and other technical equipment. The space under the roof has been converted into a fourth floor mansard, with plenty of room for work space and the headquarters of the project New Holland: Cultural Urbanization.
In the process of restoration, the building has gained two elegant, Art Deco-styled elevators. Additionally, the previously empty openings in the wall have been fitted with 228 wood-framed windows featuring old-fashioned bronze handles. The team re-installed the 163 doors indicated in the original blueprints and restored the brickwork in the interior and exterior façades, as well as in the space of the first floor and the two stairwells, whose stairs were returned to their original cladding of Putilov limestone, flanked by cast-iron railings. The renovation of the shared corridors used 2,480 square meters of floor tiles, 4,348 square meters of glossy wall tiles, and 1,139 lighting fixtures. Among the main materials used in the design scheme of The Bottle are brass, cast iron, craquelure tiles, molding, and wood.
The courtyard has been studded with 40 outdoor bullet lights, made from black metal and glass tubes and installed at a height of 2.5 meters. The internal façade offers a system of multi-colored retractable awnings, available to shade the terraces of the first floor tenants. The effect is something like bending a busy shopping street in the city into the shape of a ring. This will now be the site for New Holland’s New Years Market, with all its festive holiday decorations. The central entrance to the building has been trimmed with the same cast-iron canopy as the entrance to The Foundry.
Alongside the launch of The Bottle, New Holland will also open up a significant new stretch of the territory, substantially increasing the area of the Park that is currently accessible to visitors. This marks the completion of the first phase of the restoration and reorganization of the island. According to the plans, the next building to open — located on the side of the island closer to Ploshchad Truda — is slated for 2019.
The design of the common areas and all elements of the interior decor have been developed by the architecture bureau, Ludi Architects and Lyubov Leontieva, in collaboration with the team for the project New Holland: Cultural Urbanization. The renovated park, together with its various pavilions and the historical buildings of The Foundry, The Commandant’s House and now The Bottle, have all been conceived as a single space. This continuity is reinforced by the recurring elements and motifs throughout the interiors, signage, and finishing of all of the architectural structures on the island. The key objective was to make the island feel like it has always been this way, even if the original purposes of the buildings meant a far less sophisticated design scheme.
The grand opening of The Bottle is scheduled for July 29. Festivities include a performance from the troupe of the Bolshoi Theatre’s Young Artist Opera Program, with set decorations created especially for the event by the P.T.H. Creative Manufacture.