Archunder's styles overview.

The term "architecture" is translated from the Greek as "history in stone". It depends upon the period of time under which influence a particular architectural design is being created.
The evolution of St Petersburg underground design can be broken into three major styles that I would label as Classical, Industrial and Modern.

Classical Style
Classical style features various elements of classic architectural order such as Doric in combination with art and sculpture. Such classic elements as fronton, architrave, frieze, pillar, column top and base are always present and create an interesting composition for the underground as well as for the surface part of the station complex.  The first section of Line 1 is a good example of how this style works for St. Petersburg Subway system. The entire section was given a status of a city landmark in 2000. All eight stations were renovated and presented to the guests and public in 2003 during celebration of the 300th anniversary of St.Petersburg.

Industrial Style

1958 -1972

Industrial style is a product of the late fifties when architects were encouraged to eliminate all excessive decorative architectural elements from their designs.  They were advised to develop a solution that would leave a little room to accomplish a certain level of individual design. St.Petersburg subway design was significantly affected by this trend.  Station complexes of that time look extremely simple in design and quite similar to each other.  However, architects managed to find individual solutions and expressed their ideas in color and shape support by artistic decoration.  The station "Park Pobedy" on Line 2 became a pioneer of a new industrial solution. It was the first one to be called a "horizontal lift" station.  These stations continued to be built until 1972. This type of design utilized typical package of structural elements and features absence of loading passenger platforms.  The passage of time proved the above design to be inconvenient and unsafe.  It was abandoned but demonstrated a real example of authoritative engineering solutions.  The last station was to be built that way was "Zvyozdnaya" on line 2.

Modern Style

Since 1975          

Modern style appears to be a clear return to traditional architecture  but on a more functional style level.  Then in 1975, St Petersburg became a pioneer in innovative design and introduced a completely new type of underground structure in world practice, a shelled or a vaulted structure with reinforced cement arches as hydro proof elements.  Only three stations were designed: "Ploshchad Muzhestva" and "Polytekhnicheskaya" on Line 1 in 1975 and "Obukhovo" on line 3 in 1981.  Despite limited design options those stations are worth seeing as the ones built with a great deal of taste and individuality.  The next page in subway history was opened in 1982. A new improved vault was introduced on line 2 and featured wider but slightly shorter platforms with higher vaults.  "Chyornaya Rechka" with a striking color and style was a real celebration of  a new approach in architectural and structural design. This type of design is currently in use by St.Petersburg subway along with other innovative solutions.


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