Kremlin Senate | 4Walks
Kremlin Senate
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The Senate building was constructed according to the project of architect M.F. Kazakov within the period from 1776 till 1787 and the interior decoration continued until 1790. The building was intended for holding meetings of the nobility of the Moscow province, but with the transfer of two senate departments from Petersburg to Moscow it was granted to the Senate.

The territory acquired by the Government from the last private owners in the Kremlin was allocated for the construction. It was located at the Kremlin wall between the Arsenal and the Ascension and the Monastery of the Miracle.

Triangular shape inconvenient for the construction of the site determined the volume-planning solution brilliantly developed by the author. The scale of the Senate is close to the scale of the Arsenal, and both facilities are aligned in height. The plan of the building is an isosceles triangle with a courtyard divided by additional buildings into three parts: central, pentahedral and lateral triangular. On the long side of the plan is the main facade located opposite the Arsenal, slightly at an angle to it, forming the extension of the Senate Square to the center of the Kremlin. The main axis of the building passes along the axis of the triangle, on which the entrance arch is located in the courtyard, marked by an Ionic portico and an oval dome over the roof of the hull; Central pentahedral courtyard and domed hall-rotunda with an ionic colonnade represent the compositional center of the entire structure. The dome of the hall oriented to the Red Square is also the center of one of its composite axes. All the premises of the Senate are interconnected by a corridor passing along the perimeter of the courtyard.

The facades are designed in the strict style of early classicism. The basement and first floors are rusted and serve as a pedestal for the two upper floors united by rhythmically arranged vertical niches with two rows of windows. The oblique angles of the triangle and the centers of the secondary facades are decorated with risalit with pilasters of the Dorian order and semi-circular niches. Facades end with a classic entablature with a cornice on brackets.

The round hall of the Senate is rightfully referred to the masterpieces of architecture. Contemporaries called it the Russian Pantheon. The hall with a diameter of 24.7 m and a height of 27 m with the Corinthian order colonnade along the perimeter is covered with a dome-shaped crown, in the base of which 24 light windows are located. Sculptural thematic bas-reliefs decorate the piers between the columns and windows.

The erection of the Senate was a new stage in the formation of the type of large public structure. In the future it served as a model for the buildings of public offices in many Russian towns.

During the Soviet period the Government of the State was located in the Senate. From 1992 till 1995 the building was reconstructed for the residence of the President of the Russian Federation. Historic interiors have preserved only the round and oval halls, the latter is designed no less elegantly. The representative offices of the residence are decorated in the style of the interiors of the 19th century.