Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the State Hermitage Museum is one of the world's great museums. Occupying a large complex of six historic buildings along the Palace Embankment in St. Petersburg, its collections contain over three million items, including one of the largest collections of paintings in the world.
The decision to convert the eastern wing of the General Staff Building into a museum of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the institution's founding led to an international architectural competition. St. Petersburg-based Studio 44 won the commission over a field of globally renowned firms. The centerpiece of Studio 44's elegant design scheme, which addresses both the project's cultural significance and the needs of a twenty-first century museum, is an enfilade with hanging gardens that will enthrall visitors from around the world. The scale and dramatic outcome of the new building--the most important new cultural museum in Russia for a generation--is captured in this extensively illustrated publication that will inspire architects, museum visitors, curators, and anyone interested in the next chapter of Russia's rich cultural heritage.