Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater is the largest theater building in Russia. According to the preliminary project, it was planned to open the House of science and culture here where theater performances could coincide with demonstrations and celebration of holidays. Its construction started in 1931 but was stopped soon as the project was too expensive.
On 29 August 1930 a spot on the central square was chosen. The future theater had to be facing the Red Prospect.
‘Construction of the House of Science and Culture’
The first brick was laid on 22 May 1931.
The meeting was devoted to start of the construction.
23 May 1932. The construction site occupied the area of 10 hectares and was surrounded by the fence.
Future walls of the vestibule.
Facing the square.
The view could be seen from the vestibule.
13 June 1932. Casting of the first floor of the corridors. By 1 July only a general plan and a part of drawings were available. They hurried up to finish with the construction.
Carrying reinforcing to the 1st floor of the construction.
5 August 1932.
Digging out another trench for foundation.
1 September 1932. South view.
The internal view of the corridors.
20 October 1932.
26 January 1933.
False-work of the scenic box.
15 April 1933. Vestibule and corridors.
A serious task for constructors was installation of the theater dome. The ratio of the dome depth to its diameter accounted for 1/750. Concreting of the dome had to be accompanied with works on construction of amphitheater in the hall.
28 April 1933. Supporting tower of the dome.
The tower that was 37 m long allowed not to fill the hall with scaffolds.
1 May 1933.
6 June 1933. General view.
The scenic box.
The mechanic workshop.
27 June of 1933.
The side facade of the corridors.
Eastern side of the facade.
Installation of dome trusses.
The trusses were mounted on the roof of the vestibule and then shifted to the necessary place. 4 August 1933.
It took 35 days to assemble the first truss, 10 days for the second one and 1 day for the third one.
Drilling of the scenic box trusses.
15 August 1933. Frames of the 4th floor corridors.
Installation of trusses onto the upper ring of the tower.
Lower support of the dome trusses.
28 August 1933. General view of the dome.
Warehouse with settings.
Dome trusses are mounted onto the supporting ring.
Casting of the vestibule on the 4th floor.
30 August 1933.
Setting grates on 3rd September 1933.
Armoring of the dome supporting ring.
Armoring of the dome.
Working with dome armor.
9 October 1933. Concreting of the dome. Concrete was sprayed out with the help of a special gun. The method was new for the city of those times.
The most unique part of the building, the dome, is 35 m high and 60m in diameter.
The view from Lenin Street.
29 October 1933.
In spite of the lack of construction materials and qualified workers the main constructions of the building were ready by November 1933. That time it was the highest building in the city with mainly one-storey houses.
During construction it was found out that the cost of the project exceeded 20 million rubles.
Removing of timbering was a complicated task as it had to be removed simultaneously along the entire dome surface not to allow curving that could lead to destruction of the fragile construction. After concreting was accomplished, further constructions were postponed for 6 months and examination revealed no fissures on the dome surface.
On 10 May 1934 the timbering was lowered by 1 mm and the dome was examined carefully. The timbering was lowered by 3 mm more. On 12 May it was lowered by 18 mm and members of commission reported that the construction was ready and could function on its own.
30 August 1934.
30 October 1934.
In 1935 they started thinking over how to reduce the cost of construction.
They adopted a simpler project of an opera theater constructed in classic Roman style.
The project of the theater won the Grand Prix in Paris. They hurried up with its construction but it was obvious then that it would be built later than it had been planned.
When it was announced that the project was too expensive and couldn’t be accomplished on time, the guilty ones were shot and the project was awarded other administration.
In the haste heating was not included in the plan.
1 May 1936.
Due to huge expenses the construction was not over by 1939 as well.
The Theater opened on 12 May 1945.
The construction could have been over if not the war. During the first days of WWII the building embraced the most precious works of Hermitage, Tretyakov Gallery, etc.
In 1942 one million of rubles was allocated to complete the construction, which was done this time.
Workers from Novosibirsk plants participated in the construction.
The park around the Theater was planted much later.