The new $700m Mariinsky II Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, will open on 2 May 2013.
Located across the Kryukov Canal near the original Mariinsky Theatre, the new 851,580ft² theatre will serve as a ballet and opera house.
The building features a masonry base of Jura limestone, large structural glass bay windows and a curved metal roof with a glass canopy.
The interior features a 2,000-seat auditorium in a horseshoe configuration with three balconies, which was designed in the tradition of 18th and 19th-century opera houses.
The new theatre takes up one 567,700ft² block, which accommodates full stage-size rehearsal rooms for the Mariinsky Opera, Ballet, Orchestra and Chorus as well as dining and production facilities for 2,500 staff.
The new theatre will serve as the production centre for the Mariinsky Cultural Complex, including a nearby concert hall, the Music Academy and the original Mariinsky Theatre, which will soon close for renovation.
Diamond Schmitt Architects principal Gary McCluskie said, "Extensive public space with dramatic staircases connects multi-tiered lobbies that heighten the sense of occasion of attending the opera and ballet for spectators."
The facility also features multi-tiered lobbies enclosed in glass and a rooftop amphitheatre for performances during the Mariinsky’s White Nights summer festival.
Mariinsky’s artistic and general director Valery Gergiev said that in future Mariinsky II will be seen as a St. Petersburg landmark in its own right, recognised for its enhanced acoustics, production facilities and level of audience comfort.
"Mariinsky II has been designed with the strength, confidence and functional clarity that a building requires if it is to become a lasting part of the life of its city," Gergiev said.
Image: The new Mariinsky II Theatre features multi-tiered lobbies enclosed in glass.. Photo: Diamond Schmitt Architects.