Voronikhin Andrey Nikiforovich
Life time: 1759 - 21.02.1814
Andrey Nikiforovich Voronikhin's creativity opens an important stage of the Russian architecture development, called high classicism. Kazan cathedral, created by the architect, was the first on the coast of the Neva river ensemble building in the broad town-planning meaning. The unique classical look of the city is inconceivable without other works of the architect - building of the Mining military school (since 1866 the College of Mines). Buildings, erected by Voronikhin, beautify the suburbs of St. Petersburg - Pavlovsk and Petrodvorets.
Andrey Nikiforovich Voronikhin was born on October 17, 1759 in Ural, in Novoye Usolye of Solikamsky district of the Perm province. His father Nikifor Stepanovich and mother Pelageya Ivanovna were serfs of count A.S. Stroganov. Information on the childhood, youth and the first years of independent creativity of the future architect is very poor. Initial education Voronikhin got in his native territory - in the village of Ilyinskoye, in the Stroganov icon painting workshop of Gavrila Yushkov, where children got at the age of 6-7.There he mastered the bases of icon-painting, and the age of 13-14 began to show real interest in architecture.
Stroganovs noticed his abilities. In 1777 the talented young man was sent to Moscow for further education. Voronikhin joined the architectural team of the outstanding Russian architect V.I. Bazhenov. Soon he attracted attention of another leading Moscow architect - M.F. Kazakov, who predicted Voronikhin's bright future. According to the remaining documents, we can assume that Voronikhin took part in painting of hallway of Troitse-Sergieva lavra in 1778.
At the end of 1779 or at the beginning of the next year on A.S. Stroganov's order Voronikhin came for the first time to St. Petersburg.
Having invited from Paris on the recommendation of the well-known French philosopher and educator Deni Didro for his son Paul Stroganov a teacher Zhilber Romm, S.Stroganov decided to provide the same domestic upbringing and education for the talented serf. Under Romm's guidance Voronikhin gained systematic knowledge on history, mathematics and natural sciences.
The system of such domestic education, a common practice in aristocratic families, included accompanied by teacher long travels over Russia and abroad. Having traveled over Russia, Ukraine and Crimea, Voronikhin returned to St. Petersburg, and having received manumission in 1786, he went to Switzerland and France, where continued acquaintance with monuments of architecture, studied achievements of modern engineers and architects.Having returned from abroad to St. Petersburg at the end of 1790 Voronikhin still lived in Stroganov's palace. At this time the palace was finally being reconstructed and anew finished on the design of the architect and engineer F.I. Demertsov. In 1793, after completion of finishing works in the palace, Voronikhin painted Picture gallery in watercolors, for that work he got the first academic status - that of the "nominated" academicians. His further life would be inseparably linked with the Academy of Arts.
Other works of Voronikhin were the reorganizations of A.S. Stroganov's summer residence and the construction of quay, construction of the small summer residence for P.A.Stroganov, improvement of park between Bolshaya Nevka and Chernaya River in the New village. These works were carried out basically in 1795-1796.
The first state order Andrey Nikiforovich received in 1800 in connection with the reconstruction of the Big grotto and the ladle of Samson in Peterhof. The architect was entrusted with the development of reorganization project of colonnades near the ladle. This work allowed him to become firmly established as an architect, though by then he had already received the post of the adjunct professor of the Academy of Arts in the architecture branch.
The year of 1800 was a turning point in Voronikhin's life and creativity: architectural design of the Kazan cathedral was approved. Kazan cathedral's reconstruction commission led by A.S. Stroganov was created in December, and the next year Andrey Nikiforovich started the construction.
At the end of 1801 he married English woman Mary Lond, after which they moved from Stroganov's palace to one of the houses near being built Kazan cathedral.
On January 1, 1811 the creator of the Kazan cathedral was awarded the Sacred Vladimir award, this award gave the right on hereditary nobility, and on September 26 the same year after consecration of the cathedral "he was awarded the Sacred Anna award, decorated with brilliants, and also granted a pension".
Among the unrealized Voronikhin's town-planning ideas the most interesting is the design of the Tatar farmstead. Virtually, it is an architectural ensemble, planned in a big way on extensive territory.
At the beginning of the XIXth century Voronikhin carried out works in Fontanny house of count Sheremetiev (34, Fontanka Embankment). Up the street, in 18 Fontanka Str., the house of prince A.N. Golitsyn - rather small three-storied building, with four-column portico from the river side is still there.
Among Voronikhin's drawings, kept in funds of the Scientific research museum of the Academy of Arts, there are drawings of facade and the plan of Golitsyn's house.
An outstanding Voronikhin's work is the building of the Mining military school - the first engineering institute of higher education of St. Petersburg. Its construction was carried out parallel to the construction of the Kazan cathedral, but in a shorter term - from 1806 to 1809.
From realized works of Voronikhin the most interesting is reconstructed by him in 1807-1812 Pink pavilion for which he also designed furniture. During the Second World War the pavilion burnt down. Nowdays it has been restored, though, executed not from wood, but from stone.
Voronikhin was a participant of design of the monument-mausoleum to Paul I competition in Pavlovsk. Among other works, realized by Voronikhin for Pavlovsk park it is necessary to note the bridge over the Slavyanka river near the Pil-tower.
Insufficiently explored field of activity of the architect is his work as the restorer. There is document of 1809 according to which Voronikhin restored Rumyantsevo obelisk, erected on the design of V.Brenna in 1799 on Mars field at the Neva river, and monument to A.V. Suvorov by sculptor M.I. Kozlovsky, erected at the same place, but closer to Moyka river.
Design and construction activity Voronikhin combined with pedagogical work. Pupils of the Academy of Arts did practical work at the construction of the Kazan cathedral and Torny military school. From December 11, 1802 Andrey Nikiforovich is a professor, and on September 23, 1811 he became the senior professor of architecture, succeeding on this post the author of Admiralty A.D. Zakharov.
Moved by patriotic feelings, caused by events of 1812-1814, he created designs of temple-monument and triumphal column from trophy French cannons. But those architectural designs remained only on paper. On February 21, 1814 Andrey Nikiforovich suddenly died. He was buried in Starolazarevsky cemetery of Alexandro-Nevskaya lavra. There is a monument in the form of a column on the tomb. The trunk of the column is intersected by stone rustic on which the bas-relief with the image of the Kazan cathedral is carved.
Voronikhin has forever remained in national memory only as the outstanding architect and the talented practical builder, who paved new ways in development of Russian architecture. His works help in forming of civic consciousness, patriotism and love for the native land to which Andrey Nikiforovich gave all his energy and outstanding talent.