You can get to the Kremlin of the ancient city of Yaroslavl by walking along the Volzhskaya embankment past the round “Ostrovsky's pavilion”. Just when approaching the Kremlin, Yaroslavl suddenly ceases to be a city, turning into an empty park with a large football field on the right hand. However, this place is the core of the historical center, where Prince Yaroslav the Wise, according to legend, killed the sacred pagan bear and founded the city on a cape at the confluence of the Kotorosl River into the Volga. Now that we got to the Kremlin, only the square Volga tower on the river slope reminds us - there are no walls (they were wooden), and the ramparts are not visible. Only the Metropolitan Chambers (a building of the end of the 17th century, with a museum with a good collection of icons) and the Empire Church of Tikhon with the house of its clergyman have survived here. Right between the chambers and the church, the Rusresort development company plans to build an elite 5-star hotel designed by Vladimir Plotkin.
Before the start of construction, the customers carried out security excavations - on the territory of the site, the foundations of the Church of St. John Chrysostom (Our Lady of Shuya) of 1690, blown up in the late 1920s, were discovered. Therefore, the plan of the future hotel turned out to be complicated: it can be imagined as a rectangle from which the northern and southern corners were cut - on the one hand, the volume recedes from the clergy's house (with its status of an “identified monument”), and on the other, bypasses the foundations of the church. The foundations (the plan of a three-apse church with one southern aisle can be clearly traced) is planned to be museumified - that is, to be covered with a layer of restoration masonry on top, protecting them from rain and destruction. Around the remains of the church, Vladimir Plotkin planned an open-air museum: a small area with foundations (due to the cultural layer removed by archaeologists, it is below the current level of the street) will be fenced on both sides by stone walls that work as museum stands with a story about the place and about the monument. From the hotel, this "built-in" courtyard-museum can be viewed as through showcases, through large glass walls. Similarly, in Mediterranean hotels and restaurants, you can find either an antique capital or a Renaissance sculpture in the courtyard or in the wall.
The silhouette of the hotel Vladimir Plotkin, as he himself admits, borrowed from old caskets, the high lids of which, as you know, narrowed upwards, forming a kind of trapezoid. The shape of the casket surprisingly coincided with the facades popular in modern architecture, beveled at the top right along the line of the windows. This technique, remotely and indirectly alluding to the traditional silhouette of a sloped roof, is quite popular nowadays. For modern architecture, it is also relevant to assimilate the entire building as a whole to something historically medium-sized: there are suitcase houses, but here there is a casket house. I recall the figurative expression of one famous professor of the history of ancient Russian architecture, who jokingly called the temples of the late 17th century "carved boxes." In this case, this comparison seemed to be embodied in its entirety.
In order for the "box" to become "carved", its facades will be covered with a mesh of fine patterns made of high-quality fiber-reinforced concrete. At the top, this mesh will be transparent, translucent (one would like to say - like a veil) and will cover the deep loggias from the sun, while catching the fresh wind from the Volga. On the lower floors, the ornament will turn into a relief, partly likening the walls to white stone carving. As a basis for the ornament, Vladimir Plotkin took a white-stone "star" found by archaeologist N. N. Voronin in 1940 on the site of the Yaroslavl Assumption Cathedral (this place is nearby, a hundred meters to the south, and is occupied by the giant recently built cathedral of the architect Alexei Denisov). Surprisingly, this connection with the cathedral remains conditional, and the house covered with carpet repeating patterns finds other allusions in Yaroslavl architecture - for example, the facades of the Church of John the Baptist in Tolchkovo are completely dotted with tiles and fractional relief of small semi-columns.
However, despite the obvious historicism, all the techniques used in this project are more than modern. I would even say that this historicism is the freshest, most relevant European style. Find an integral historical prototype for the shape of the building, and it is not an architectural prototype, but some object that takes us beyond the framework of the mother of all arts; to wrap a simple form with an ornamental veil (and not just like that, but based on the place of the source, however, reworked beyond recognition). And finally - to arrange a museum inside, to preserve, to show everything that archaeologists have found. All these are signs of the historicism of modern times, even more precisely the 21st century. It is very easy to distinguish it. The old conservatism, growing directly from the medieval mentality, seeks to repeat everything “that was”, literally and as accurately as possible, to merge with the former as a whole, soul and body, to the point of indistinguishability. In the 19th century, people finally began to succeed, and it was then that they got tired of it, which is why a new kind of historicism appeared. Modern historicism distances itself from the subject - this is how the scientist moves away from what he is studying in order to look at it from the outside. Modern historicism is of a scientific and museum nature. He shows, preserves, preserves and studies, but does not completely disguise himself in the old days. On the contrary, he carefully emphasizes the distance between "then" and "now", which is why the distance, the temporal distance, is better read. In a word, he does not deceive.
Since the moment when excavations began at the site of the Assumption Cathedral in Yaroslavl in 2004, I have been watching this place quite closely. So, the hasty construction of a new cathedral for 4,000 parishioners, which completely destroyed everything that remained of the foundations of the 17th century, is an example of that very medieval, wild conservatism, which received a lot of money and modern technologies at its disposal (as a result, the most aesthetically acceptable part of the new building of the cathedral these are its five chapters, copied from the St. Sophia Cathedral in Vologda, and the interior, the main part of the temple, turned out awful). When, speaking about the construction of the cathedral, the defenders of Yaroslavl antiquity mentioned a hotel that should be built in the Rubleny Gorod, in the most guarded part, I felt creepy - they would take and build up the whole archeology with something big and ugly. And this delicate, intelligent, neat project (all heights are reduced to a minimum, the cornices are aligned with the neighbors, all possible extra meters have been abandoned here) is rather pleasing, because it is the complete opposite of the neighboring colossus. This is exactly how it should be built in the historical center.
Another question - whether it is necessary to build at all - goes beyond pure architecture. You can build, but you can not build, of course. However, in ancient times, the kremlins protected by walls were the most densely populated and densely built-up parts of cities. True, in the commercial Yaroslavl, already in the 17th century, the merchant part, the posad, acquired greater importance, but the Kremlin was also a city, not a park. It began to empty under Catherine, when a square with three beams was laid out in front of the western facade of the cathedral in the spirit of classic urban planning. But the Yaroslavl Kremlin was finally cleaned up under the Soviet regime, and it began in the 1930s and finished in the 1980s: they broke down the buildings of the 19th century and paved the Mira Boulevard, turning the historical center of the city into a park. So, it is probably unnecessary for the Kremlin to remain completely empty. The question, rather, is how exactly the buildings that may appear there will look like - either they, destroying the original remains of historical houses and temples, will be forged antique, or it will be modern, but delicate and not indifferent to the past architecture.
The building is planned to be built using the latest technologies and materials, efficiently and very quickly; the construction process is thought out in such a way as to cause a minimum of inconvenience to the residents of the city. On the other hand, the new building should also benefit the city, since this hotel is one of the important elements of the reconstruction of the tourist infrastructure of the Golden Ring, and once built, it can bring additional income to Yaroslavl and make it more attractive for tourists. Moreover, the hotel is arranged according to European standards, which is quite rare in our latitudes.