Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences, situated between the Kunstkammer and the Twelve Collegia on Vasilievsky Island, was built in 1783-1789 by Giacomo Guarenghi. A native of Northern Italy, Quarenghi came to Russia in 1779, and it was here that his talent really blossomed. The Academy building was one of his first big assignments.
Its severe laconism is impressive even though the neighboring early 18th century buildings are dignified rather than ornate. The powerful, perhaps too heavy, eight-column portico in the center of the façade dominates the whole neighborhood. The façade is kept in line with other buildings, but the front steps are brought forward and take up part of the pavement. Features typical to Russian classicism, such as well-balanced strictly logical composition, and symmetry, are very much in evidence here.
Academic offices began moving in one by one upon the completion of this building. In the 1790s it housed the academic administration, book-shop, instrumental, printing and metal workshops and residential quarters for the staff.
The Academy was transferred to Moscow in 1934, but its St. Petersburg branches continue to be housed in this building.