Design — 2009
The Catherine Palace was built in classicism style, in two phases: at the time of Catherine the Great's government from 1773 to 1796; during Pavel 1 government it was turned into barracks and was subsequently reconstructed (including military school in the northern part). The famous architects A. Rinaldi, D. Kvarengi, R. Kamporezi, K. I. Blank, S. A. Volkov, V. S. Yakovlev took part in creation of the palace. In 1825–1826 it was reconstructed by the architect O. I. Bowe. Extensions of the palace were made under the guidance of K. A. Ton in the 1840.
The project of restoration, reconstruction and adjustment of the Catherine Palace for modern use assumed creation of a large state museum complex as a part of the palace and the Lefortovo park ensemble. The following functional zones were designated in the building of the palace: an exposition and exhibition zone; an administrative zone; storages of fund collections and other equipment; a theater with make–up rooms; libraries; a conference room; an information and multimedia center; reconstructions of the palace inner churches; organizations of lobby groups; dining area for visitors and so forth.
Adjustment of the Catherine Palace as an object of the cultural heritage provides full preservation and restoration of historical planning of all revealed periods of construction of the building.
The palace is located in the upper part of the park, which is its ceremonial terrace. The central part of the building is marked with a 16–columned portico in the Corinthian order. The park facade has three porticoes. Grandiose building with five courtyards is notable for its monumentalism.
The main entrance to the central yard of the palace is carried out through the arches of the southeast facade by the stairs and ramps from a sidewalk level up to the yard level. Landscape gardening elements, small architectural forms, including a fountain, a monument of Catherine II are planned in the yard. The central yard is arranged on the level of the first floor of the palace to provide the access of handicapped people to the museum complex. The underground space with a lobby area with a cloakroom, an information center, cafes and buffets, gift shops and booths, WCs and elevators will be situated under the yard.
For effective use of the yard areas considering climate conditions of Moscow and for organization of necessary communications between museum zones of the complex it was suggested to block palace courtyards by translucent constructions.