Fel’ten, Iurii Matveevich
(also Yuri Velten). Born 1730 or 1732 in St. Petersburg; died there 1801. Russian architect.
Fel’ten studied at the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg from 1740 to 1745. After studying in Tubingen, Stuttgart, and Berlin from 1745 to 1750, he returned to St. Petersburg to study under the architect I. Ia. Shumakher. In 1745 he began working under V. V. Rastrelli. He became one of Rastrelli’s chief assistants in 1760 and worked on the construction of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. In 1762 he became chief architect of the Office of Construction. Fel’ten became a professor at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1772 and served as its director from 1789 to 1794. In 1783 he became a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Architecture in Paris.
Fel’ten’s own works are in the early Russian classical style. They include the former Alexander Institute (1765–75), the Church of St. Catherine (1768–71), the Church of St. Anna (1775–79), and the Old Hermitage (1771–87) in St. Petersburg. Fel’ten also redesigned the interior of the Great Palace at Petergof (now Petrodvorets, 1770’s), including the Throne Room. Some of Fel’ten’s buildings reveal an interest in the Gothic Revival, for example, Chesmé Palace (1774–77) and Church (1777–80) in St. Petersburg.
Beginning in the 1760’s, Fel’ten designed the embankments of St. Petersburg. Between 1771 and 1784 he and P. E. Egorov designed the cast-iron grille of the Summer Garden.