Zakharov, Andreian

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zakharov, Andreian Dmitrievich


(also, Adrian Dmitrievich Zakharov). Born Aug. 8 (19), 1761, in St. Petersburg; died there Aug. 27 (Sept. 8), 1811. Russian architect, representative of Empire style.

Zakharov, the son of an Admiralty office worker, studied in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts from 1767 to 1782, under A. F. Kokorinov and I. E. Starov, and in Paris under J. F. Chalgrin from 1782 to 1786. He became a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1794. Zakharov’s early works include the Lion’s Bridge, the Farm, and the Poultry Yard in Gatchina. He also designed the construction plan for Vasil’evskii Island in St. Petersburg, which included the reconstruction of the building that houses the Academy of Sciences (1803–04). This construction plan followed the traditions of the French school of urban design, by which unity of an ensemble is achieved by the rhythmic arrangement of buildings and by uniform architectural details.

In 1805, Zakharov was appointed the principal architect of the Admiralty. He was responsible for the design and construction of civic and industrial buildings and facilities. The Admiralty (1806–23) in Leningrad is the greatest monument built in the Russian Empire style. While preserving the original layout of the already existing building, Zakharov created a new grandiose structure with a main facade measuring 407 m long. He endowed the building with architectural majesty and emphasized its central position in the city (three major roads radiate from it). In the center of the building is a monumental tower with a spire, which has become a symbol of the city. Zakharov preserved the original Admiralty spire (architect I. K. Korobov) encased within this tower. The composition of the two wings of the facade, which symmetrically flank the tower, consists of the complicated, rhythmic alternation of prominent and simple elements. For example, there are smooth walls, strongly projecting porticoes, and deep loggias.

Sculpture was given a new importance by Zakharov. Decorative reliefs are organically integrated with the large-scale architecture. Sculptural groups set against the walls contrast human dimensions with the grandiose scale of the facades. The austerity of the Admiralty’s interior architecture (the vestibule with the main staircase, the meeting hall, and the library have been preserved) is softened by an abundance of light and by the exceptionally elegant decoration.

Zakharov also designed plans for Proviantskii Island (1806–08) and Galernyi Port (1806–09), as well as for Kronstadt (St. Andrew Cathedral, 1806–17, not preserved). His plans for the construction of churches and government buildings for provincial and district cities in Russia are emphatically monumental in character. Zakharov became an instructor at the Academy of Art in 1787. One of his pupils was the architect A. I. Mel’nikov.


Grimm, G. G.Arkhitektor Andreian Zakharov. Moscow, 1940.
Arkin, D.Zakharov i Voronikhin. Moscow, 1953.
Piliavskii, V. I., and N. la. Leiboshits.Zodchii Zakharov. Leningrad, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.