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Hailed as Russia’s most ambitious cultural venture since the time of the Czars, the USD 700 million venue opened in 2013 with a star-studded gala featuring renowned tenor Placido Domingo. Located on the legendary Theater Square and connected via a pedestrian bridge across the Kryukov Canal to the original Mariinsky Theater – built for Czar Alexander II’s wife Maria in 1860 – the new facility provides a high-tech home for opera, ballet and symphony concerts. The glass-and-limestone edifice was designed by Canadian architect Jack Diamond to complement St. Petersburg’s distinctive 19th century architecture. But inside is where the magic really happens. Seating 2,000 at full capacity, the concert hall features advanced acoustic design and sophisticated technological capabilities enabling the opera house to stage modern productions only dreamed of in the original Mariinsky. KONE played an active role in designing the people flow logistics of the ten-story complex and its backstage facilities. Every unit of equipment was custom-designed to offer the best solution for every need, be it moving crowds, performers or stage sets.