The project responds to the illusory city of Peter the Great and its staged, shallow and patchy urbanism. Dealing with layers of deception, it considers the split between exterior and interior – frozen Potemkin facades that hide how rapidly functions would change in exaggerated spaces. It brings life back into the palaces turned museums and re-activates the programmes of ballrooms and boudoirs, dining halls and servant blocks – with camouflaged collisions between formal and informal uses. Historical illusory devices are tweaked to get the maximum distortions of size, depth and relation, constantly playing with physical and perceptual connections with invisible rooms, ghostly sections, and projected surfaces. Linking together discreet passages and programs, the urban provocation is an endless illusory corridor that doubles as the new shadow main prospect. It is a new linear condenser – the intensified version of the city that lavishes resources and thrives within the hedonistic enfilade. Doing away with disjunctions, the city implodes into the interior. The exterior doesn’t matter anymore.

Erasing as an illusion to a city

Layered City

Illusory devices

Symmetic plan of extended palace using existing circulation

Exploded Space

Magic Corridor

Exterior elevation leaking the life in the interior

Collapsing formal and informal programs