Building of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University located in Universitetskaia Str.
Kaliningrad, Universitetskaya street, 2
This building, although being expanded and improved, did not correspond to the educational process in the beginning of the 19th century (up to the 19th century, professors — just like in other cities — lectured in their apartments). During the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the university in 1844, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV., who was also the rector of the university, laid the foundation stone for the new facilities. However, the beginning of construction was delayed until 1856. The north-west side of the former parade-ground located to the north of the castle was envisaged as a construction site. This single large square in Königsberg, formerly a castle garden, and therefore called the Royal Garden, was donated by the king to the city in 1809 with the condition that it should not be built in any way. At the time of the design, the City Theater was already on the northeast side (consecrated in 1808 and re-consecrated in 1809, extended in 1855 and 1911, has not survived to date). On the south-east side, the construction of the Palace of Justice was envisaged, which was done in 1879. Stüler also planned a breakdown of the area. He wanted to continue the covered gallery, provided for in front of the university, and hold it also on the remaining three sides. In the southeast, however, it could only reach the street going through the square. Anyone looking at old photographs of a covered gallery in front of the university can imagine what a great urban development effect such an area could have. Unfortunately, the covered gallery was limited to only one side of the square (and, unfortunately, the remains of the gallery were eliminated after 1945). With a new breakdown of the current university area, it would be necessary to recall the covered gallery of Stüler and restore it in some form.
Construction description: The extended three-story building has only one dismemberment in the center in the form of a powerful risalit (wall protrusion) (*), which is also decisive for the current pragmatic facade. Otherwise, the entire form is arranged in a typical way for late classicism, sounding out in breadth, and its horizontal orientation was also emphasized by two construction details: there is a parapet along the entire length of the building at the top, behind which a roof with a relatively weak inclination is hidden, and there is a long covered gallery at the bottom that acted almost 10 meters fr om the front of the building on both sides. The impression produced by this undifferentiated building object was based for this reason, first of all, on decorative forms and their balanced arrangement on the facade. Due to the lack of natural stones in the East Prussian lowland, Stüler decided, based on the tradition of the order of time, to build brick. But for design, as he later wrote in his publication in the magazine for construction, a simple and clear architectural form of the Renaissance is most suitable for ‘the then state of art review and execution”. Surprisingly, on the one hand, Stüler chose the brick that was traditionally used at that time in Königsberg, but then, however, chose forms of decoration that, as he wrote elsewhere, came from Lombardy and Northern Italy. Anyway, until that moment the Italian Renaissance has not shown itself in Königsberg. In this sense, in the mid-19th century, Stüler was already preparing the city for historicism, which became decisive in the construction industry of Königsberg only in the last decades of the 19th century. While the windows of the first floor were hidden by a covered gallery, the windows of both upper floors were equally spaced from each other, separated each time by smooth surfaces of yellow brick walls, and adjacent directly to the curtain strips running along the parapet. Each of these rectangular windows formed an independent architectural form: three openings, enclosed between the columns, were covered with semicircular arches and ended at the top with a slightly prominent horizontal cornice. There was a medallion below the eaves of the roof in each window axis, which representing honored rectors. And if these lateral paths, in which the yellow brick prevailed, were relatively simple in design, then the passion for decorations obviously increased in the middle risalit. All surfaces were covered with architectural forms and sculptures were an additional decoration of the facade. In the center, the founder, the Duke Albrecht, sat astride a horse, there were figures personifying four faculties on either side of him on the pilasters, further there were the spiritual co-founders Luther and Melanchthon down below the flat niches. The figures on the attic depicted on the forefront of history, legislation, government and archeology, on the reverse side – geography, mathematics, physics and astronomy. The entrance to the university was located at ground level, passing through a covered gallery. Then the incoming one entered the spacious lobby with a vault, from which six marble steps led to the level of the first floor corridors, which extended in front of a large staircase to the second part of the lobby. A balustrade of red marble to the right and left of the named steps divided both parts of the room. The vault was based on columns of gray marble. Adjacent on both sides of the premises for classes and administration, connected in pairs, were located along the corridors, which had their own vaults. The wide staircase that began at the bottom after the podest was divided into two passages, which ended in a large hall on the 2nd floor, similar in size to the whole hall. The columns of the hall were made of brown-red marble. A wide door in the middle of the hall led to the aula with a vault (which can be distinguished in the view drawings through large windows). Wall paintings, apparently, were ready only a few years after the consecration. In the left wing (when viewed from the outside), seven audiences of various sizes were located at the end of construction, and in the right wing in front of the Senate, as well as other audiences. From the hall, a side staircase led to the third floor, wh ere there was a library on the left, a large reading room, a collection of copper engravings and antique values, as well as two audiences. On the right was a collection of minerals, an audience and a secretary’s apartment. Above the assembly hall, the height of which was more than one and a half floors, there was a large room at a slightly higher average projection (height can be learned from the drawings), which was not yet equipped at the time of delivery and kept in reserve for late use. While the ceilings of the basements, corridors and aulae had their own vaults, all other rooms had decorative ceiling beams with plastered surfaces. The walls of the audiences and other rooms were lined with oak wood panels up to the height of the parapet. There was gas lighting, the installation of which cost 4,200 thalers; porcelain burners with milk glass cylinders hung from the ceiling in two rows. Heating was carried out by tiled stoves. Their doors could only be opened with the appropriate keys that the servants had.
The building had its own water supply. The “latrines and urinals” were outside the small business courtyard; they were modeled on the rail. Fluids were directed through pipes along underground discharge channels. The latrines were located so high that the carts on wheels with containers for feces could be brought and taken through the lower door. The cost of the building was equal to 280,000 thalers, to which 20,000 thalers were added for external constructions. Extension (also called Liebenthal's wing): Designed by government advisor for construction by Robert Liebenthal in 1924 and made in 1925 – 1928, the extension was a difficult task when planning.
A new university building should have been erected on the oblique garden area, which would extend the building constructed in 1862 by almost half. The main problem faced by Liebenthal was that the construction of Stüler was conceived as a Paradeplatz ‘wall’, that is, in two dimensions, and he had to introduce this building as a new, but organically perceived element into another organism that had three dimensions. As well as the old building, in the center of which was a risalit, now he perceived the entire extension as one risalit, speaking from a wider extension. Based on this idea, it became possible to introduce two more risalits in the South-West and North-East, as well as to diversify the main long standing obliquely building body with the help of a slightly emphasized middle risalit. Linking the main building with the flight of stairs of the old building, Liebenthal created two inner courtyards, necessary to illuminate the old building and the extension. The accession of new floors occurred on the floor of the staircases of the old building. Therefore, the extension was located half a floor lower, and a new 2-storey audience was introduced into its south-western risalit, with a maximum at the height of the eaves, the same as the earlier building. At the same time, in the north-east risalit, there are classrooms and two large audiences on four floors. Due to the strong dismemberment in the plan, the high-altitude dismemberment and the introduction of a new long main building with a height of only three floors presented no difficulty. In its wide western part there were various institutions and audiences, in the narrower eastern part there were office apartments and other premises. The design was made in the form of a brick wall with ceilings of hollow stone between reinforced concrete beams. When building new facades, the old and new buildings were perceived as a single whole: the floor heights and axial dimensions of the old building were taken, the color of yellow bricks found its application also on new plastered and concrete surfaces, and when designing windows, an attempt was made to proceed from separate forms of the old buildings, however, without being tied to it. This approach can still be seen from the south-west risalit depicted above, which has remained almost unchanged (only marble figures on both consoles created by Hermann Brachert have disappeared, and instead of a light lattice, the cornice ends on top with a massive parapet.). The cost of construction amounted to 11,800,000 Reichsmarks, 220,000 marks went to the internal structure, 270,000 marks to rebuild the old building and 28,000 marks to ancillary facilities. In August 1944, Albertus University completely burned out. Stüler's facade remained almost intact as a whole. Only window openings were burned out. Apparently, the construction performance was quite solid, as was customary in the second half of the 19th century. In battle in April 1945, the facade was again damaged, but, nevertheless, it could be restored. A pragmatic approach prevailed in the reconstruction of the ruins. For the restoration of the facade there was no money, as well as, among other things, professional knowledge of manual work, but perhaps there was no will. As a result, all the decorations were removed, one wall was used, namely, what was left of it. So towards the square, a facade appeared in the business style of the 50’s. On closer examination, it can be stated that the window openings mostly correspond to the previous structure. The extension has been preserved better than the old building. The facade of the south-western risalit was restored almost unchanged. It was inscribed in Russian letters ‘University’
Erected in 1928 without any decorations, the long reverse side in the north-west was restored almost unchanged. Back to the old main front: covered gallery collapsed completely. The difference in level to the first floor is no longer compensated by the lobby. Now it is necessary to immediately climb the outside to a greater number of steps to the main entrance. Inside the lobby, the old decorative elements disappeared. Yes and the stairs changed. But the transition to the new building and the stairwell had survived. Here are visible only pilasters with capitals with simplified decorations in the form of plants. Even the stairways are changed. But the transition to the extension and the staircase remained there. Only pilasters with capitals with simplified decorations in the form of plants are visible here. Despite these remains, the original character of the building — at least Stüler’s hands — was gone. Architect Friedrich August Stüler, 1800 – 1865. The formation of Stüler was influenced by Schinkel. In 1829 and 1830 he traveled to France and Italy. In 1832 he became the court building adviser and director of the commission for the construction of castles. Under Frederick William IV, he led the Technical Construction Deputation. Thus, like Shinkel before him, he had the highest supervision over all the buildings in Prussia. He enjoyed the confidence of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who was a great friend of architecture and was willing to personally design buildings. Stüler often accompanied the king during trips, and, as they say, all important buildings were discussed with His Highness. And when designing the university, the rector of which was the king himself, and when breaking Paradeplatz, the impulses came from the king. By his education, Stüler was inclined towards classicism (the building of the New Museum in Berlin and the project of the National Gallery in Berlin), but was by no means trapped by the framework of only this style. Like Schinkel (see the destroyed Church in Altstadt, not described here in detail), he was engaged in Gothic (As examples of Königsberg, one can mention the city gates and the castle tower, on which we also did not dwell in detail), but especially in later years he became interested in the Italian Renaissance, as the above example shows. The Academy of Sciences in Budapest should be called the most significant work in this style. Stüler is one of the earliest and most significant representatives of historicism in Germany.