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The Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces – Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ

This cathedral is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Apart from being third biggest Orthodox Cathedral, it is a historical monument and an exhibition dedicated to the history of formation of the Russian state and its armed forces.

During the late design stages I was commissioned to develop and design calligraphy and lettering compositions on the exterior of the cathedral. The whole process of design took me approximately 6 months.

The letters on the facades of the building were carved are finished with metal. The height of compositions is ranged from 3-5 meters (9-16ft).

The areas with lettering compositions are shown in white color.
Eighteen compositions are done in a cross-shaped form, whilst four are done in a way that matches silhouette of an area on the facade.

The overall design of cathedral has a militaristic essence, therefore I had to find balance between a very geometric form of vyaz and decorative, fine balanced letters. During the prototype phase, I’ve developed a monospaced typeface called “Arma” , which was then used as a base for decor. This typeface has a large number of ligatures.

The sources of text used on facedes is rather wide. There’s six quotes from the Holy Bible and apostles as well as quotes of Russian saints like Dmitry Donskoy, Yaroslav The Wise, Nestor the Chronicler, Vladimir II Monomakh, Sergius of Radonezh and John of Kronstadt. Text is written both in Russian and Church Slavonic.

Eighteen compositions are done in a cross-shaped form, whilst four are done in a way that matches silhouette of an area on the facade.

Also, before the construction phase we’ve done several testings with the bevels and embossing on the letters, which was visualised as well.

“Arma” typeface has strictly geometric form and monotonous rhythm, that’s why during the finalisation of development phase I’ve added more visually pleasant look the letters. The rhythm has become aesthetically balanced, since it lost forced monotonous nature, and most lines have become more fluid.

The construction phase took approximately 3 months. Due to pandemic I wasn’t unable to track each step of construction, but when situation got better I’ve reached the construction site and took a few shots with my analog camera. I’ve used film Lomography Color Negative 800, that’s why color grading seems a little bit off.

The finalisation of construction took in last mid-April. When the overall situation with the coronavirus got better, I’ve reached the construction site again and took photos, but now with my DSLR and drone. I’ve also included some photos of the interior, since it also deserves attention.

I appreciate efforts of my team and the workers who built this cathedral.
Thanks for your attention.

Main architector: Dmitriy Smirnov
OOO “Sretenskie Architekturnie Masterskie”
2020

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Original: Viktor Pushkarev – Russian Federation on Behance