Fonarnye Bani, one of St Petersburg’s oldest and historically significant bathhouses, has opened its doors again after 15 years and a large-scale reconstruction.
The fragments found in the abandoned, dilapidated building, including stucco, decor, brackets, rods, and cornices, were collected by the Megre Interiors team, who worked together with restorer Rafael Dyanov to recreate parts of the building, restoring it to its historical image. For most of the complex, this was not possible, and the designers faced the challenge of reimagining the historic building in a contemporary context.
The balance between historicism and modernity was achieved through clean design solutions. The designers were keen to draw the guests’ attention to the preserved architectural elements and proportions while creating cozy, functional spaces. The further visitors move from the steam room, the cleaner the interior becomes: from a cozy lobby with rich brick walls and a carved chocolate wood fireplace to a snow-white hall framed by a thin black line, emphasizing the historic architecture.
Moreover, thanks to the efforts of Artem Shakhnazarov, the front entrance from Fonarny Lane has been made usable again: at Artem’s request, Megre Interiors recreated the interior of this space using a replica of the tiles used 150 years ago. The designers also restored the area of the boutique of bath products at the entrance.
Through the main staircase, visitors enter the main lobby of the baths, in the heart of which there is a circular reception designed based on carvings from that historical period; and in fact, guests arrive directly on the second floor of the building. The interior of the men’s recreation area has been restored according to historical sketches, and the entrance area has been designed to resemble a similar style and mood. The furnaces were preserved during the reconstruction.
All in all, the spaces of the bath, together with the relaxation areas, the refectory, and the bathing facilities, exude comfort and richness.