Victor Aleksandrovich Schröter (Russian: Виктор Александрович Шрётер; 1839–1901) was a Russian architect of German ethnicity.
Schröter was born on April 27, 1839, in St. Petersburg of Baltic German ancestry. His father was Alexander Gottlieb Schröter. He attended (1851 — 1856) the Petrischule run by St. Peter's Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg. He then attended the Imperial Academy of Arts, then (1856 - 1862) the Berlin Academy of Art. At the end of his training there he received a gold medal, a rare honor for a foreigner.
In 1858 Schröter was admitted to the Architect's Association in Berlin. He then traveled and studied architecture in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. After returning to St. Petersburg, he was invited to join the faculty of the Construction College.
In 1862, Schröter's work was submitted to the Imperial Academy of Arts, which awarded him the title of Artist, XIV Class. In 1864, for a project of ideas for the development of St. Petersburg requested by the Duma, he was recognized as an Academician of Architecture. After that he occupied a prominent place among the architects of St. Petersburg as both a theoretician and a practitioner, a champion of the rational direction of Eclecticism.
Schröter proved to a be a master at designing structures of that were well-built but also economical. He designed many private houses featuring Russia's first use of facades built with natural stone and brick fired at high temperatures, without plaster - "Brick Style", a Russian variant of Art Nouveau - which influenced other architects and builders.
Schröter had in important role in the construction of the Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (now the House of Scientists) on the Palace Embankment in 1867 - 1885). He designed theatres in Kiev, Irkutsk, Nizhniy Novgorod and Tiflis and the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre; the Orthodox Church of Saint Sergius in Bad Kissingen, a grand theater which was planned for the Campus Martius in St. Petersburg, and a railway station in Odessa.
Schröter's collaboration with Andrei Huhn won the competition to design the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tiflis, but his design was judged too costly to execute and was replaced with one by David Grim - whom Schröter later collaborated with on the colossal monument to Catherine the Great on Nevsky Prospect in Petersburg.
Schröter rebuilt the facade of the Mariinsky Theatre after a fire in 1880, and as a token of gratitude for his work on the restructuring and expansion of the theater he was presented with a unique model of the theater, made of silver. During the Siege of Leningrad his daughter Maria melted this down for the silver content.
Schröter remained almost until his death at the Institute of Civil Engineers (the new name of the Construction College after 1882). He was in public service from 1867, and on August 30, 1886, he was given the rank of Actual State Councillor, which gave him the privilege of hereditary nobility, and later the rank of Actual Privy Councillor, which entitled him to be addressed as Your High Excellency.
Schröter was a senior architect in the Department of Principalities, chief architect of the Directorate of Imperial Theaters, an assistant inspector of the building department under the His Majesty's Cabinet, and was a member of various committees, He took an active part in the establishment and work of the St. Petersburg Society of Architects and was for some time the editor of its journal, Architect.
In 1869, in his thirtieth birthday, Schröter married Marie Christine Nissen (June 6, 1844 - June 4, 1924). The couple had eight children, of whom two - Otto and George - became architects, and his daughter Maria an artist. His daughter Anna (Anna Ida Antonie Schröter) was born on August 9, 1877, in St. Petersburg and died on December 18, 1940 in Neustadt in Prussia (now Wejherowo in Poland ).
Schröter died on April 16, 1901, and is buried in the Smolensky Lutheran Cemetery in St. Petersburg.
Painting by Albert Benois of Schröter's Lutheran Church of St. Mary
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