(b Dec 18, 1775; d St Petersburg, April 18, 1849).
Russian architect and urban planner. He came to Russia as a ten-year-old child with his mother, the dancer Gertrude Rossi. He was one of the major Russian Neo-classical architects during the period of the French Empire style, with work reflecting the public enthusiasm and triumphal mood following the 1812 victory against Napoleon. This versatile architect, whose work included applied art and interiors and who created model designs for use in public and private residences and in estate buildings, was one of Russia’s greatest urban planners. The grand ensembles built to his plans largely determined the appearance of the centre of St Petersburg.
Rossi was a pupil and assistant of the St Petersburg architect and designer Vincenzo Brenna, and in the 1790s he participated under Brenna in the construction of the Michael Castle (later Engineers’ Castle; completed 1800) for Paul I (reg 1796–1801). Rossi’s early designs, the ‘Memorial to Great Men’ and the Triumphal Arch—ceremonial, grandiose, highly decorated structures—were completed under the influence of his teacher. In ...