Singer House, also widely known as the House of the Book, is a building in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is located at the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt and the Griboyedov Canal, directly opposite the Kazan Cathedral. It is recognized as a historical landmark, has official status as an object of Russian cultural heritage and contains the headquarters of the VK social network.
The building was designed by architect Pavel Suzor for the Russian branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The management of the Singer Company initially intended to construct a skyscraper, similar to the Singer Building, the company headquarters under construction at that time in New York City, but the Saint Petersburg building code did not allow structures taller than the Winter Palace (the Emperor's residence). Suzor found an elegant solution to the 23.5 meter height limit: the six-story Art Nouveau building is crowned with a glass tower, which in turn is topped by a glass globe sculpture created by Estonian artist Amandus Adamson. This tower creates the impression of a substantial elevation, but is subtle enough not to overshadow either the Kazan Cathedral or the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.
During the First World War the US Embassy was briefly located in the building. In 1919, not long after the October Revolution, the building was given to the Petrograd State Publishing House. It quickly became the city's largest bookstore, and was subsequently named "The House of Books" in 1938. The bookstore remained functioning during the Siege of Leningrad until November 1942, reopening again in 1948.