The new home of Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by OMA, opened on June 11 to the press and on June 12 to the public. The project, led by Rem Koolhaas and Ekaterina Golovatyuk, is a renovation of the 1960s Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant located in Moscow’s Gorky Park, turning the Soviet-era relic – a prefabricated concrete pavilion, derelict for more than two decades – into the first permanent space for the museum.
Commissioned by Garage founder Dasha Zhukova, the 5,400 square-meter museum offers three levels of open space. New opportunities for programming are generated through diverse exhibition galleries, a screening room, an auditorium, education and research spaces including a creative center for children, a bookshop, a café, and a rooftop terrace.
Dasha Zhukova: “Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s past and future are inextricably linked to architecture. In 2008 we saved and restored the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, a spectacular and important example of Russian constructivist architecture in Moscow. In 2012 we erected a temporary pavilion with an exceptionally innovative design to utilize hi-tech construction methods and environmentally friendly recycled materials. In 2015 we open a new permanent home in Gorky Park, renovating a Soviet era building with one of the most important architects of our time... I am certain that our collaboration will help us to create a new vision for contemporary art in Russia. Together with our Garage team, we will breathe life back into a site which was derelict and abandoned for over two decades.”
Rem Koolhaas: “Now that preservation is increasingly important in our approach to existing cities, the period between the 1960s and 1980s is, worldwide, an exception. We can imagine saving Fin de Siècle, early Modernism, but the more anonymous and impersonal architecture that emerged after World War II has few fans and almost no defenders. That is why we were very happy to work on turning the almost-ruin of Vremena Goda into the new house for Garage. We were able, with our client and her team, to explore the qualities of generosity, dimension, openness, and transparency of the Soviet wreckage and find new uses and interpretations for them; it also enabled us to avoid the exaggeration of standards and scale that is becoming an aspect of contemporary art spaces.”
The renovation preserves original Soviet-era elements including a mosaic wall, tiles and brick, while incorporating a range of innovative architectural devices. A translucent polycarbonate façade, elevated two meters above the ground, allows unobstructed views into and out of the museum, visually connecting the museum’s interior with the surrounding park. The structure is recognizable through its unique silhouette, marked by two large entry panels which slide upwards to frame the art in the lobby's double-height space, providing further views through the building from the park.
The building offers a wide range of interior conditions for the exhibition of art and provides new curatorial possibilities, such as hinged white walls that can be folded down from the ceiling. They provide an instant white cube when an exhibition demands a more neutral environment, while the existing walls retain their original brick and green tile cladding.
Relocated from a semi-industrial neighborhood in the north of Moscow to Gorky Park, one of the city's most used public spaces, Garage will address a much larger and more diversified audience.
The new home of Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by OMA, opened on June 11 to the press and on June 12 to the public. The project, led by Rem Koolhaas and Ekaterina Golovatyuk, is a renovation of the 1960s Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant located in Moscow’s Gorky Park, turning the Soviet-era relic – a prefabricated concrete pavilion, derelict for more than two decades – into the first permanent space for the museum. Commissioned by...
- Year 2015
- Work finished in 2015
- Status Completed works
- Type Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Museums / Art Galleries