In this issue, we are publishing one of the chapters of the book dedicated to the reconstruction of the headquarters of the “Garage” museum in Gorky Park, and to the research of this multilayered building. The reconstruction project was developed by FORM.
22 November 2018
The building standing at the edge of Gorky Park next to the Krymsky Bridge, to the right of the main entrance to the park (or to the left of the minor entrance on the embankment side) does not attract any particular attention; at some moment, when the reconstruction of the park had only just begun, they even planned to tear it down altogether to make room for expanding the Garden Ring. Meanwhile, after the building was turned into the headquarters of the museum of modern art “Garage”, which moved in here from the Bakhmetyevsky Garage, the museum, in turn, invited FORM to develop the reconstruction project, and they started doing a research of the building, it turned out that it was a sophisticated multilayered structure with approximately nine periods of development. The building appeared in the end of XIX century as a part of the Bromley dockyard, was later on remodeled to become a pavilion of the All-Union agricultural exhibition, then served as the GOZNAK convention center, then one of the first sound movie theaters, then a public bathhouse, and then a sanitary ware store.
With the support from the museum, the architects not only turned some of the building into an office of “Garage” but also thoroughly researched it – their work was shown a year and a half ago at Arch Moscow 2017. Parallel to doing the research and design, they were writing a book fully dedicated to the building standing at Krymsky Val, 9/45. Below we are publishing one of the chapters of this book written by the architects of FORM, historians Marianna Evstratova and Sergey Koluzakov, ABCdesign publishers, Kuchkovo Pole publishers, and the team of the museum of modern art “Garage”. More about the book (in Russian).
Krymsky Val 9/45. The Unknown Monument of Gorky Park. Moscow, 2018
Olga Treivas, Vera Odyn, Polina Patimova, Polina Litvinenko, Alina Yaroshenko, Kristina Timchuk, Idris Suliman, Svetlana Dudina, Konstantin Kim, Mikhail Mikadze.
Chapter 7. The Park Management. Office of the Museum of Modern Art “Garage”. Architectural firm FORM.
“In 2011, Sergey Kapkov was appointed the Director of Gorky Park. From that moment on, the park underwent profound changes that caused heated controversy. Within the first half a year, all the outlaw structures were removed, and almost all of the amusement rides were dismantled – this caused a negative reaction from the visitors and the owners of the park cafés alike but the changes were still enforced.
During the same period of time, Sergey Kapkov was speaking about demolishing the office wing next to the Krymsky Bridge. It was proposed to make a road junction there and solve the problem of traffic jams inevitably forming near Gorky Park, but seeing how unpromising the whole idea was, they soon gave up on it altogether.
In 2012, the Museum of Contemporary Art “Garage” was preparing to moving to Gorky Park and needed a place for its headquarters. The management of Gorky Park offered the museum to be headquartered in the left half of the building next to the Krymsky Bridge – the one that hitherto hosted the sanitary ware store. As the architects of this project, The director of “Garage” invited FORM as the architects of this project.
The first acquaintance with the building, and especially with its interior, was not particularly inspiring: clapboard walls, mosaic panel pictures, and even a jacuzzi bowl that was inherited from the sanitary ware store. The whole place was cluttered with tiny rooms, one of the staircases being completely blocked for yielding more office space. It was hard to imagine that all this mess actually concealed a surprisingly spacious house full of sunlight. However, after the architects studied the Bureau of Technical Inventory documents, it became obvious to them that the building had a clear-cut and interesting structure that is hard to discern behind the renovations of the 1980‒2000’s.
In spite of the fact that from the outside the management building looks rather coherent, for more than half a century it has been existing as two separate volumes with a ruin of the movie theater in the middle. The ruin can only be seen from the inside of the building – it is separated from the city by two blind façades. The reinforced concrete pillars and beams of the movie theater that survived a Nazi bombing, are exposed to the blue sky up to this day. Upon the initiative of “Garage”, the trees, which appeared inside the ruin over the fifty years, were made sparser but were still preserved.
Working with the building, the FORM architects decided to bring out the best in it by clearing it from whatever later additions were there, and adjust the floor plan of the movie theater for the museum headquarters, exposing the historical brickwork.
The technical audit showed that the bearing structures were significantly damaged, and the brick columns inside the building and some of the apertures were reinforced by metal staples. The roof of the building was assembled anew: the original wooden beams were not single-cut, they consisted of pieces of wood of different sizes, and were deformed; in addition, one of the beams got badly burned during the bombing in the Second World War. The new beams, the shape of which is identical to that of the original ones, are made of glued timber. The new heat-retaining roof made it possible to use the space directly underneath it as an extra story: the two new lofts are connected to the other space with two new staircases, a straight and a spiral one. During the work, two blocked windows were restored on the façade that overlooks the park, and a few small windows of the bull’s eye type.
The four floors of the headquarters are plainly visible: several working spaces are situated at different levels.
With the coming of “Garage” museum, the building aroused a lot of public interest. This is the place that guests of honor are invited to, and a place, to which creative people from all over the world come, including many famous artists and architects.
The fate of the ruin is a story that is yet to be continued. Possibly, the destroyed fragment of the building will take on a new independent function or it will be annexed by one of the functioning parts. Several Moscow-based architectural firms proposed their concepts trying to make out just what you can turn this ruin into but so far none of them has been implemented.
The serious research done by the authors of this book allows the architects to continue their work using the extensive knowledge about the historical context and the place that this unique building occupies in it”.
Buyan and the Court Quarter
The news about cancellation of the Tuchkov Buyan park has been stirring the minds of people of St. Petersburg for a week already. In the absence of any verified specific information, we discussed the situation with the architects of the park and the Court Quarter: Nikita Yavein and Evgeny Gerasimov.
The Possibility of Flight
The project of the airport, which ASADOV Architects developed for the city of Tobolsk, and which won in the architectural competition, was not implemented. However, it is interesting as an example of designing an airport building of a very small scale, where the main challenge is the optimal organization of space and infrastructure without compromising the imagery component.
Built in the town of Pushkino in the Moscow area, the “Turgeneva 13” housing complex, while fitting in with the surrounding context, differs from it with the rhythmic austerity of its dual composition, a slight wave of the façade, and the color design, in which one can see two images, winter and summer, both “growing” from the specifics of the place.
A Shell by the Sea
Designing the Sports Palace that will determine the development of the entire northern part of Derbent, ASADOV Architects turned to the architectural legacy of Dagestan, local lore, and ancient layers of history.
Karen Saprichyan is wishing everyone a merry Christmas, presenting a series of letter-shaped skyscrapers. The architect has long since been working on this theme, and has calendars of various years in stock. His latest development is a group of towers designed for the city of NEOM, which will be built in Saudi Arabia.
The three brick blocks of the “River Park” housing complex gaze at the water with their terraces. Each block forms a backdrop and two wings, while the residents-only yards turn into “stages” perceived from the river. The landscaped embankment, accessible to all the city people, complements the hierarchy of private, semi-private and public city life that is formed here.
Pompidou Inside Out
Renzo Piano and his GES-2 have already been compared to Ridolfo Aristotele Fioravanti and his Cathedral of the Assumption. And for a good reason: GES-2 also stuns you with its grace and loftiness, but ultimately turns out to be the richest collection of recognizable motifs from an early masterpiece by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the George Pompidou Center in Paris. These motifs are fused into the grid of Shukhov-esque structures, painted white, and they create a dialogue between 1910, 1971, and 2021, built on references (not devoid of a poster-like quality) to the main masterpiece. The basilica-shaped space of the former power station is taken apart virtually just like the museum, in accordance with the concept by Teresa Mavica.
Next to Lidval and Nobel
The housing complex designed by Anatoly Stolyarchuk in Neishlotsky Alley: tactful change of scale, tribute to the memory of the place, Finnish additions to the functional typology – specifically, saunas in the apartments – and plans for receiving a BREEAM certificate.
And stabbed it with a knife
The leader of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix, presented three projects that he is currently doing in Russia: a complex in Sevastopol, Crimea, which, as it turned out, a western architect could build bypassing the sanctions, because this is a cultural project; a museum and theater center in Kemerovo, and the “SKA Arena”, which is built in the stead of the destroyed Sports and Concert Complex in St. Petersburg – during the presentation the latter was symbolized by a round cake that the architect eventually cut.
The Thin Matter
The house named “Medny 3.14” (“Copper 3.14”) is composed of two textures, each of which resembles in its own way some kind of precious fabric, and of three units, each of which is oriented towards one cardinal point. The architecture of the house absorbs the nuances of the context, summing them up and turning them into a single rhythmic structure. In this article, we are examining the new, just-completed, house designed by Sergey Skuratov in Donskaya Street.
The new business center built in Moscow’s district of Presnya in the 1st Zemelny Lane is all about technology and sustainability. Its streamlined shapes and white facade grid are combined with a new version of vertical greenery: the green of wild grapes, placed at a distance from the facade, instead of arguing with the “pergola” grid, sets it off by contrast.
Lightness of Being
Blooming Sakura, a campfire party, kids splashing in a swimming pool – no, these are not pictures from a vacation, but everyday life going on in the yards of Kiev’s housing complex “Fayna Town”. In this issue, we are examining how the utopia designed by the architects is wired, and what they did to make it a reality.
A Triangular Folded Structure
The project of the new terminal of the Muraviev-Amursky airport in Blagoveshchensk offers architecture based on a modular form – endowed with a special imagery, it becomes the basis both for the carrying structures of the building and the plastique of the facade, at the same time reverberating in the interior design.
The Breath of the East
Designing a residential complex for Tashkent, GENPRO is turning to traditional architecture and modern trends, aiming at emotionality and efficiency: the panjar window lattices and mishrabias are neighboring on vertical greenery and parametric ornaments, while the theme buildings do on a cotton alley and an oriental bazaar.
The Openwork XX-Construction Set
The yard of the Architecture Museum on Moscow’s Vozdvizhenka hosts an installation by DNK ag. It is timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the company, and was originally presented at Arch Moscow. The art object is expected to stay in the yard of the museum for one year and set a new tradition – a regularly renewed exhibition project called “Modern Architecture in the yard of MUAR”.
The Spinning Vibe
The pavilion designed by Sergey Tchoban for the World EXPO 2020 in Dubai is a bright and integral architectural statement, whose imagery can be traced back to avant-garde graphic experiments by Jacob Chernikhov, but allows for multiple interpretations. The pavilion looks both like a dome temple, a spinning “Planet Russia”, and the head of a matryoshka doll. Still more interestingly, the core of the exposition is a “brain”. In this article, we take a closer look at the interpretations and the subtleties of the implementation.
Tolerant Aesthetics of Terraforming
The World Expo is a gigantic event; it is difficult to give it one definition or cover it at a glance. All the more so – such an ambitious and record-breaking fair as the one that is now open in Dubai despite all the pandemic restrictions. By no means claiming to present an all-rounded review, we are making an attempt to examine Expo 2020, where signs of aesthetic tolerance of a developer project begin to loom behind the imposing-looking “wings” of “star” architects and delights from space exploration.
The Town in the Snuff-box
The new academic building of Cooperation School in Moscow’s Taganka, designed and built by ASADOV Architects, is a compact volume, at the same time filled with functions and impressions. It easily combines classrooms, a theater, a cafeteria, a gym, and a double-height atrium with an open library and an exit to the terrace – virtually everything that you expect to see in a modern school.
The Northern Versailles
On the bank of the magnificent Vychegda River, in a picturesque location six kilometers away from Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi republic, the renowned neoclassical architect Mikhail Filippov has designed the town of Yugyd-Choi in the traditional aesthetics inspired by the center of St. Petersburg. The customer Elena Soboleva, the head of the Syktyvkar Housing Construction Fund, sees her mission in making Yugyd-Choi the hallmark of the republic.
Analysis and Synthesis
The project of the housing complex “Krasin”, designed for the historical center of St. Petersburg, and situated in a very obliging place – next to the Mining University designed by Voronikhin, yet bordering on an industrial area – became the result of a thorough analysis of the specifics of historical construction on the Vasilyevsky Island, and a subsequent synthesis with avoidance of direct stylization, yet forming a recognizable silhouette, resonant with the “old town”.
Tatiana Guk: “A document that determines the development of the city has to be flexible”
In this issue, we are talking to the director of the Genplan Institute of Moscow about trends that determine the future, about the 70-year history of the Institute, which is celebrating an anniversary this year, about electronic computing in the field of urban planning and about international experience accumulated in this area, as well as about how the Institute is involved with other cities, and about the perfect document for the city development, which has to be flexible and strategic.
The high-rise housing complex MOD, whose construction has begun in Moscow’s district of Maryina Roshcha next to the site, on which the new Russian Railways headquarters will be built, is responding to the “central” context of the future city surroundings, and at the same time is positioned by the architects as a “manifesto of Modernist minimalist principles in architecture”.
A project by DNK ag won in a competition for the science campus of the National Center for Physics and Mathematics in the city of Sarov, conducted by ROSATOM corporation in collaboration with the Moscow State University, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Kurchatov Institute.
The new terminal of the Leonov Airport in Kemerovo was built in record-breaking time, despite the pandemic. It became one of the important factors for the rapid development of the city, visually reflecting its dedication to the first spacewalk, both in the interiors and on the facades. Its main features are the “starry sky” effect and overall openness.
The Spiral Approach
The school building in the city of Nur-Sultan, designed by Vera Budko and Anton Nadtochiy from beginning to end – from concept to working documentation – became the embodiment of the architects’ method for creating a modern educational environment, which the ATRIUM architects have been developing for years. Its fundamentals include creating an inspiring environment that motivates you to create. This is why the new school received a shape of an ornamental golden spiral that symbolizes ascension to knowledge; on the inside, the building is a compound and multifunctional “city within a city” with multilevel atriums, amphitheaters, and varying routes.
Stream and Lines
Stepan Liphart’s projects of Art Deco villas demonstrate technical symbolism in combination with a subtle reference to the 1930s. One of the projects is a “paper” one; the others are designed for real customers: a top manager, an art collector, and a developer.
On the Bank of a Very Quiet River
The project of landscaping the territory of the residential complex NOW in Moscow’s Nagatinskaya Valley goes beyond the limits of its task and looks more like a modern park: with viewing platforms, an embankment, spaces different in their moods, and thought-out scenarios for visitors aged between 0 and 80.