Home Historical art The Garage Museum expands in Gorky Park and moves into the historic pavilion of France

The Garage Museum expands in Gorky Park and moves into the historic pavilion of France


Officials at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow today announced that the institution will expand into the historic pavilion in neighboring France, which was built almost a century ago in Gorky Park.

The building, designed by architect Ivan Zholtovsky, was built in 1923 as the machinery and tools (mechanization) pavilion of the machine building section at the First All-Russian Exhibition of Agricultural and Handicraft Industries. The decades-neglected redevelopment and design of the site will be overseen by Japanese architects Sanaa (timing and cost of the redesign were not disclosed).

The Hexagon is made up of a ring of six pavilions which overlook a central courtyard. The site will include three exhibition galleries – two in the so-called faceted pavilions and one on the lower ground floor – an extensive art history library, bookstore and café. The courtyard will be transformed into an open public space that they “hope will be filled with art and events,” a spokeswoman for Sana’a said. The new building has a total floor space of 9,500 m².

During a virtual press briefing this morning, Sana’a stressed that they would “respect the original form and proportions” of the historic structure, which “may appear both classic and modern”. Dasha Zhukova, co-founder of Garage, said in a statement: “The Hexagon, originally designed by Zholtovsky, will be revived by the thoughtful and sensitive design of Sanaa, allowing Garage to be grounded in history. of Russia while expanding into the current global conversation. “In 2015, the Hexagon was bought by Roman Abramovich, Zhukova’s ex-partner.

Garage, founded in 2008, was first based in a garage designed by Konstantin Melnikov, which now houses the Jewish Museum and the Center for Tolerance. The museum moved to Gorky Park in 2012 where it was first housed in a temporary structure designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. It moved again in 2015 to a modernist Soviet building – the former Vremena Goda restaurant – redesigned by Rem Koolhaas and his company OMA, who were originally lined up to renovate the Hexagon Pavilion.

During the press conference, Anton Belov, the director of Garage, underlined that the institution “never existed in a building constructed for this purpose… [Garage] became a campus. The proximity of the buildings will form a new ecosystem. Each space [at the Hexagon] will have its own audience. The number of visitors to the museum rose from 10,000 in 2008 to more than 942,000 at pre-pandemic heights.

Rendered courtesy of SANAA / Garage Museum of Contemporary Art