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'A place for endless experiment': First design images revealed for new Moscow art museum

Credit: Asymptote Architecture
We sought to create a constant up and down movement inside the galleries. One can easily get lost here, and it’s a great thing
– Hani Rashid

The first design images of a new contemporary art museum in Moscow, located within a former military factory complex, have been revealed.

The new Exhibition Centre of the state-run Hermitage Museum has been designed by New York studio Asymptote Architecture, whose co-founder Hani Rashid presented the plans at a public forum last week.

The building, set to open in 2020, will be a luminous, semi-transparent, abstractly formed structure. Inside, the lower levels will accommodate gallery spaces exhibiting art of the first half of the 20th century, while the upper spaces above them, which have higher ceilings, will exhibit sculptures. The external envelope consists of double glazing to keep out ultraviolet rays that could damage the artworks.

“The museum will be a place where in some cases you can exhibit really high sculptures or hang very unusual objects of art on the ceiling, if needed,” said Rashid. “You can do whatever you like here, it’s a space for an endless experiment with perspective. Museum curators will have vast spaces in the building.

“We sought to create a constant up and down movement inside the galleries. One can easily get lost here, and it’s a great thing. We want to leave behind a standard paradigm of a museum where the architecture dictates certain scripts. Here the architecture is symbolic, but it’s predetermined by museum functions.”

Public spaces will include a cafeteria, a shop combined with a library, a cinema hall, a garden of sculptures on the roof and an amphitheatre.

The project is one component of Big Hermitage scheme, which has seen the museum open branches in various cities, including Amsterdam, London A new residential and leisure zone is being masterplanned by Dutch architects Neutelings Riedijk. At the heart of the scheme, and adjacent to the Hermitage building, will be five connected residential towers sat atop a three-storey public plinth building, containing shopping and restaurant facilities and a health spa.

Moscow is investing heavily in leisure projects. In addition to the Hermitage expansion, Renzo Piano has been commissioned to convert a historic power station in the Red October district into a brand new venue for the V-A-C arts foundation, while Sergey Skuratov Architects are masterplanning a large residential and cultural complex opposite the Kremlin.

ZIL district  Moscow  Russia  architecture  design  Hermitage Museum  Asymptote Architecture  Hani Rashid 
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The first design images of a new contemporary art museum in Moscow, located within a former military factory complex, have been revealed. The new Exhibition Centre of the state-run Hermitage Museum has been designed by New York studio Asymptote Architecture, whose co-founder Hani Rashid presented the plans at a public forum last week. The building, set to open in 2020, will be a luminous, semi-transparent, abstractly formed structure. Inside, the
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The new branch of the Hermitage Museum will display contemporary art / Asymptote Architecture
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