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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

New home for Garage in Moscow in Moscow, Russia by OMA

May 6th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: OMA


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 fi nd 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. – Rem Koolhaas

Outdoor events (Image courtesy of OMA)

  • Architect: OMA
  • Name of Project: New home for Garage in Moscow
  • Location: Vremena Goda Pavilion at Gorky Park, Moscow, Russia
  • Drawings and images: OMA


Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, founded in 2008 at the Konstantin Melnikov designed Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, is moving to Gorky Park. Relocating from a semi-industrial neighbourhood in the north of Moscow to one of the city’s best known public spaces, Garage will be exposed to a much larger and diversifi ed audience. After three years of cultivating progressive culture, it will cohabit with mass culture.


At Gorky Park, Garage will be located in a late 1960s prefabricated concrete pavilion, originally called Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year). Until it was abandoned in the 1990s, Vremena Goda was used as a restaurant, and was extremely popular. Garage plans to occupy this building in 2013 as its main venue in Gorky Park later expanding to the nearby Hexagon pavilion (or Machine Pavilion).

Vremena Goda Pavilion March 2011 (Image courtesy of OMA)


Vremena Goda and the Hexagon pavilion viewed from Gorky Park’s observation wheel.


Exposed to snow, rain, and sun for more than two decades, Vremena Goda is now a concrete ruin without facades. Yet it is structurally sound. Even as a ruin it preserves the “collective” aura of the Soviet era: it is a sober and rigorous public space adorned with tiles, mosaics and bricks.

Existing gallery (Image courtesy of OMA)


The building offers two levels of unobstructed open space that will be dedicated to exhibitions, organized around two circulation and service cores. The existing concrete structure will be enclosed with a new façade consisting of a translucent double layer polycarbonate that will accommodate a large portion of the building’s ventilation equipment, leaving the exhibition spaces free. This facade will be lifted 2.25 metres from the ground in order to visually reconnect the pavilion’s interior to the park.


The exhibition spaces will occupy both levels. The curatorial approach refl ects the spatial and structural possibilities and limitations of the building. The ground fl oor, with a height of 5.65 metres, will function as an experimental zone, where exhibition programs will share space with public events in the lobby, as well as with educational and recreational facilities, and storage spaces. The upper level, with a height of 3.7 metres, is conceived as a more conventional exhibition space for paintings, sculptures, video, photography and other media.

Vremena Goda Pavilion and Hexagon 1970s (Image courtesy of OMA)


Existing core walls at the upper level are clad with brick and decorated with green tiles. OMA proposes to preserve these walls while repairing the damaged parts. At the same time various different exhibition environments can be created through a series of innovative architectural/curatorial devices.


If an exhibition demands it, hinged white walls can be folded down from the ceiling, creating an instant white cube.

Entrance to the Pavilion (Image courtesy of OMA)


A 9×11-metre opening in the fl oor of the upper level creates a double height space (10 metres high) for the lobby, allowing extra large sculptures to be displayed. During exhibitions that don’t require a double height space, the opening can be covered by a light metal grid that can be walked on, otherwise hoisted up to the ceiling.


When lifted, the 11-metre wide vertically sliding facade panels create a view through Garage from the park, framing the art on display in the lobby’s double height space. The cut emphasizes the public entrance to the pavilion.

Hinged panels up (Image courtesy of OMA)


In Garage Gorky Park, non-exhibition activities will take up a proportionally larger area than at Garage’s original location. A promenade housing a café, bookshop, and mediatheque will connect the lower level with the mezzanine.


The cafe is envisioned as an informal living room with Soviet era furniture arranged in intimate islands. Artists will be invited to contribute to the interior design.

South-East Gallery view (Image courtesy of OMA)


An auditorium, children’s room, and mediatheque will be united on the mezzanine, giving more prominence to Garage’s educational mission and allowing spaces to be shared for more crowded programs.


Located on the mezzanine, the auditorium is visually connected to the lobby through a window behind the stage. A black-out screen can be lowered for projections.


The facade performs multiple functions. The double skin contains the building’s infrastructure, such as ventilation systems and fi re stairs. The facade also provides a surface for projections and can be strategically lit to communicate internal activities to the outside.

Educational platform (Image courtesy of OMA)

Hinged Panels lowered creating an instant white cube (Image courtesy of OMA)

Overview (Image courtesy of OMA)

Hinged panels (Image courtesy of OMA)

Location (Image courtesy of OMA)

Garage moves (Image courtesy of OMA)

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Category: Mixed use

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