On Feb. 20, Netherlands-based architecture firm OMA unveiled a set of renovation plans for Moscow's New Tretyakov Gallery, the largest museum building in Russia that houses important art collections from Russian and former Soviet artists, including works by Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich, Aleksandr Deyneka, and Vera Mukhina.
Completed in 1983, the 657,000-square-foot, midcentury building was designed by architects N.P. Sukoyan and Y.N. Sheverdyaevas, and mainly consisted of vast hallways and multiple exhibition halls. Since its completion, the building has been modified to create smaller interior spaces, which has obstructed its natural flow and circulation.
OMA plans to improve the building's access and circulation. As part of the renovation project, the design team will reconfigure the interior layout to create four new sections—an art storage, an education center, a collection space, and a festival hall—and will open up the building by creating new cutouts in the façade. Additionally, a new pedestrian passage, stretched along the Moscow River, will mark a new entrance way. “Our proposal is a reconsideration of the New Tretyakov, focusing on improving its spatial infrastructure and the elimination of dysfunctional parts," said Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA, co-founder of OMA, in a press release. "We also undo the absolute separation between museum and the [Artist Houses,] and remove a number of walls to make the different components more accessible and visible."
According to the same press release, local design firm Reserve will be collaborating on the renovation project which marks OMA's third cultural project in Russia, having already completed the State Hermitage Museum's research project in St. Petersburg and the renovation of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow.