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Moscow’s Garage Museum to Expand in Gorky Park

Moscow’s Garage Museum to Expand in Gorky Park

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Moscow’s Garage Museum to Expand in Gorky Park

Moscow’s Garage Museum is once again following the Moskva River down to Gorky Park, where it will expand into the long-abandoned century-old Hexagon exhibition pavilion that stands nearby its current building. The structure, designed by Russian architect Ivan Zholtovsky, is to be reimagined by Japanese architecture firm SANAA and will give the twelve-year-old contemporary art museum significantly more space in which to host exhibitions and programming.Built to house an exhibit of tools and machines at the inaugural All-Russian Agricultural and Handicraft Industries Exhibition, held in 1923, and later serving as a disco before being gutted by fire, the Hexagon will be the third repurposed space the institution has inhabited. Founded by Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich in 2008, Garage initially occupied an old bus garage that had been renovated by the Dutch architecture firm OMA, founded by Rem Koolhaas. In 2015, after temporarily inhabiting a cardboard-columned pavilion created by Shigeru Ban, the museum moved to its current digs, a former restaurant, which OMA also renovated.Zhukova noted in a statement that the Hexagon’s “thoughtful and sensitive design” created by the Pritzker Prize–winning SANAA would offer Garage a chance to “ground itself in Russian history while expanding into the current global conversation.” She added, “We want to ensure that our building reflects our ongoing inquiry into the function, purpose, and responsibility of the modern-day museum.”Comprising six identical structures ringing a courtyard, the pavilion following its renovation will provide Garage with an additional 102,000 square feet and will include three galleries, a bookstore, a library, and a café. The energy-efficient revamp by SANAA, perhaps best known for designing New York’s New Museum, is meant to point up the structure’s neoclassical design and calls for the removal of any decorative element that is not original to the building.“When we were invited to work on the Hexagon, we immediately began to think about whether we could somehow preserve the original layout and proportions, and whether we could create something that everyone would use,” said SANAA founders Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. “Garage has always had a strong focus on the architecture of public spaces and their history, and this is very much in line with our practice.”

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