Garage Gorky Park

September 10, 2012 /

Moscow, Russia

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Image courtesy OMA

Relocating to one of Moscow's best known public spaces, Garage Contemporary Center will be exposed to a much larger and diversified audience.

The project consists of the renovation of the famous 1960s Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant, a prefabricated concrete pavilion which has been derelict for more than two decades. Structurally sound it preserves the "collective" aura of the Soviet era: it is a sober and rigorous public space adorned with tiles, mosaics and bricks.

The existing concrete structure will be enclosed with a new facade 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.

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Image courtesy OMA

The design preserves original Soviet-era elements, including a large mosaic, tiles, and brick, while incorporating a range of innovative architectural and curatorial devices.

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Image courtesy OMA

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Image courtesy OMA

The entrance to Garage Gorky Park is marked by two large facade panels that slide upwards to create a view through the building from the park and frame the art in the lobby's double height space. A public loop on the lower level will connect the bookshop, mediatheque, auditorium and café, which is envisioned as an informal living room with Soviet era furniture.

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Image courtesy OMA

The building offers two levels of unobstructed open space that will be dedicated to exhibitions, organized around two circulation and service cores. The ground floor, with a height of 5.65 meters, 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 meters, is conceived as a more conventional exhibition space for paintings, sculptures, video, photography and other media.

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Image courtesy OMA

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Image courtesy OMA

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Image courtesy OMA

While the existing walls in the upper level will keep their brick and green tile cladding, OMA has designed hinged white walls that can be folded down from the ceiling, creating an instant white cube when an exhibition demands a more neural environment.

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Image courtesy OMAHinged Panels Up

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Image courtesy OMAHinged panels Down

A 9x11 meter opening in the floor of the upper level creates a double height space (10 meters) 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.

OMA's design includes exhibition galleries on two levels, a creative center for children, shop, café, auditorium and offices.

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

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Drawing courtesy OMASite Plan

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Drawing courtesy OMAGarage Gorky park move

Facts about Garage Gorky Park

Total Area:

5,400 m2



Rem Koolhaas


Chris van Duijn

Project Architect:

Ekaterina Golovatyuk

Project Team:

Giacomo Cantoni
Nathan Friedman
Cristian Mare
John Paul Pacelli
Cecilia del Pozo
Timur Shabaev


Garage architect:


Arup Moscow

Facade Engineering:

Arup Berlin




Garage Center for Contemporary Culture
Iris Foundation

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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