Architectural Council has approved a project of placement of Kremlin museums on Red Square

25 December 2016

To house exhibits of Kremlin Museum inside of the quarter of the Middle Trading Rows on Red Square one of the world’s largest museum will be built, its area will make about 80,000 square metres. This project has been designed by consortium: “Meganom”+ Nowadays

The quarter of the former Middle Trading Rows lies between Ilyinka Street, Khrustalny alley, and Varvarka, and its western façade overlooks Red Square. All in all, the plot occupies 17, 308 square metres. The project of Kremlin Museums includes two sections: first one — built in 1893 by architect R.M. Klein, a historical section of rows which is located along the red lines of the plot and is an object of cultural heritage of federal importance. The second section is a 4-storeyed building being designed at the moment; its superstructure repeats outlines of the lost inner buildings of the trading rows. Thus, section B is situated in the courtyard and separated from it by ring lane.

As head of development team Yuri Grigoryan said, bureau set to work after “Mosproject-2”, who had designed previous concept. “Basement has already been accomplished, with the parking being kept there; we have also placed there a museum warehouse”.

Yuriy Grigoryan explained, why from the very beginning the museum refused an idea of renewal of four lost buildings, and in the project they were stitched together in a single bulk. “We do not do things which could not be done, but if a new building should be constructed, then it should be made as much convenient for the museum as possible”, — marked Architect. According to his words, the trading rows consisted of small “dots”, meaning lots of small shops which would form an endless route, where big public spaces were lacking. For the museum it is of particular importance to create a united exposition level in first place, and, in the second place, to obtain more space for visitors and zones of arrangement of traffic.

Actually, we treat this project as an interior design, as it is not seen from outside, and it shouldn’t be”, — marked Grigoryan. Section B has skylight — on its 4th floor restoration workshops are located. Roof has flat sections with lanterns, and somewhere it has pitched sections over the halls vaulting. Flat sections are faced with clay tile; pitches are faced with polymer-coated seam steel roofing. Yuri Grigoryan emphasized that all height marks has been kept unchanged.

The museum has exhibition space — hall of permanent exhibition with 36 m span. Some exhibition items were suggested to be placed outdoor, in special niches in the façade of the main building. Exhibition concept is being designed by architect Michele de Lucchi. Also, “Meganom” works under this project in consortium with bureau Nowadays.

The main issue raised by Council regarding this project was life of the closed space of the quarter around the museum. “We hope that there will be no need to buy tickets to pass through the arch, but it depends on the administration of the building. We’d like it to be a city street”, — said Yuri Grigoryan. The architect emphasized that the outer circle — which is a historical building — on its first floor will house all public functions of the museum, but not an exhibition. Kid’s centre, shops, restaurant, and other will be here. “Our task is to make all these shops passable, to make it possible to get into the courtyard through them”, — said Grigoryan.

Besides, the museum is ready to show open storage along the first floor of section “B”, or glass-fronted, inside. Bu, in general, the inner space of the museum stays in contrast with bustling of Red Square and perceived by authors more as a place for leisurely stroll or excursion rather than a shopping street.

“A really good job, approved by all members of the council — concluded chairman of the Architectural Council Sergei Kuznetsov. — I’m glad that project with such a thorny background has finally acquired a comprehensible structure. An essential idea became an openness of the museum to the city, while, on the other side, it has contrast between bustling environment of Red Square and more chamberlike setting inside the quarter. All of these seem to be a good combination of properties and quality of this project, which inspires a hope that the place that remained scaffolded for a long time, will finally be successfully implemented”.

Kuznetsov added that at the moment the project is being examined by experts. According to Yuri Grigoryan, necessary funding is scheduled for the next year. According to rough estimate, the construction works will take about two years.

Images: Meganom + Nowadays

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