Winners of the open competition for a concept of redevelopment of Varshava and Voskhod cinema theaters were announced

02 February 2016

On January 26, Moscow’s Chief Architect Sergey Kuznetsov announced the winners of the Open All-Russia Competition for a Concept of Redevelopment of two typical modernist cinema theaters Varshava and Voskhod.

The Competition started on November 6 upon the initiative of ADG Group in collaboration of the Committee on Architecture and Urban Planning of Moscow City. The Competition organizer — Agency for Strategic Development “CENTER”. Communication Partner — ’Pravila Obschenia’ Agency.

The final stage of the Competition was really open. Five teams expressed their ideas within the public presentation at GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art. After that, the authors of the best proposals for each cinema theater were announced.

’Exchange Games’ Concept by Russian-Dutch SVESMI studio was the best in the nomination Voskhod Theater Redevelopment Concept’. The project is about transforming the theater into an entertainment hub for residents of Ryazan suburbs where there is no infrastructure for recreation with children and any space for comfortable communication and networking. The program and the contents of the future hub is designed for low-income families. The economic efficiency will be reached by programming: flexible rent patterns and multi-purpose use of the same spaces throughout the day, month, or year.

The space on the first floor under the balcony is designated for commercial and social use. In the middle of the building there will be a market with light-weight portable counters — the space here opens full-height. There are entrances on the four sides of the building; the indoor environment is connected to the outdoor environment through numerous windows and wide doors.

The facade is decorated with a sculptural component ’stone curtain’ balanced with a ’perforation’ component — rows of small round windows. The ’stone curtain’ rhymes with the big curtain covering the window during performances in the universal hall and is reminiscent about old cinema theaters where the screens were behind heavy sliding curtains.

“The project is delicate about the existing building, it preserves the dimensions and the structures”, says Nikita Tokarev, Director of Architecture School MARSH.

Sergey Georgievskiy, the Head of the Organization Committee of the Competition, Director of the Agency for Strategic Development “CENTER”:

“Competitors were given a non-trivial double task — to combine the new program model of the theatre and an architectural and planning solution. Not all the teams had both aspects equally strong, so, it was hard for the jury to make a decision.

In case of Varshava there was no unanimity: the victory is shared by two teams — Spektrum Consortium + EMBT + А2ОМ and SVESMI Studio”

The project by Spektrum Consortium + EMBT + А2ОМ became the leader for the most interesting space programming. The team offered to transform the old theater into a social hub with a focus on gastronomy. They are planning to place in the building a market of local food, a cooking school for people from the neighborhood, a food court for office workers of the nearby business centers, cookware stores, a bar, restaurants and many more.

The second idea of the team — to create an educational space — ’Stanisław Lem Science-Fiction Center’ that can be a point of attraction for sci-fi fans from around the city, which will add Varshava Theater and Voykovskaya metro station area to Moscow’s cultural life map.

Spektrum + EMBT + А2ОМ offered a very interesting concept of the Science-Fiction Center; if there we such a center it would be fantastic, it’s the brightest idea“, — says Aleksandr Ostrogovskoy, Head of Educational Programs Department of the Museum of Moscow, coach at Architecture School MARSH.

The jury also liked to SVESMI studio concept ’Exchange Games’. The studio offered an efficient architectural solution, protective of the historical building of Varshava Theater. They intend to restore the main glass facade and expand the glazing area by adding height to the facade.

According to SVESMI concept the entrances to the building are located on two levels and there are three ways of commuting between the floors: on elevators, on escalators and on the ramp of the concert hall ’stretched’ between the first and the third floors.

In the architects’ idea, at the first floor level, the restored building will be girded from three sides by glazed galleries, and, on the second floor level, open summer terraces overlooking the park.

The building preserves the memory of architecture of the 70ies (through the parallels in the construction materials and the color palette) but it will not exploit nostalgia for the Soviet past.

“SVESMI expressed their love to Varshava by delicacy in restoring the image of the existing building and a high-quality architecture”, commented Maria Privalova, Director of the Moscow Institute for Social and Cultural Programmes.

Pursuant to the terms of the Competition, the winner in each category will be granted RUB 650.000 and the right to designer supervision upon the project implementation.

It should be noted that the winners of the competition were selected by a professional interdisciplinary jury consisting of experts in Soviet architecture, culture, sociology, architecture, as well as the executives of ADG Group.

The result of the Competition is architectural concepts for the redevelopment of each of the two theaters in the existing structure of historical buildings, preserving the cultural and educational function, and offering a relevant commercial model and new design solutions for the facades and interiors consistent with the proposed contents. Moreover, a concept of improvement of the adjacent area.

“Today we saw competition projects for renovation of two cinema theaters, Varshava and Voskhod. Creation of new centers of attraction in the suburban areas is particularly exigent in the context of a polycentric urban development, and most teams succeeded in this task. The participants focused on multifunctionality and openness of the spaces. There were also interesting proposals on improvement of the adjacent areas; rather brave ideas were presented. This is why we have architectural contests”, commented Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow, the Chair of the Competition Jury.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the depth of development of the majority of the proposals both in the architectural design and in programming of spaces. All projects were very interesting; we highly appreciate that the participants of the competition collected and considered opinions of the locals. It is important, that after reconstruction of Varshava and Voskhod become not only economically efficient facilities but also regained the role if socialization hubs of their neighborhoods. Therefore, selecting the winners, we considered not only the architectural solutions but also the best solutions for integration of the social and the commercial functions”, Grigory Pechersky, Senior Partner of ADG Group, head of reconstruction projects of 39 Moscow theaters.

5 teams got through to the final round (the rating was published after the first round):

  2. Architectural studio “Studio 44”
  3. Consortium: NOVOE + Praktika + ZOLOTO Group + Khora + Project Group 8
  4. Consortium: Nowadays office/Aventica
  5. Consortium: Spektrum + EMBT + А2ОМ

70 competitive bids were received, they underwent technical expertise and were reviewed at the first meeting of the jury. Among them, there were 20 consortia and 50 individual bidders. 3 consortia and 2 individual bidders from Russia, Holland and Spain were short-listed.

Images: Spectrum + EMBT + А2ОМ, SVESMI


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