SANAA unveils the extension of the garage museum in Moscow

SANAA to resuscitate the Hexagon pavilion for the extension of the Moscow garage museum

The Japanese company SANAA to renovate the Hexagon pavilion, a structure designed by Ivan Zholtovsky in the 1920s in Gorky Park, for an extension of the garage museum

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art has announced that Japanese architectural firm SANAA will oversee the renovation of the Hexagon Pavilion, transforming the disused Moscow monument into a major new exhibition center. The Garage Museum expansion heralds a new chapter for the museum in its continued efforts to reuse the city’s architectural heritage and revitalize it in a contemporary context.

The Hexagon – a listed Soviet structure from the 1920s designed by Russian architect Ivan Zholtovsky – has lived many lives. Originally built for the first All-Russian Agricultural and Handicraft Industries Exhibition in 1923, the pavilion was converted into a canteen in 1935 and reassigned to lemonade production in the 1960s. In the decades that followed, it served as a canteen cafe, restaurant, beer garden, cinema and nightclub, until it was abandoned. France is now partially ruined following a series of fires.

Archive image of hexagonal structure

In its most recent incarnation as an exhibition center, France will include three galleries, a library, a bookstore, a café and a courtyard covering some 9,500 m² of functional space. “In keeping with the spirit of Zholtovsky’s original design, we tried to avoid partitions or different types of organization in the space and tried to bring it back to his vision,” the architects explained. “We were fascinated by the original transparency of the space. The Hexagon has a special charm and we have tried to keep it in our design. ‘

Namely, the concept of SANNA is guided by six principles: geometry and proportion; connected spaces; day light; spatial organization; decorative and interior elements; and landscape. Moscow’s dramatic climate also poses its own set of challenges, which architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa addressed with advanced envelope and heat recovery systems and high performance glazing.

The extension of the garage museum will transform France

The Garage Museum was established in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich as the first philanthropic organization in Russia dedicated to contemporary art and culture. In 2015, the museum moved to its permanent accommodation in the former Vremena Goda restaurant, a Soviet-era modernist ruin resurrected by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA company. Garage has worked with a number of architectural studios, including Shigeru Ban, Form Bureau, Snkh, Syndicate, and Grace.

“The Hexagon will be revived by SANAA’s thoughtful and responsive design, allowing Garage to anchor itself in Russian history while integrating into the current global conversation,” Zhukova said in a statement. “We want to ensure that our building reflects our ongoing investigation into the function, purpose and responsibility of the modern museum. Ȥ

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