All images courtesy of RPBW / V-A-C Foundation
Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) has been commissioned by Russia’s V-A-C Foundation to create a dedicated contemporary art site in Moscow. The Italian architect’s studio is to redesign two hectares of the city, converting a historic power station, located on the banks of the Moskva river, into a new cultural venue. Built between 1904 and 1907, the main building to be revived as part of the development is the GES2 energy plant, situated in the city’s popular Red October district.
RPBW will also design the surrounding area, with plans to recuperate the original structure of the power station with a web-like building-scale device. The entire site will be reconfigured into a square measuring 150 by 150 meters, framing a forest of birch trees, the main building, and a public square in front of the southeast façade. the project also includes a library, a bookshop, and a restaurant, as well as an auditorium, and various art installations.
Internally, exhibition galleries are of varied and flexible dimensions, forming adaptable spaces that accommodate multiple media forms and installation designs. A central nave measure 23 meters in height, stretching to a total length of 100 meters. The renovated structure will be surrounded by a natural amphitheater created by a new topography raised on three sides of the site. This area will be used as a seating area for film screenings and events, especially during summer when the garden will transform into an open-air cinema.
An important part of the project is to ensure that the venue is as environmentally friendly as possible. The existing chimneys will not only remain part of the city’s skyline, but they will become sustainable devices for the site’s natural ventilation and reduced energy consumption. The overall sustainable strategy includes the use of solar cells and geothermal sources. Antonio belvedere, partner-director at RPBW, will be in charge of the project, which is expected to be complete by early 2019.