The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture will soon have a new home in Moscow thanks to the Office of Metropolitan Architecture and Rem Koolhaas. OMA recently unveiled plans for the renovation and refurbishment of a Stalin-era concrete prefab building in Gorky Park, which will be transformed into a flexible art exhibition space. The interior will largely remain as-is with additions for offices, a cafe, an auditorium and education spaces while the exterior will be clad in translucent polycarbonate to allow for natural daylighting.
The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture was founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova as a major non-profit arts project, dedicated to exploring and developing contemporary culture in Moscow. The center has outgrown its current home at the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage and will be moving into its new home at the famous 1960s Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant in Gorky Park. The prefabricated concrete building was abandoned in the 90s and has sat vacant for over 2 decades and fallen into a serious state of disrepair. Elements of the original building still remain however, like the decorative tile and brick walls and the large mosaics. The renovation of the building will also include a refurbishment of these Soviet-era elements.
By 2013 the space will be completed to house the Garage Center and will include a variety of flexible exhibition spaces, a cafe, an auditorium, offices, a bookshop and education spaces. The interior will largely remain the same as originally designed, except where the new programatic rooms have been added. The exterior however will receive a new skin of translucent polycarbonate that will house the structure’s utilities like ventilation and emergency stairs. This new facade will allow for ample natural daylighting into the exhibition spaces. Portions of the facade can also be slid up to reveal the exhibitions and movable white walls can be dropped down to transform the exhibition spaces without covering up the original details of the building. OMA’s renovation of the Vremena Goda for the Garage Center is one part of a larger regeneration project of Gorky Park along the Moskva River to reinvigorate the heart of Moscow.