Contemporary art is on the rise in Moscow. Italian architect Renzo Piano was just tapped by Russian arts group V-A-C Foundation to convert one of the city’s former power stations into a center for contemporary arts and culture. The Pritzker laureate is renowned for his work on several critically acclaimed art museums, including the Kimbell Art Museum and Nasher Sculpture Center. Like Piano’s previous works, the GES2 power station renovation will feature sustainable technologies, including solar and geothermal energy sources.
The two-hectare redevelopment site is located on the Moskva River in the city’s Red October district and will focus on the now-defunct GES2 energy power station that was built in the early 1900s. Piano will reorganize the site into a 150-meter-by-150-meter square and retain the industrial character of the original architecture. Taking advantage of the power station’s tall ceilings and large building size, the spacious contemporary art center will be bathed in natural light and comprise a series of galleries, which can host exhibitions of varying types and sizes, set around a 100-meter-long and 23-meter high Central Nave.
The site will be divided into three main sections: a visitor orientation area, exhibition spaces, and education facilities. Visitors access the site through an outdoor entrance piazza with a sculpture garden before moving indoors, where there’s a library, bookshop, cafe, auditorium, and additional space for permanent and temporary art installations. The main gallery spaces will be held inside GES2, which will retain its metal framework and chimneys for natural ventilation to maintain a low energy footprint. The educational facilities includes an artist residency block, classrooms, and outdoor amphitheater, and will also permanently host V-A-C’s Curatorial Summer School. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019.
Images via V-A-C Foundation