OMA / rem koolhaas’ plans to renovate the largest museum building in russia, the new tretyakov gallery in moscow, have been revealed. originally completed in 1983, the N.P. sukoyan and Y.N. sheverdyaev-designed institute currently consists of multiple exhibition halls, adding up to a total floor area of 61,091 sqm. as grand as it is large, the museum houses an extensive and important collection of russian art, including seminal work from malevich, kandinsky, chagall, and soviet artists such as aleksandr deyneka and vera mukhina.

image courtesy OMA



however, over the years, numerous improvisations and additions have been made, fragmenting the vast hallways and grand exhibition spaces into clusters of smaller rooms. OMA’s design re-clarifies the building’s orientation, creates a basis for architectural differentiation, and identifies four sectors within the museum; art storage, an education center, the collection, and a festival hall. each space will have a distinctive identity and role as part of the gallery.

image courtesy OMA



‘our proposal is a reconsideration of the new tretyakov, focusing on improving its spatial infrastructure and the elimination of dysfunctional parts,’ explains rem koolhaas. ‘we also undo the absolute separation between museum and the house of artist, and remove a number of walls to make the different components more accessible and visible. because of its size, it is almost impossible to consider it as a homogeneous entity; modern interventions unaffordable in soviet times, such as escalators, improve circulation and draw together the different autonomous elements of the museum complex.

image courtesy OMA



the gallery entrances will be linked to a new pedestrian route that follows along the embankment side of the moscow river. upon its exterior, carefully placed cutouts in the facade will open up the interior spaces to the city.

image courtesy OMA

image courtesy OMA

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