Udarnik Contemporary Art Museum


An international, closed competition was held and collected proposals to convert "Udarnik", a cinema building, to a museum of contemporary art. The original building was designed by Boris Iofan and built in 1931, at the periphery of The House on Embankment situated in central Moscow.

As a methodology to convert this building into a museum of contemporary art while preserving the historic value and originality of the building, we composed our proposal with an approach that conforms to the original functional composition by stacking different programs on top of another.

Spatial characteristics unique to each floor were assessed and possibilities to convert each floor for art that matches and enhances the spatial characteristics of each floor were investigated, and the following concepts were proposed:

Media Art Gallery: The basement floor is a dark space without natural light but has a rigid enclosure suitable for sound isolation. The area is proposed to be converted to a Media Art Gallery in a theatre like configuration allowing the use of audio, video and performing arts as well as lectures or movie screenings.

Glass Gallery: Contrary to the basement floor, the first floor is a space that has more idealistically modernist characteristics, composed almost entirely by only columns and shallow vaults. Flexible, and movable glass display walls are proposed and enhance the transparency of the space.

Black Cube Gallery: The Second floor is the former cinema with a seating capacity of 1000, and has a vast volume of space. Taking advantage of the high ceiling, a cubic space analogous to a museum-in-museum is installed to generate open-ended possibilities for various activities of art.

All of the three major concepts are proposed as spaces unique to the character of the museum, as opposed to being the more generic, “white cube” museum typology seen all over the world. This enhances the opportunities for a particular kind of curation unique to the Udarnik Museum of Contemporary Art.

By the stacking of unique museum spaces, we believe the Udarnik will become a place with particular traction in the Russian art scene, by establishing a new horizon of value through unique curatorial artworks that spread all over the world.

Discipline : renovation
Program : art museum
Location : Moscow, Russia
Date : 2014
Total Floor Area : 5,690sqm
Project Type : Competition