Australian practice Lockhart Krause Architect has entered its proposal "Community and Earth" into an international design competition for a contemporary art gallery and museum of historical artifacts in the world heritage city of Yaroslavl, Russia. Their scheme aims to "provide a vibrant place for the community" and "explores the idea of earth and history by cutting into the ground."
Community and Earth wishes to create a place where inhabitants of Yaroslavl can "dance, celebrate and fall in love." To achieve this, the ground plane has two conditions: the first is an open surface which pays respect to the site's context, a beautiful church at the southwest end, and is subdivided to create spaces for unprogrammed activities, such as picnicking and sitting; the second provides space for programmed pastimes such as ice skating, gardening and eating.
Based off of these spaces, lines are cut into the ground to provide light into the two-story art gallery and museum below. The museum wing sits to the northwest, below the large public plaza and contains Yaroslavl's historical artifacts while the contemporary art gallery sits beneath the ice-rink, bringing in light from the frozen water above and balancing the museum's focus on the past with one on the present and future.
A central spine of circulation connects these spaces and is entered through a foyer that contains a linear body of water and a sculptural staircase. The first level houses the small object spaces and public learning facilities while the second level down is home to larger artifacts, with the level one galleries floating above.
As for landscaping, a line of deciduous trees is proposed through the center of the site to strengthen the sense of a wide promenade framing the church. Low native grasses and flowers, on the other hand, soften the ground plane and create a balance in height. The floor and seats of this plane are proposed as hardwood timber, locally sourced.
Community and Earth's 20,000 square meters of internal space is comparable to the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the spaceGOMA in Brisbane. With an internationally sized venue, the gallery spaces would surely contribute to Yaroslavl's already vibrant community and propel it into the future.
Architect in ChargeJesse Lockhart-Krause
CollaboratorsCaiyen Tse, Ksenia Totoeva, Chris Roberts Brewer
PhotographsCourtesy of Lockhart Krause Architect