The Brooklyn architecture team Popular Architecture has recently had their proposal for Cinema Pushinsky shortlisted in DuPont’s 2011 Changing the Face competition. Further images of their proposed restoration and a brief narrative after the jump.
The main problem with the Cinema Pushkinsky is that it has lost its openness. Completed in 1961, historic photographs of it show a building far lighter and more transparent, one that extends its surroundings, drawing moviegoers into the luminescent darkness of the theater.
Now the cinema appears like a dead end to Pushkin Square, as just a giant billboard with no physical value. Inspired by the cinema’s past condition and its location on the square, our design expands the lobby’s facade to reconnect with the city. Working with the cinema’s existing geometries, this expansion takes the form of a pleated glass curtain.
Made with DuPont’s SentryGlas, the curtain is an insulated assembly that uses the depth of the pleats to create a rigid structure free of metal framing. The curtain extends the programmatic possibilities of the cinema, making new space for bars, restaurants, cafes, winter gardens, galleries, and other uses, strengthening the relationship between it and the square.
Signage is handled by a stainless steel mesh embedded with LEDs that wraps all opaque areas of the facade. The LED mesh provides an extremely flexible system able to engage street life with multiple streams of information. As a result, the renewed transparency of the glass curtain is free to display only the changing light effects of day and night.