The main idea behind FORMA’s design for the Museum of Arts is to fit the building into the fabric of an old industrial neighborhood. Signs of its history, such as the smokestack and the brewery’s facade are present on the project area. This respect to the building’s history consists not only in renovation and preservation of its remains, but also in an attempt to extend the history by bringing the building to life. This is achieved by reconstruction of the brewery’s original volume and involving it in the museum’s daily life. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The smokestack being reconstructed and fortified serves as an orienting point. The basement (the part of it in the center of the project area) shelters a restaurant, while the above-ground levels contain a cafe, the hybrid library and office facilities. The former brewery’s facade from the street is reconstructed according to the original drawings. The old building’s facades from the backyard are different. They do not mimic the original facade plastic — but are rather done in a stylistic balance with the original.
A simplified ornamental pattern and monolithic reinforced concrete without outside finish are used. New buildings are attached to the old one and they do not exceed the level of its highest point (23 m). The new does not suppress the old – they are entwined with each other. The idea is visually illustrated by the way a snake-like pedestrian tube in the backyard (carried out of the building) is connected to the tower of the old structure. Going up the stairs towards exhibition rooms, the visitor “slides” from the old building into the new one and vice versa.
The museum’s architecture is not made to impress, it rather creates a platform for impressive events. The exterior is formed by the project’s functional scheme. For example, the long volume hovering in the air frees space for a covered square in front the main entrance. The rectangular form of the complex allows to create a cosy courtyard – a place for relaxation and art performance. Courtyards hidden among the buildings is a distinctive feature of old Kyiv.
The museum’s infrastructure provides a series of transformations of inner space. These allow significantly change the museum’s interior and quickly adjust the space of exhibition rooms to the forthcoming expositions. The conference hall has a movable wall that allows to use space of the lobby with amphitheatre as a part of the hall in case the visitors’ overflow occurs or an out-of-format event will take place. It is possible to dismantle a part of the floor of the changing exhibit room and connect it with the room of Ukrainian contemporary art and the room of sculptures. Due to this possibility of spatial extension there are no constraints on the scale of the artworks being exhibited. It also allows to unite (either thematically or chronologically) expositions and create alternative routes of viewing and reception of works of art (e.g., by setting the stairs in the atriums). Natural lighting along the hall and the absence of static walls let curator organize space according to his/her needs.
The auditorium is equipped with a proved mechanical system of space transformation according to the format of the event. Adjustable are positions of stage and amphitheatre as well as arrangement of seats. In case of a symphonic orchestra performance the stage is in the middle with flat amphitheatre on one side and a balcony – on the other. The U-type amphitheatre arrangement is good for performance art, acrobatic shows etc., in which body movements and gestures, involvement of audience are crucial. The wall between auditorium and courtyard being movable, another – less traditional – setting of space is available. The show takes place outdoors, the spectators surround the stage from all sides.
Museum’s movement scheme is such that the visitor can get to any exhibition room from the pedestrian tube without need to move through other exhibition spaces. All exhibition halls are independent from each other in the sense that any room being temporary unavailable (or even all rooms being closed except one) does not affect the activity in the rest. This scheme also allows to multiply visiting scenarios in the museum. An art lover can buy a full ticket and get access to all expositions available, while a Degas worshiper will prefer to pay for a visit of the only one exhibition room. The auditorium is placed on the first level in order to separate the flow of people who come to the concert or to the stage play from the flow of museum visitors. The cafe and the restaurant are connected with museum through the hall, and, at the same time, they have access from the street in order to be independent from the working hours of the museum.
Another feature of movement scheme worth mentioning are the switch zones. This is a space of visual relaxation, in which the visitor’s attention is disseminated by views from the window openings. One of the switch zones in the changing exhibit room is a narrow corridor with a window. The room of contemporary Ukrainian art and the changing exhibit room both have a visual connection with the courtyard and the square in front of the old building. Two levels of Degas room are united by the rampant, the part of which is carried outside the building and set in the immediate vicinity of the smokestack.
Between the rooms of temporary and constant expositions there is a long glass corridor parallel to the old building. It is a switch zone and an introduction space to Degas room. It is farthest off the lobby; the long way to Degas room is another esthetic adventure in the museum’s art space.
Architects: FORMA Location: Kyiv, Ukraine Team: Volodymyr Petrov, Oleksiy Petrov, Iryna Miroshnykova, Alice Magirovska, Dmytro Prutkin, Victoria Leonchenko, Anton Pryhod’ko Structural Consultant: Volodymyr Selivanov Client: Voronov Art Foundation Type: Invited competition Site Area: 0,69 ha Gross Floor Area: 12546,30 m2 Year: 2012