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  4. Competition Entry: Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts / WAI Think Tank

Competition Entry: Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts / WAI Think Tank

Competition Entry: Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts / WAI Think Tank
Competition Entry: Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts / WAI Think Tank, Light Performance. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank
Light Performance. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank

Reaching the second stage of the international competition to design Russia’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), which was won by Heneghan Peng Architects, WAI Think Tank put forth a proposal that projects the NCCA as not just a center "for the creation, study, and support of contemporary art in Russia" but also "a building as manifesto." WAI Think Tank focused on giving a flexible autonomy to the enclosed and external spaces, designing the galleries as extensions of the city, in an attempt to design "the first archetype of Museum as City."

Exhibition Hall: Kapoor. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank Children's Educational Centre. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank Creative Residence. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank Exhibition Gallery: Paintings. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank + 25

Enhanced by the "dialectic between the city and architecture, between art and the public, between landscape and building," WAI Think Tank's design marks a paradigm shift of international museology. According to the architects, in creating a building that invites and embraces the public through its open spaces, the new NCCA would blur the lines between both building and context, and between art and life.

Promenade (West View). Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank
Promenade (West View). Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank

Rather than emulating the boundary that usually separates museums from their context, the NCCA building is designed as an "open museum." The arrangement of the volumes on the ground level allow the public to circulate freely through its open spaces, creating a new urban museum experience.

Concept Collage. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank
Concept Collage. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank

For WAI Think Tank, "the new NCCA is not a building within a park; the park and the building are inseparable. Linked by way of a harmonious symbiosis, a series of paths direct the public between metro station, park and building in an effortless journey that offers glimpses of outdoor sculptures in an environment for the contemplation of art." In this way, the new NCCA brings art to the public. "The building creates a promenade in which people interact with exhibition pieces featured in the public space and on the multiple terraces of the building."

Exhibition Gallery: Video Installation. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank
Exhibition Gallery: Video Installation. Image Courtesy of WAI Think Tank

"The layout of the NCCA consists of a ground level that contains public programs, creative residences, office space, conference halls and the collection repository, and three volumes of varying heights that intersect at different points creating a maze of flexible exhibition space."

See the three shortlisted proposals here. Alternatively, you can see all the projects that reached the second stage of the competition here.

  • Architects

  • Location

    Moscow, Russia
  • Design Team

    Cruz Garcia, Nathalie Frankowski, Edgar Garcia, Zhang Yanping, Yu Yihua, Anna Popova, Ilyas Sadybekov
  • Structural Engineer

    +G (Felix Cruz Marcos, Laura Gil Santana)
  • Technology and Sustainability

    Alejandra Garcia Hooghuis
  • Museology Consultant

    Evgenia Novgorodova
  • Area

    45000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014

View the complete gallery

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "Competition Entry: Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts / WAI Think Tank" 27 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/481414/competition-entry-moscow-s-national-centre-for-contemporary-arts-wai-think-tank/> ISSN 0719-8884

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