The new Garage Screen cinema designed by SNKH Architects was just unveiled in Moscow. The winning project of the second Garage museum of contemporary art competition for the design of a pop-up summer cinema “resembles an inverted Bedouin tent”. Selected out of 136 submissions from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, the intervention is not instantly recognizable as a cinema, reinventing the usual design.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the first philanthropic institution in Russia aimed to advance contemporary art and culture launched in 2012 the Garage Screen initiative, with pop up cinemas during summertime. The idea with Garage, according to Varvara Melnikova, CEO of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design and Strelka KB partner, was to offer young architects the unique opportunity to make their visions come true. Taking only 6 months from the selection of the winning project to its launch, the project, an elaborate construction that required a precise calculation of the structural load-carrying capacity of the outside framework, must achieve lightness and mobility.
Inspired originally by the works of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the competition, operated by Strelka KB, received this year 136 submissions from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. After a first selection, 6 shortlisted projects underwent a technical evaluation, including an ecological feasibility study and an assessment of spatial, functional, structural, and engineering solutions.
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The new Garage Screen building is not instantly recognizable as a cinema, which is exciting and very relevant for today. For the first time in this century, cinemas of the whole world have been completely shut down for several months. In some countries they are still closed and no one knows when the crisis will be over and what happens to the film industry next. Cinemas might have to undergo a dramatic change and transform into something completely different. In this context, our attempt at reinvention of the design and the very existence mode of a cinema is a subtle way of working with a potential future scenario, utopian as it may be. -- Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, Garage Screen curator.
For the 2020 competition, the winning team, SNKH Architects, was selected by an expert jury that included Garage co-founder Dasha Zhukova and director Anton Belov; Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design CEO and Strelka KB partner Varvara Melnikova; Garage Screen curator Evgeny Gusyatinskiy; head of Garage Engineering and Construction Dmitry Konyakzhin as well as external experts: studio FAS(t) co-founder Alexander Ryabskiy, FORM bureau partner Olga Treyvas, and a representative of SYNDICATE office, last year’s winners.
The competition offered a unique chance to design and build a structure like this, a rare opportunity even for the most successful and experienced architects. It was a huge leap for a small Yerevan-based studio to win such a high-profile competition. We are very happy with the result and we hope the public of Moscow comes to love it as well. -- Ashot Snkhchyan, SNKH studio director.