The new Kremlin museum set within the UNESCO protected museum ensemble in Red Square nestles a contemporary structure within the vast courtyard of a 19th-century building. Designed by Moscow-based practices NOWADAYS office and Meganom, the project will house the vast Armory collection, of which only 30% is currently available to the public with the Kremlin walls. The refurbishment of the historic Middle Trading Rows building, together with the new extension, complement each other, creating a diverse and complex museum experience.
Neighbouring important Moscow landmarks, such as the Red Square, or the new Zaryadye park designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the design aims to establish a stronger connection with its urban context, opening up the old building towards the city. The new building hidden behind the 19th-century façade allows for the composition of the Red Square to remain unaltered by the development. The interior courtyard windows will overlook the new structure, and enclosed passageways interconnect the two complementary parts.
The project uses the sequence of spaces to establish an exhibition narrative through contrasting architectures. The Middle Trading Rows building and its succession of vaulted halls are accompanied by the single exhibition space of the new building. The latter adopts a neutral aesthetic, featuring a stone façade with expansive windows. The project was first announced in 2016 and is set to be completed in 2024.