Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow
Moscow is about to get a new contemporary art space in the Red October district, designed by Renzo Piano for the V-A-C foundation
(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

Moscow's iconic red-brick Red October district has been slowly transforming into a vibrant neighbourhood of art, food and culture ever since its well known chocolate factory moved out, leaving a rich collection of industrial buildings behind, ripe for redevelopment. 

The area's latest ambitious project is the revival of the nearby disused GES2 power station (originally built between 1904 and 1907), which is set to be redesigned for the contemporary arts foundation V-A-C (opens in new tab) - an organisation dedicated to the growth and promotion of Russian contemporary art, across different media and channels. Heading the architectural scheme is Italian architect Renzo Piano and his Building Workshop (opens in new tab).

The project is designed to comprise ample public space - an extensive free access area with a sculptural garden and piazza, library, bookshop, café, restaurant and auditorium. The foundation's exhibition halls will form a separate key part of the building, while there will also be a dedicated section in the complex for education programs. 

The plant's existing, dramatic chimneys - a landmark for the area - are slated to remain, also becoming, after this revamp, an indispensable part of the site' sustainability strategy, which also includes solar cells and geothermal sources. Completion is planned after the end of 2018.

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

The scheme involves the redesign of the existing old GES2 power station

(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

The project is set to include dedicated exhibition and education areas, as well as plenty of public space

(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

V-A-C is an organisation known for their promotion and support of Russian contemporary art

(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

The RPBW's cross section through the site shows the project's generous scale

(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

The practice created a diagram that shows the different areas and circulation around the complex

(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

Power house: Renzo Piano designs a new home for the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow

One of the architect's section sketches for the new V-A-C foundation space in Moscow

(Image credit: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015)

One of the architect’s section sketches for the new V-A-C foundation space in Moscow

INFORMATION

Images: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).