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 - 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.
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.
One of the architect’s section sketches for the new V-A-C foundation space in Moscow
Images: Courtesy of RPBW, 2015
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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).
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