Moscow’s New Tretyakov Gallery contains acclaimed art collection

OMA has revealed its renovation plans for Moscow’s New Tretyakov Gallery, the largest museum building in Russia.

The 61,091sq m gallery houses an extensive and important collection of Russian art including works by Malevich, Kandinsky, Chagall and Soviet artists such as Aleksandr Deyneka and Vera Mukhina.

The original design by NP Sukoyan and YN Sheverdyaev was approved in 1964 and completed in 1983.

On Krymsky Val, the gallery contains multiple exhibition halls but has had a number of improvisations and additions that have been added over time, fragmenting the vast hallways and grand exhibition spaces into clusters of smaller rooms.

Rem Koolhaas said: “Our proposal is a reconsideration of the New Tretyakov, focusing on improving its spatial infrastructure and the elimination of dysfunctional parts.

“We also undo the absolute separation between museum and the House of Artist, and remove a number of walls to make the different components more accessible and visible.

“Because of its size, it is almost impossible to consider it as a homogeneous entity. Modern interventions unaffordable in Soviet times, such as escalators, improve circulation and draw together the different autonomous elements of the museum complex.”

OMA’s design identifies four sectors, clarifying the orientation and creating a basis for architectural differentiation. Each of these sectors – art storage, an education centre, the collection, and a festival hall – has a distinctive identity and role, and is linked by a new pedestrian route along the embankment side of the Moscow River. Cut-outs in the façade open up the interior spaces to the city.

After OMA/AMO’s research for the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, this is OMA’s third cultural project in Russia.

Reserve will collaborate on the project as a local partner.