Refurbishment of Jewish Museum and Tolerance center. Three iterations

Since its opening in 2012, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre has been engaged in various exhibition and educational activities. Its reorganization was dictated by the increase of exhibitions and growing popularity of the venue. Now various technical and administrative rooms limit the space of temporary exhibitions hall.

The suggested concepts are rethinking the space of the eastern part of museum without any harm to historical building. Bakhmetyevsky garage ensemble is the architectural monument and one of the most important works of Konstantin Melnikov. Elegant 1926 project was a solution of a utilitarian task — to make a garage for new busses of the first state bus line. Melnikov created the innovative space of his time, and it is important to define its integrity in the new interior of the museum.

The first iteration suggests building an underground level with a multifunctional space. New part consists of three blocks: the underground level, exhibition hall and its foyer. Triangle in plan, it is limited by the building’s wall and new partitions — the space serves as the project’s core of communication. Backdrops partitions are closing the outline of exhibition and lecture hall and hide the front ladder of the underground level, lift, office zones and utility spaces. Going down to the underground level the visitors find themselves in a big regular space. It is symmetrical and divided into three parts: cinema hall, educational center and the lobby that connects them. In case of special occasions all three parts could be easily merged into one.

The second version suggests dropping the underground level. Exhibition hall, children’s center, library and utility spaces are confined in a cube painted blue which is one of museum’s identity colours. The stair that leads to the second level with museum’s offices surrounds the cube. The multifunctional area for special occasions, film screenings and lections is located in the space between the cube’s borders and outer walls of the building.

The concept of the third iteration is based on Melnikov’s principles of design. One of them is the perpetual movement that is possible in his garage — the buses got into garage easily and left it easily as well. New cubic volume of temporary exhibitions hall enters the garage’s space just like a bus used to. It is less spacious as in the second iteration of the project, and the angle of its turn transmits a certain movement to the composition. The volume forms around itself three segments of space between the borders of the volume and garage’s walls — they acquire new functions within the needs of museum. This interaction creates different special scenarios and rhythm of additional elements of the composition: utility spaces located around central volume.

This is not a typical exhibition “white cube”: the volume is decorated with the glass blocks that refer to the original finishing of Bakhmetyevsky garage. Natural light that appeared after disclosure of the ceiling make the structure almost transparent. Just like in a second iteration a gallery that leads to the second floor with auditoriums and lecture halls hugs the volume. The cube has a third level as well — it’s a technical area with ventilation camera that previously was located on the first floor. The ventilation system that used to be hidden now becomes a part of the architecture. The concept suggests disclosing the original ceiling created by the building’s engineer Vladimir Shukhov, as well as esthetical optimization of all technical systems.

Elements of the plan form a suprematist composition charged with the rhythm and movement. Plan’s expression is another tribute to Melnikov. In his works the architect tended to ornamental plans and did space compositions in his blueprints. Simplicity of architectural shapes and dynamics of their interaction thematically refer to an important project of Jewish Museum — the Avant-Garde Center that studies and popularizes the modern art of the 20th century.

Architecture:
JM-1: FORM in cooperation with Anton Gorlenko
Olga Treivas, Vera Odyn, Julia Semkova, Vladimir Treivas, Victoria Kosichenko, Daria Gladunova, Pavel Makarchenkov, Maria Fomina
JM+1: FORM
Olga Treivas, Vera Odyn, Julia Semkova, Vladimir Treivas, Victoria Kosichenko, Pavel Makarchenkov, Nikita Morenov, Sanchir Dzhalsanov
JM: FORM
Olga Treivas, Vera Odyn, Julia Semkova, Pavel Makarchenkov, Vladimir Treivas, Victoria Kosichenko, Nikita Morenov, Sanchir Dzhalsanov, Anna Kiparis
Client: Jewish Museum and Tolerance center
Status: Concept
Location: Moscow
Year: 2017 – 2019

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  • Bakhmetyevsky garage ensemble is one of the most important works of Konstantin Melnikov. The suggested concepts are rethinking the space of museum without any harm to historical building

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    jm 1_exhibition new ceiling light

  • The first iteration suggests building an underground level with a multifunctional space. New part consists of three blocks: the underground level, exhibition hall and its foyer

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  • Going down to the underground level the visitors find themselves in a large regular space. It is symmetrical and divided into three parts

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  • The second version suggests dropping the underground level

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  • Exhibition hall, children’s center, library and utility spaces are confined in a cube painted blue which is one of museum’s identity colours. The stair that leads to the second level with museum’s offices surrounds the cube

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    314_JM+1_floor plan web

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  • The concept of the third iteration is based on Melnikov’s principles of design. One of them is the perpetual movement

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  • New cubic volume of temporary exhibitions hall enters the garage’s space just like a bus used to — the angle of its turn transmits a certain movement to the composition

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  • Elements of the plan form a suprematist composition charged with the rhythm and movement. Plan’s expression is another tribute to Melnikov

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