The Pushkin is the finest museum of European art in Moscow and one of the world’s great cultural institutions. Building on the experience of projects such as the Carré d’Art in Nîmes and the Great Court at the British Museum, in which cultural buildings were explored as part of a wider urban programme, this masterplan aims to establish a thriving cultural quarter focused on the Pushkin. Combining the best of old and new, the project is another step in the museum’s evolutionary growth. It encompasses the restoration of the museum itself, the acquisition of surrounding villas and the creation of new buildings to more than triple the museum’s exhibition and archive spaces and provide state-of-the-art facilities.

Located close to urban landmarks, including the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the scheme celebrates connections to its wider urban context. Streets in the new quarter will be pedestrianised and its boulevards, courtyards and gardens unified with hard and soft landscaping. New connections will be forged by a covered axial network, which will allow visitors to move freely whatever the weather. Punctuated by light wells, which draw in daylight and open up views, this underground route will enjoy a strong relationship with the environment above ground. There will also be discreet below-ground access for vehicles; and links to the nearby metro station will be improved.

The grand neoclassical museum building will have its formal entrance reinstated and its spectacular glazed roof restored. Two existing courtyards will be glazed, the west courtyard becoming a new focal point with access to subterranean exhibition spaces and other parts of the quarter. Among a range of new facilities are an administration building, a library and a 600-seat multi-functional concert hall. There will also be new shops, cafes and restaurants, and a boutique hotel. When it is completed, the new quarter will see the Pushkin’s visitor numbers increase five-fold to approximately 5 million a year, comparable with the British Museum or the Louvre in Paris.

Sketches + Drawings

Development

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 2007
  • Area: 100 000m²
  • Client: Foundation for the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
  • Collaborating Architect: Sergey Tkachenko Architectural Studio, Mosproekt 4, Mosproekt 5
  • Structural Engineer: Terrell - Ian Conroy
  • M+E Engineer: David Stillman Associates