The Strelka Institute for media, architecture and design announced on Dec. 12 the three finalists for the international competition to design the National Center for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) at the Khodynskoe Pole in Moscow.
Out of 10 teams in the second round of the competition, the jury selected 3 finalists:
The NCCA Board of Trustees — headed by the Russian Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Moscow — will decide on a winner before the end of 2013.
Heneghan Peng Architects - project description:
"This proposal positions the NCCA building as a vertical element at the centre of Khodynskoe Pole rising above Aviapark. The verticality concentrates the activities on the ground to create an intensity at a single point in this vast space. Given the scale and relative sparsenesss of activities in the area, the aim is to concentrate the flow of people to generate an excitement and energy which can then expand into other areas as the park develops."
"In this proposal, the exhibition spaces are designed as a series of stacked galleries allowing people to either visit a particular gallery of interest or browse through the entire collection. The advantage of the vertical organisation is that galleries are quickly accessible, allowing one to go straight to a single floor without moving horizontally through layers of gallery."
"The landscape proposal responds to the scale of the park, and to its history as an airfield. The Runways are retained as elements of intensity and activity while the remaining areas are conceived of as a naturalistic landscape. In the middle of all this development, on the edge of this large city, an intense natural environment is proposed to afford a space apart from the everyday world of apartments and cities. The Runways are proposed as the exception to this intense nature, becoming home to a new range of activities: ice rinks, formal flower gardens, and skateboard areas."
"The organisational strategy is driven by the following considerations:
— Locating the exhibition spaces as a destination at the top of the Building.
— Utilising the NCCA building to make a focal point of activities on the ground floor.
— Creating an awareness of all of the Museum’s activities for the visitor.
As with any travel plan, the main issue is how easily and quickly one can navigate the building; an escalator leads from the foyer to the exhibition, travelling through the storage workshop and admin areas. The escalator cuts through the ‘working museum’ as if through archaeological layers, viewing the ‘back story’ of the exhibition."
"There are a multitude of possible routes to facilitate a multitude of visitors, from browsers to specialists. A multi-level Foyer allows the design to negotiate the various site and service challenges while responding to the possibilities offered by the park. The NCCA is situated at a nexus, a vertical core linking Park, Aviapark and Museum.
Exhibition spaces are designed as flexible space, as trays of varying sizes and heights which can accommodate a variety of exhibitions. The Architect provides the infrastructure, the curators and artists make the Museum."
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos - project description:
"The new NCCA evokes and suggests many possibilities within a single space: Memories of the unbuilt visionary architecture of the Russian avant-garde, powerful industrial structures, and the contemporary art “factory” typology are all notions that define and shape the new proposal. Contrasting with the homogeneity that the global civilisation seems to impose, the NCCA aims to embrace the character of the Russian culture, bringing life and movement into a new and upcoming urban area of Moscow."
"Following the simplicity of the geometric laws through which artists, engineers, and architects from the past were capable of generating complexity out of an elementary combinatorial process, we begin with a geometric pattern that takes an identical cylindrical form. The permutations of this form in different volumes create series of spaces that can be connected in different ways. The heart of the exhibitions can move from one space to another, though always linked to an elevated public foyer at which all the different functions of the building meet. A non-hierarchical sequence of exhibition rooms is configured on different levels and heights within these large cultural silos.
Whilst the exhibition program is divided vertically, the building sees a radical horizontal cut — a mid-air connection — conceived as a large interior public street. This longitudinal spine will be a gathering place for artists, visitors, experts, researchers, and onlookers; it represents the actual core of the NCCA."
"The exhibition halls differ in heights, though there is no strict differentiation between them. Four silos are dedicated to the permanent collections and the other three are allocated to temporary exhibitions. However, the flexible nature of these rooms allows for various different spatial configurations. The artist’s workshops and residences are located on the upper floors of the last silo, which also incorporates the parking.
"The largest volume, situated by the major public entrance, houses the main auditorium. Conceived as a “Black Box”, this versatile platform offers a dramatic setting for theatrical performances, conferences, films, and unique audiovisual exhibitions. The striking façade panels facing the park enable media installations that have been specifically conceived for this purpose and context."
"The NCCA will be a center for artistic creation, a place for interaction, a lively public space that will encourage the expression and exchange of ideas. The visiting experience will be a unique one, regardless of whether its purpose is to see an installation, access exhibitions, visit the Art Café, spend time in the media library, wait for a performance to begin in the Black Box, or simply to look out onto Khodynskoe Park and the city of Moscow."
MEL - project description:
The specifics of the new NCCA building’s location, between Khodynskoe Pole’s future park and the shopping centre now under construction, demand the creation of a typologically flexible exhibition and public space, an urban site of a new quality, rich in cultural life and urban activity, but still retaining a human scale and natural landscape feel.
"The basic functional spaces of the Centre are placed on a single stylobate — ‘the hill’. A landscaped park is laid out on its roof, with pavilions housing the exhibition halls for the permanent collections and temporary displays, the educational and media centre, café club and artists’ residences.
"The public space on the roof and in front of the NCCA building will combine various scenarios and form an array of spaces of differing character — including social, transit, natural, indoor, open air, viewpoints, static and dynamic areas. The roof top paving employs several textures, changing where different zones meet, thus emphasising the unique character of each zone."
"Various areas are to be set up here for installations, outdoor workshops, film showings and lectures. The vegetation thickens toward the edges and peters out toward the centre, shaping the pedestrian routes. It will also be possible to enter many pavilions from the park, making it an integrated part of the complex as a whole.
The ground floor forms a single communicational space, linking up with the exhibition halls and the pavilions on the roof. This structure allows for a highly flexible exploitation of space, utilising differing scenarios for the movement of visitors among the exhibits."
"Additionally, entrance into the park may be arranged from any of the pavilions, enabling their use in independent large-scale exhibition projects.
The pavilions have an austere appearance, resembling natural geological features. Clad in natural stone tiles and polished concrete, their multi-layered and complex structure will evoke cliff formations. The park space provides an important environment for the mulling over of recent cultural experiences, a transitional space between the territory of art and the city environment."
Stay tuned for the winning announcement.
Images courtesy of the NCCA competition.