Immerse yourself in the era of the Soviet avant-garde and modernism and experience futuristic mosaic facades, brutalist staircases, and daylight-flooded glass foyers during a walking tour with Garage. Participants will be introduced to the architectural heritage of the Soviet avant-garde and modernism, which is closely connected to the Museum’s history.
Garage was initially located in the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage in Moscow (from where it took its name), which was designed by the constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov. In 2012, the Museum moved to Gorky Park, into a temporary pavilion created by award-winning architect Shigeru Ban. A year later, Garage Education Center appeared next to the pavilion. On June 12, 2015, Garage opened up its first permanent home to visitors. Rem Koolhaas and OMA converted the former Seasons of the Year restaurant (1968) into a contemporary museum space.
Museum guides have prepared three routes—around North Chertanovo, south-west Moscow, and central Moscow—in order to show selected buildings representing the architectural heritage of the Soviet avant-garde and modernism.
The “main” route (Moscow’s Central Administrative District)
The “Main” route will showcase a number of ambitious architectural projects that extended beyond the sphere of ideological control, absorbing the courage of the architects of the 1960s and the desire to experiment with new forms.
The route includes the story of the construction of the US Embassy, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (architects Mikhail Posokhin and Ashot Mdoyants), and the Novy Arbat ensemble, which was on the verge of demolition in the 2000s. On the tour we will also touch on the history of the House of the Government of the Russian Federation, concluding with a look at two classic Soviet modernist buildings, the Oktyabr Cinema and the Moscow House of Books.
The model residential district of North Chertanovo is a vivid example of attempts to create comfortable homes and infrastructure.
The scale of the external architecture corresponds to the scale of the interior development. This is the first case in Russian domestic practice featuring free apartment planning, which was made possible thanks to the wide distance between load-bearing walls. A separate block contained two-story apartments.
During the walking tour in south-west Moscow, participants will learn about the evolution of reinforced concrete construction, the history of the area, and the transformation of architectural styles, while also seeing examples of large and small forms of modernist architecture.
This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the student world of universities and dormitories, libraries and gyms, campuses and fountains. Over the past few decades, the largest Moscow universities—including medical schools, geological, chemical, and humanities universities—have successfully coexisted in this area.
The development of Moscow’s south-west coincided with the peak of the popularity of modernist architecture. In the second half of the 1970s, the village of Troparevo-Nikulino began transforming into a progressive and green neighborhood thanks to the construction of educational and sports infrastructure ahead of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Along with the erection of standard residential blocks, an unofficial battle took place between architects for the construction of the largest and most memorable university building and adjacent territory.
The largest structure in this area is the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University on Ostrovityanova Street. This glass colossus occupies an entire city block. The university’s main building conceals as many as four well courtyards, while the premises’ extremely complex internal planning, underground passages between the buildings, and the somewhat frightening mosaic on the library gave rise to numerous myths and horror stories among medical students.