37 Nieto Sobejano arquitectos

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NCCA National Centre for Contemporary Arts . Moscow

Nieto Sobejano arquitectos . NCCA

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 centre 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.

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