Rhizosphere. The New Ground

Pushkin museum extension, 2014

The Rhizosphere unites all the areas of the Museum into a coherent urban space. It is a landscape platform, a film fortifying the roots of structures; a fertile layer of urban culture and art. The Museum sphere collects the scattered plots and buildings and, complying with all the requirements of the legislation on the protection of monuments, absorbs all other permitted spheres: landscaping, public art exhibition, temporary items—or those deemed to be such and escaping the law by not actually falling into the category of protected objects. 

The Rhizosphere is not merely a design or an artifact. It is the main protocol that can change over time; a new law, which, once encoded in the Museum, should develop, taking into account the changing demands of the time and culture; of the climate and the city. Combining and merging together the multiple layers of landscape, old and new, actually existing and imaginary, the new sphere aims to create an urban environment of a new quality on the territory of the Museum Town. 

The main objective of the project is the restoration and preservation of the Main Building. The rear facade opens up to the city; a new pedestrian square is created around it, and entrance for groups is organized through the big archway. Under the monument, an underground level is created: the “reservoir,” a single hypostyle hall, the main underground space of the entire complex. 

One of the two newly covered courtyards holds a large circular staircase for groups to descend to the underground level. This versatile hall can be used as a covered city square or an exhibition space: the two light wells of the covered courtyards permit light through to the depth of eight meters under the ground. 

The storage, a new Museum building, is divided into two parts: the technical building (with space for storage and restoration) and exhibition halls. The facades of the storage are anonymous and monotonous. They become part of the Rhizosphere, sprouting from it. The new building is connected to the Main Building by an underground gallery with open storage. 

Volkhonka Street becomes part of the Rhizosphere landscape and the front facade of the Museum Town, facing the river. 



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LOCATION Volkhonka street, Moscow, Russia
CLIENT GMII Pushkin
YEAR 2014 - ongoing
STATUS under construction
PROGRAM museum, landscape, public space
TEAM
COMPETITION
Y. Grigoryan
E. Uglovskaya
D. Apalkova, M. Fedorova, Y. Kuznecov
ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION OVE ARUP
TRANSPORT MIC mobilty in chain
PROJECT
Y. Grigoryan, E. Uglovskaya
A. Frolova, D. Kamysheva, S. Kirichenko, I. Skachkov, A. Budaeva, Y. Kuznecov, N. Barabanov, A. Hrekina, J. Gunina, D. Apalkova
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