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  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s new building by Rem Koolhaas. Photo courtesy of Sergey Leontiev/Afisha magazine.

  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s new building by Rem Koolhaas. Photo courtesy of Sergey Leontiev/Afisha magazine.

  • Installation by Yayoi Kusama at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow. Photo courtesy of Sergey Leontiev/Afisha magazine.

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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s new building by Rem Koolhaas

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the personal project of Russian socialite and art patron Dasha Zhukova that has been described by many as Moscow’s equivalent of Tate Modern, opens today the doors of its new building in Gorky Park. The new venture is designed by world famous architect Rem Koolhaas and his OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) studio, and is housed at the renovated Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant, a Soviet-era prefabricated concrete pavilion that was built in the 60’s and has remained derelict for the last two decades. OMA studio respected the original concrete structure of the building, maintaining its tiles, bricks and large-scale mosaics that have great historical relevance, while adding a series of inventive architectural devices, among them a new façade, made of translucent double layer polycarbonate, which will be elevated 2.25 meters from the ground.

The 5,400m2 two-floor building is conceived as a multi-functional space for exhibitions and public events, and will include five exhibition galleries, a double-height atrium dedicated to special commissions, an auditorium, various education spaces, among them a creative zone for children, a screening room, a mediatheque, as well as a bookshop and a café decorated with iconic Soviet-era furniture. “I am certain that our collaboration will help us to create a new vision for contemporary art in Russia. Together with our Garage team, we will breathe life back into a site which was derelict and abandoned for over two decades,” explains Dasha Zhukova, founder of Garage Museum and its sister Garage magazine.

In order to celebrate the building’s completion, Garage has planned a variety of exhibitions and events, among them a large-scale installation by Russian artist Erik Bulatov, a site-specific installation by German artist Katharina Grosse for Garage pavilion, and a special project by New-York based artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, titled “Tomorrow is the Question?”, which pays homage to Czechoslovakian conceptualist Július Koller (1939–2007). What’s more, Yayoi Kusama has created a monumental public intervention, titled “Ascension of Polka”, which will guide visitors through Gorky Park, while the Garage Archive Collection has organized a series of projects, titled “The Family Tree of Russian Art”, with roundtable discussions between specialists and an interactive installation that trace the creative networks in Russian art from the 1950s to 2010.