Exhibition halls, library, lecture hall and coworking space in the Bakhmetyevsky garage
The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center occupies a building designed by Konstantin Melnikov and is an architectural monument, so the new functional volume being established in the space of the Bakhmetyevsky garage should stand separate from its walls. The new structures are set back from the internal facade across the entire length of the perimeter, coalescing into a single, independent composition of several parts. The complex geometry alludes to the graphic experiments of Lissitzky and Malevich with its spaces defined by a variety of planes — parallel, perpendicular, inclined, or rotating. It will span two levels and house exhibitions, offices, a coworking space, a lecture hall and Schneerson's library.
The first level of the new construction comprises a climate-controlled lecture hall and exhibition space, while the second level contains offices, a coworking space and a dining hall whose exits open onto multi-level terraced zones, paved with warmly colored tiles. The entire new structure interacts with the interior of the garage in a complex manner, creating three new foyers that connect it to other parts of the museum and the street, and additionally serve as a place for temporary exhibitions.
The choice of details and materials for the new structure make it not just a functional addition to the museum's interior space, but a fully fledged architectural gesture. The colors used — white, gray and red — serve as a direct reference to the pure avant-garde palette. Like an external building, the internal construct has windows and doors — huge doors of stainless steel and glass which serve as portals to a sculptural space defined by planes. The small cement tiles paving the second level refer to a characteristic technique of Soviet industrial architecture, but due to their warm shade, harmoniously blend in with the brickwork of the Bakhmetyevsky garage, and give the open spaces a resemblance to Mediterranean terraces. Finally, the most distinctive detail of the Melnikov building — the spiral staircase — is repeatedly integrated into the structure in the form of installation.
The Schneerson Library is a semi-transparent house with a pitched roof. Its interior space is framed by shelves of books, whose silhouettes can be recognised from the outside, thus elevating the books from mere content to a building material of the library itself.