The Garage Screen summer movie theater has opened, which came to be this year as a result of an architectural competition organized by Garage Museum and Strelka KB. This event was captured through the lens of world-famous architectural photographer Iwan Baan.
An all-Russian competition to develop the movie theater’s architectural concept was conducted in 2018 and became a platform for out-of-the-ordinary, ambitious young architects in the country. More than 130 teams from 24 cities around Russia participated.
The winner was chosen by a jury made up of Garage co-founder Daria Zhukova, Garage director Anton Belov, director of the Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture, and Design and Strelka KB partner Varvara Melnikova, Strelka Architects CEO Daria Paramonova, co-founder of the GRACE design bureau and designer of the first Garage Screen pavilion Ekaterina Golovatyuk, and BuroMoscow co-founder and partner Olga Aleksakova.
The result of Garage Museum and Strelka KB’s partnership is one of the biggest summer attractions in Moscow this year. The competition winner, the SYNDICATE architecture bureau, presented a weightless, practically floating construction. The main focus of the concept was user experience for both audiences and visitors to the square. Thanks to a reflective material, the pavilion blends in with the surrounding space during the day, serving as a self-sufficient central object on the Square of Arts. In the evening, the glowing pyramid creates a celebratory atmosphere on the square. The amphitheater on the Square of Arts became a continuation of the theater’s auditorium.
The new Garage Screen is a unique movie theater that seems to lack walls. At the same time, the velvet curtain around the perimeter of the auditorium creates an illusion that audiences are not on a square in the city center, but in an intimate space instead. Thanks to this decision, the interaction between audiences and the pavilion turns into a performance: on the one hand, they are watching a film, but on the other, Gorky Park visitors turn into an audience for the pavilion’s timely architecture.
During the development stage of the design process, almost all of the solutions proposed in the concept were preserved. The pavilion features complicated moving parts, such as a lift for the curtain featuring non-standard details. The theater complies with all contemporary demands for holding film screenings and other events, including those related to accessibility for guests with limited mobility.
Strelka KB continues to discover promising names in the new wave of Russian architecture. Strelka KB’s competitions help form a new culture within the professional community and the increase of qualifications in the country, while the architecture bureaus get the opportunity to realize large-scale projects.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a place where people, art, and ideas can create history. Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich, Garage is the first philanthropic institution in Russia to create a comprehensive public mandate for contemporary art. Providing opportunities for dialogue, as well as the production of new work and ideas, the Museum’s extensive program of exhibitions, events, education, research, and publishing reflects current developments in Russian and international culture. Central to these activities is the Museum’s collection, which is the only public archive in the country related to the development of Russian contemporary art from the 1950s through to the present.
Strelka KB is a consulting company that has managed thirty-five Russian and international competitions, in which 2,500 professionals from fifty countries in the fields of architecture, urban planning, and landscape design have participated. Most of the projects have been implemented or are underway. One competition led to the creation of Zaryadye Park, which was included in Time magazine’s list of the world’s greatest places. By participating in competitions, up-and-coming professionals have the opportunity to implement large-scale projects: In 2015, Plan_B, an architectural studio from Yaroslavl, co-authored the reconstruction design of Tverskaya Street, and the best idea for the Nike Box MSK pavilion that opened in Gorky Park in 2018 was proposed by KOSMOS architecture studio (Moscow — New York — Switzerland).
SYNDICATE is a Moscow architectural bureau founded by a team of young architects. The accumulated experience of the founders in the largest architecture companies in Russia and abroad helped them define the following principles for designing their projects: simplicity, accessibility of materials, and affordability of use.