Renzo Piano’s House of Culture opens in Moscow

GES-2, commissioned by VAC Foundation and developed inside a disused power plant, aims to reinvent the traditional Russian houses of culture, enriching the urban fabric of Red October, the youngest district of Moscow .

In the center of Moscow opens the "House of culture GES-2", the cultural center designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop for the V-A-C Foundation – founded by the Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson (CEO of Novatek) and directed by Teresa Iarocci Mavica. The project, which uses renewable sources, stems from the redevelopment of a land of about 2 hectares, the area that surrounds and includes the historic power plant of the city, built in 1907 on the Bolotnaya Embankment, in the district that has now become the liveliest and experimental neighborhood of the city: Red October, developped around the old chocolate factory.

Image courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Photography of Michel Denancé.

GES-2 takes up the traditional Russian "houses of culture", recreational centers born in the late Nineteenth century and still very popular today. These cultural spaces want to encourage citizens to get in touch with art in all its forms and to take active part in the country's cultural life. Similarly, GES-2 intends to give space and voice to artists belonging to the most disparate disciplines: from cinema to music, through theater and dance, up to design and visual arts.

Image courtesy of Renzo Piano.

Renzo Piano, together with his collaborators, has created a space accessible to all, where it is possible to meet and enjoy culture together, thanks to an auditorium (which becomes a cinema, a theater, a concert and a conference hall), to the exhibition galleries, to the library, to the archive, to the didactic area and to those space dedicated to artistic residences – lodgings and ateliers for collective work. The project aims to recall a modern glass cathedral and its rooms are flooded with light, which also stands out thanks to the predominant white of the interiors. Furthermore, a birch forest has been created on an artificial hill, with over 600 trees and 80,000 bushes.

Last but not least, the entry to GES-2 will always be free, as the most of the events it will host.

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