Moscow, Russia / 2013

This proposal for the Moscow Center for Contemporary Art is based on a set of giant black jacks in strange orientations, loosely gathered together in a container. This strategy creates complex interstitial spaces and deferred interiority, producing a museum full of surprises rather than an endless enfilade.

Strange Mereologies

The jacks are hard objects that press against their soft container from the inside and outside, inflecting it locally. A liner on the interior sometimes tracks with the container, and sometimes deviates radically from it. One large jack is set between container and liner, pressing into each, and then removed to create a vast interstitial space that serves as the temporary gallery. The remaining jacks house various support functions such as a research area, library, offices and theaters. At the main entry, the container is sliced open, momentarily revealing where the inner liner delaminates to create habitable poché space for galleries and circulation.

Tattoos and Scale Indeterminacy

Tattoos add ambiguity to the visual relation between jacks and container. Contra computational meshes that flow over masses smoothly and adaptively, tattoos are literally objects on objects: discrete entities embedded into surfaces rather than emerging from them. The freeform figuration of the tattoos suggests a composite materiality where buildings are built in large lightweight chunks and traces of conventional construction systems are suppressed, creating a sense of indeterminate scale and origin.

Ground vs. Land

Landing is deferred as the building is pressed into an intermediary “ground object” which is set loosely on the land. This ground object is not extruded from the earth, like a plinth, but rather placed on it, like a saucer under a coffee cup. At its corners, it peels up to emphasize its separation. The advantages here are twofold: first, the ground is annexed as architecture, and second, the experience of entry is drawn out.

Location: Moscow, Russia
Floor Area: 46,500 SM
Program: Fine Art Museum
Client: Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation