World’s Largest Jewish Museum To Be Built In Moscow
The Russian Jewish Museum by Graft Architects is meant to bring new life into one of Moscow’s landmark buildings, the Bakhmetevsky bus garage by Konstantin Melnikov.
The museum will be housed in the 154 x 54 meter space that is contained by the garage’s shell.
The renowned German architectural bureau Graft Labs will be in charge of renovation and expansion. The building, which spans 9,000 square meters, will be enlarged by adding underground floors covering 15,000 square meters, making it the largest Jewish museum in the world.
Originally meant to house a number of buses, the exterior of the structure will remain untouched, to make it visible that the building is a monument of Russian heritage. The interior will include an undulating landscape animating the space, offering a highly versatile stage for events of all kinds.
The architectural intervention will illustrate a literal translation between the past and the present – the historical on the outside with the present inside. History is present in a series of underground studios, informing the floor above which houses the activity of today’s Russian Jewish community. The formal contract of the interior surface enhances the architectural space of the original Melnikov building.
October last year, the committee for the Russian-Jewish Museum of Tolerance in Moscow approved a final architectural plan that would produce the world’s largest Jewish museum.
Baruch Gorin, the spokesman for Moscow’s Jewish communities, announced that the museum would be established in a historic building at the Jewish community center, which the community received from the Moscow municipality about five years ago.
The complex of buildings already contains several Jewish institutions, including a soup kitchen, the Shaarei Tzedek health services, a Chabad school, and two buildings – a yeshiva and a university – in the final stages of construction. The new museum is meant to be the complex’s crowning glory.
Gorin said the museum will commemorate Russian-Jewish history and include galleries of Jewish art and Judaica. Another section will commemorate the Holocaust. Plans include the construction of a large library, a center for Judaic studies and conference rooms. Gorin predicts that after the municipality provides technical permits, construction will finish in 2011.
The museum’s building was put up in 1927 by Konstantin Melnikov, a key Russian architect in the early 20th century. After serving for years as a bus depot, the building was renovated last year and now serves as a gallery for international modern art.
The Jewish community recently signed an agreement with the Russian Cultural Foundation to renovate and expand the building and turn it into an international Jewish museum. Taking part in funding are the Russian Cultural Foundation, the Moscow Jewish community and Jewish philanthropists headed by businessman Lev Leviev.
The German architectural firm Graft Labs will be in charge of renovation and expansion, and international design company Ralph Appelbaum Associates will head design.The building, which spans 9,000 square meters, will be enlarged by adding underground floors covering 15,000 square meters, making it the largest Jewish museum in the world.
For further information and more pictures visit the architects’ website.