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Art district Moscow

Bart Aptroot participated in a workshop as part of the uDUTCHnaya festival in Moscow. On December 6th 2009 the results of the internation workshop were presented at the Center of Contemporary Architecture (C:CA) in Moscow, at -5 degrees Celsius indoor (the institute’s buidling was being refurbished).

In the workshop a group of Russian architects worked together with Dutch architects (Bart Aptroot – One Architecture, Wout Smits, Remair von Meding – KAW, Ton Schaap – DRO Amsterdam) on a strategy for using a concentration of art istitutes near the Kursk station as a catalyst for an urban renewal process.

Behind the Kursk station in Moscow, an industrial district is gradually being abandoned by the industry and inhabited by the emerging creative scene. Although not unique to Moscow, this area has a potential added value because three creative breeding grounds are situated on walking distance to each other.

Hidden behind the manometer factory lies the realm of Art Play.  It’s spatial setup accidentally resembles that of a medieval town. The enormous factory buildings are being transformed into studios for architects and other designers. Some of the halls remain available for events and exhibitions.

The Vinzavod (wine factory) compex offers studios as well as various large exhibition spaces. The ones underground have a unique spatial quality. Of the three complexes this one offers the greatest potential to be truly embraced by the public.

The third complex is Arma. It’s many feature is the four big round gasometer buildings, currently in different stages of transformation. The organization is less transparant and the character of the site can, so far, be hardly called public. Accessing the site requires a security check that wouldn’t misstand an international airport.

The proposal created in the workshop recognized the spatial potential of the former industrial sites and added new programmatic elements in the form of modest towers and proposed improved connections between the three breeding grounds and with surrouding neighbourhoods.

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