Moscow – When the headquarters of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art were relocated from the Bahmetyevsky Bus Garage to a late 19th-century building in Gorky Park, the architects at Form Bureau discovered that the ‘seemingly anonymous’ building had already undergone a series of diverse reinventions. Serving stints as a shipyard, bathhouse, WWII trophy museum, Soviet Era pavilion for the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, cinema, and sanitary ceramics store, the building became an architectural patchwork segmented between multiple small businesses in the 1990s.
The local architectural studio opted to peel away the most recent reconstructions of this architectural palimpsest to reveal the core structure, opening up the space. The original porthole windows have been restored, the floor plan of the cinema adapted to the needs of the various Garage Museum departments, and the brickwork and arches of the shipyard exposed. Even the scars of history are celebrated, traces of repairs left visible in the walls as a collage of the building’s past roles.