From ZIL to Hermitage

A presentation of a building of the State Hermitage Museum in the former ZIL factory in Moscow took place today, on December 3, at the “Creative industry and urban science” section of the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. Participants discussed this absolutely new urban solution – the project of the “Hermitage-Moscow” Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the “ZILART” large construction project.



According to Sergey Kuznetsov, the chief architect of Moscow, a new creative non-typical for Moscow will be erected in the city. The project overshadows the legendary Moscow-City in terms of scale.


“We thought of creating a branch of the museum. We studied world examples of such redevelopments and found out, that each of them, apart from standard construction (offices, trade) it also included the cultural element for the territory to fit into the life of the city. However, the issue of reconstructing industrial areas is still a difficult one”, - said Ivan Romanov, executive director of “LSR Group” company. – We formed a general concept: we tried to preserve the history of this place, left some of the original buildings, and gathered a team of start architects. The task before us is to create a new environment, a place, which is yet non-existent in Moscow”.


According to Romanov, the 21st century is the century, when the development of the character, personal creative and intellectual potential, has gained extreme importance. Therefore the “ZILART” project is a combination of accommodation with cultural elements. This is the format of “a city in the city”, where life, nature, knowledge, leisure are combined.


“Our ideas coincided with plans of the Hermitage museum to open a branch in Moscow, - continued Romanov. – But there wasn’t enough space at famous locations. That is how the “Hermitage-Moscow” project originated. Moscow authorities support our plan”.


According to Mikhail Piotrovsky, the general director of the State Hermitage museum, several centers of contemporary arts will be created in Moscow: GES-2, Pushkin museum and “Hermitage-Moscow”. When asked about the primary element in the project – the Hermitage or public space – Piotrovsky said:



“Hermitage is the bait. And “Hermitage-City” is the space, where we can exhibit practically anything. The space, organized for creating contemporary art”.


“This is a wonderful architectural experience for me. Our work is based on comprehensive knowledge and enthusiasm. “LSR” – is a group of people, who appeared to be a great visionary client. Rarely do we have clients, who believe in culture and the future”, - said architect of the project Khani Rashid. – We created the concept of a city in a museum and the museum as a space. We started with the notion of time, because museum is a temporal thing. How much time can one spend here? The building will have an educational centre, research facilities, a cinema, galleries, where visitors will have a chance to learn about the noble contemporary art. The building itself will be light and transparent, able to transform, depending on lighting and weather. Sophisticated atmosphere, as though you are another world, but remain in touch with the city. This will be to the liking of the people of Moscow, because people aren’t interested just in entertainment, they would also like to get touch history. A true museum of the XXI century”.