Museums Russian Federation

Pushkin hires Moscow architect for expansion

Yuri Grigoryan’s design preserves historic buildings, unlike Norman Foster’s stalled proposal

The winning design by Yuri Grigoryan's firm Project Meganom

The Russian architect Yuri Grigoryan, and his firm Project Meganom, have been chosen for the long-delayed 22bn ruble ($640m) expansion of the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow. The new design replaces a controversial proposal by the British architect Norman Foster that required the destruction of historic buildings, upsetting preservationists. Foster pulled out of the project last year.

Heritage groups campaigned to save the pre-revolutionary buildings and a historic 1930s gas station near the Pushkin’s main building. Grigoryan’s design provides new modern buildings and preserves the gas station inside a glass structure.

The Pushkin’s director Marina Loshak told reporters during the announcement on 25 June that the museum is desperate for more space. Currently, she said, it lacks both room to display most of its collection and to provide enough toilets for visitors.

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