Originally built in 1923 by legendary Russian architect Ivan Zholtovsky for what was then the Soviet Union's first agricultural and industries showcase, the Hexagon has been left empty for decades, even being ravaged by a series of fires. However the Japanese architectural firm SANAA plans on bringing new life to the structure. It will keep the modern classical design, the original columns, fountain and the passageways connecting each of the six buildings, but in addition, they will implement an energy efficient geothermic system and thick glass that is meant to resist Russia's ice cold winters.
In total, the Garage Museum will experience a 11.000 m² expansion, the hexagon will be home to three exhibition galleries, a library, a café and a bookstore. After years of being abandoned, the courtyard will also again be accessible to people.
In a statement, Dasha Zhukova, Garage's co-founder (the other one being her then husband Roman Abramovich) had this to say about the project: “The Hexagon, originally designed by Zholtovsky, will be revived by Sanaa's thoughtful and sensitive design, allowing Garage to ground itself in Russian history while expanding into the current global conversation."
The museum expects to continue its spectacular growth, in the span of just over 10 years, its number of visitors has increased from 10.000 to around 950.000 in the months preceding the global pandemic.
Image Courtesy: SANAA/GARAGEMUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART