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Architect Rem Koolhaas builds Russia’s largest museum for contemporary art: Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow

The key facts:

Type of project: Museum / Arts and Culture Center
Location: Moscow, Russia (Gorky Park)
Architect: Rem Koolhaas / OMA Studio
Special feature: conversion of the historic restaurant Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) into Russia’s largest museum for contemporary art
Newness: opened June 2015
Dornbracht products: SELV



Iserlohn.
Moscow’s recently opened Garage Museum of Contemporary Art boasts the largest collection of contemporary art in Russia. Commissioned by arts patron Dascha Schukowa, the internationally acclaimed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his office OMA transformed the former Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) restaurant in Gorky Park into a spectacular, futuristic building – using Dornbracht’s SELV fitting in the semi-public bathrooms.

The Garage Centre of Contemporary Art was founded in 2008 in the Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, a former bus depot. In 2012, it was temporarily relocated to a pavilion in Gorky Park designed by Shigeru Ban before moving to its new home in 2015. While a new façade of cool, functional polycarbonate was built around the erstwhile restaurant, Koolhaas retained several elements of the historic building, restoring original Soviet-era tiles, brick, and wall mosaics. The most striking features of the new architecture are the two oversized panels that slide up like a garage door, serving simultaneously as the museum’s entrance and as a visual reference to its name and original location.

Dornbracht SELV – an homage to individual style

While Dornbracht’s Imo (“In My Opinion”) fitting was used in the temporary pavilion, the bathrooms of the new Garage Museum are equipped with SELV, a fitting that combines modern, precise lines with structured radii in a classic tapered shape. The name SELV is an invented word derived from “self.” In keeping with the “design yourself!” or “express yourself!” spirit, it puts not the fitting itself at center stage, but rather the individual design idea of the user, architect, or interior designer. It underscores the openness of the fitting to different style words – and thereby makes it a perfect choice for the bathrooms of the Garage Museum, which constitutes a built statement in favor of individuality and artistic freedom against the cultural and political background of Russia.
Garage Moskau 01 The historic restaurant Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) in Moscow’s Gorky Park was transformed by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA architecture office into the new, futuristic Garage Museum – Russia’s largest collection of contemporary art. Credit: Yuri Palmin © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, SELV, Dornbracht
Garage Moskau 02 The historic restaurant Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) in Moscow’s Gorky Park was transformed by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA architecture office into the new, futuristic Garage Museum – Russia’s largest collection of contemporary art. Credit: Yuri Palmin © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, SELV, Dornbracht
Garage Moskau 03 The modern bathrooms at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art are equipped with Dornbracht’s SELV fitting. Credit: Vasily Bulanov
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, SELV, Dornbracht
Garage Moskau 04 The modern bathrooms at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art are equipped with Dornbracht’s SELV fitting. Credit: Vasily Bulanov