Renzo Piano renovating Moscow power station into art gallery

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Visitors will be presented with a welcome area that features a sculptural garden and amenities including a library, bookshop, cafe, and auditorium(Credit: V-A-C Foundation)

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Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the eponymous firm of the Italian architect behind London's Shard building, is turning a large Moscow power station into an art space. Commissioned by the V-A-C Foundation, which promotes Russian contemporary art, the project is due to be completed by early 2019.

Located in the Red October district near the Moskva river on an island in Russia's capital, the GES2 power station dates back to the early 1900s and once provided electricity to the city. The project will involve restoring some design elements of the dilapidated power station and creating three new primary areas.

Visitors will be presented with a welcome area that features a sculptural garden and amenities including a library, bookshop, cafe, and auditorium. The main exhibition space will host exhibitions of various size. The educational sector, meanwhile, will contain V-A-C’s Curatorial Summer School, and courses and workshops on contemporary art.

Further design details are lacking at this early stage, but we do know that at least some sustainable technology is slated for the project, including solar power and geothermal energy. In a nice touch, the power plant's original chimneys will also be maintained and used to promote natural ventilation within the gallery.

Due for completion by early 2019, DesignBoom reports that the project will be led by Antonio Belvedere, partner-director at Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

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