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Culture Ministry launches international competition for new Moscow museum

Culture Ministry launches international competition for new Moscow museum
The National Centre for Contemporary Arts

30 July 2013

The Russian Ministry of Culture has launched an international competition for the design of a new building for Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), which has a construction budget of $120m.

Speaking at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, culture minister Vladimir Medinsky said: “They need not only to design the building, but also to create an effective institution that links the Moscow and regional centres of the NCCA, attracts exciting young artists and acts as a centre of creativity on the scale which the NCCA is meant to be on in Russia today.”

Details of the competition, which will open on 20 August, can be found here. Early career professionals and young architecture studios are expected to submit a design concept, while larger international practices should enter portfolios with details of similar projects they have carried out. Ten candidates, five from the first category and five from the second, will be selected for the second stage in October. The winner will be announced in early December.

Plans to build a new home for the NCCA, which is currently located in a small former factory in central Moscow, have been under discussion since 2009. A proposal to develop the site of a former market in central Moscow was given the go ahead but then cancelled last October due to high costs. In December, the Ministry of Culture announced that the new museum would be located in Khodynka Field, a former airfield in northeast Moscow.

NCCA director Mikhail Mindlin also spoke of the need for the centre to diversify its permanent exhibitions. He said: “Today it is common practice to borrow top works from private collections in storage for inclusion in a museum’s permanent exhibition for an extended period of time. A good museum is one that regularly changes its permanent exhibitions and acts as a prestigious place for collectors to store works.”

Founded in 1992, the NCCA aims to support the development of contemporary art, design and architect in Russia and beyond its borders. It has regional branches in St Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Kaliningrad. It also runs the Innovation Prize, the official state award for contemporary visual arts in Russia.