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Finalists for new Moscow super museum announced

Finalists for new Moscow super museum announced
Inside Mel Space studio

16 December 2013

A young Russian architectural firm is among the final three shortlisted for the £73m design of a new museum and exhibition complex for Moscow’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts. Moscow-based MEL Space, which only launched in 2009, specialises in low-rise architectural projects and the renovation of industrial spaces, such as the Flacon Loft, a multifunctional event space in the capital. Since opening in 2009, it has won the Vanguard award at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and the Best Young Russian Architect prize in ARCH Moscow Next, an international festival.

The studio will be going head to head with Irish bureau Heneghan Peng and Madrid’s Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. Heneghan Peng’s portfolio include two bridges at the centre of London’s Olympic Park, a library at the University of Greenwich, the extension and refurbishment of the National Gallery of Ireland, and the development of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland, which has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize. Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos are a similarly well-established bureau with a list of projects that includes a Contemporary Art Centre in Cordoba, the Canary Islands Museum, and a sports centre and public library in Barcelona. The finalist will be announced later this month.

The competition for the new design of a super museum was launched in August, attracting more than 900 submissions from prestigious firms such as Zaha Hadid, OMA and Shigeru Ban Architects. The new museum is expected to become the main hub for contemporary art in Moscow with capacity for around 500,000 visitors a year. In addition to exhibitions, the museum will host international conferences, lectures, concerts and performances. The museum will be built in Khodynskoye Pole in north-west Moscow along with several hotel and office complexes, a new metro station and a shopping centre.