Garage Museum of Contemporary Art: an innovative façade
Moscow || Russia
OMA’s design for the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow overhauled a building that housed the famed Vremena Goda restaurant in Gorky Park in the 1960s. The dilapidated pre-cast concrete structure was brought back to life by OMA with great respect for the key original Soviet features, but reorganizing the layout to create spaces for exhibitions, young children, shops, offices and even conference rooms. Today, the complex houses the Garage association, dedicated to promoting contemporary art. The interior/exterior dynamics are enhanced by a translucent polycarbonate façade created using modular systems from dott.gallina, a leading Italian company for polycarbonate extruded panels for translucent roofing and building envelopes. The façade has two walls made entirely of honeycomb polycarbonate, separated by an 800 mm hollow space. The DB connect system (78 mm) was used for the external surface, with infra-red (IR) protection from coextruded absorbers on the inner surface. This choice both optimizes the thermal insulation, regardless of the season, and provides the visual continuity the designers saw as essential to the building’s identity. The inner wall was made with 12 mm panels to allow maximum light transmission into the interior. The dual wall system was used for the two large portals (10x10 m) that slide vertically. These façade choices maximize the natural light, while the hollow space helps air circulation to cut the need for air conditioning and heating, with the consequent energy savings throughout the year. In summer, the external IR treated wall and the thermal modulation of the hollow space prevent the interior overheating, while in winter the air circulation ensures the heat build-up in the hollow space is recycled, once again because of the protective IR filter. The continuous polycarbonate surface of the façade also plays a key role in reducing the visual impact of the building on the surrounds. The plants and weather are reflected by the walls, creating a suggestive iridescent effect as the sun makes its way across the sky in the different seasons.
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