© 2017 kleinewelt architekten
Solyanka Gallery Renovation Concept
Moscow, Solyanka st., 1/2, b. 2
The purpose of the project was to create a new flexible space for the contemporary museum. We decided to transform the existing building of the museum, the yards, as well as the saltern/ catacomb area which surface amounts to approximately 14,000 m2. We proposed to turn the salterns into an underground exhibition space, the first Moscow kunsthalle that can accommodate large travelling exhibitions. This is a unique museum project that combines history and modern approach to museums, static historical exhibition and exhibitions about future.
Historical Background
XVI century. Salt barns.
Salt cellars (or, to be historically precise, salt barns) were built in XVI century by Nikitnikov, one of the main Moscow salters. The premises were quite spacious: two carts could easily pass each other in basement corridors.
XVII century. The Tsar's salt and fish yard.
The Tsar's salt and fish yard was built in XVI–XVII centuries. It was used for storage and sale of salt, potash, and salted fish.
The yard was located on the corner of modern Solyanka and Zabelina street, and was adjacent to Ivanovsky Monastery. It was one of the biggest stone buildings of Moscow in XVI-XVII centuries. There was an inner court in the building, where barns, or warehouses, and small shops could be found. The main entrance gates were accompanied by a tower with a guard post, and there were also smaller gates nearby. There was a church stall of Ivanovsky Monastery between the gates.
The late XIX century. Dilapidation.
Passing into possession of the merchant class. Shopping streets were renovated and widened for several times, but eventually they dilapidated as they had not been repaired properly. The merchants bought out the whole salt yard that was torn apart at that time because all the premises were owned by different people, and local authorities could not collect money for the general repairs from each of them. Moscow merchant company bought out the modern building – an out-of-shape quadrangle with an appendix – from different owners, and announced a competition for the best project.
The early XX century.
A tenement building complex was constructed by merchants' order. Due to its complicated shape, the area was densely built up, so the building was extended both upward and inward. Neoclassic houses were built. The cellars were also involved in the reconstruction process: they were trimmed with bricks, in the same style, and looked like typical buildings of late XIX – early XX centuries (distinctive stairs, skylights, iron slabs, etc.).
Concept
THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT WAS TO CREATE A NEW FLEXIBLE SPACE FOR THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM.
Gallery + salterns + yard system
Combining spaces: the gallery, salt warehouses, the system of pedestrian yards
Solyanka VPA Video Performance Animation is one of the most popular young cultural institutions of Moscow. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014.
It specializes in video art, animation, new media, and unites "everything moving in art".

Since 1989 the Gallery has exhibited such legendary artists as Yuriy Norshteyn, Mikhail Aldashin, Rustam Khamdamov, Sergei Parajanov, Andrei Tarkovsky.

Also, since 2009 the world's best artists' projects have been demonstrated in the gallery, including the works of Marina Abramovich (Serbia), Sigalit Landau (Israel), Francis Alÿs (Belgium), Jeremy Deller (UK), Vik Muniz (Brazil).

Solyanka VPA is one of the key Moscow cultural spots. The attendance is 50 thousand people per year.

Today a contemporary museum is not only about exhibitions; it is also about comfortable environment for true recreation of visitors.

A contemporary museum includes the following:
· Wi-Fi
· Book / souvenir shop – media center
· Cinema and lecture hall
· Café
Purpose: creation of a convenient modern museum
Surface: 1,014 m2
· Museum shop
· Ticket office
· Reception
· Cloakroom
· Media center
· Exhibition halls
· Cinema hall
· Museum café with a terrace
· Administrative rooms
· Studios
· Warehouses
Creation of an art hub in Kitay-gorod historical district: labyrinths of yards, pedestrian street, public art.

Khitrovka is a magical place, one of the most striking ones in Moscow. There are secret picturesque nooks, art and music studios, and a complicated labyrinth of Solyanka yards here; it is a true treasure hided from oblivious visitors, and only local residents are aware of it.

One of the most historically important city districts has been significantly renovated thanks to "My Street" program. But it won't be a perfect recreation spot until there are city attractions in it that can encourage a modern culture consumer to visit this area deliberately.

A series of public art objects located on the pedestrian area of Zabelina street and in the yards adjacent to Solyanka VPA will provide an additional sequence of city sites and bring more life to the district without interfering with its historical identity, and help to enter a new stage of urban landscaping.

One of the main and obvious advantages of this project is little expenses on the landscaping.
Pedestrian streets system.
Surface: 4,900 m2
· Open exhibition platform
· Summer cafes
· Lecture hall
Pedestrian streets system. Analogs and existing situation
Salterns/catacombs: a unique project of an underground exhibition space in the center of Moscow

Solyanka salterns/catacombs area is an unexplored chapter of Moscow history, and it's time to show it to the public.

14 thousand square meters can be turned into an underground exhibition space, the first Moscow kunsthalle that can accommodate large travelling exhibitions.

This is a unique museum project that combines history and modern approach to museums, static historical exhibition and exhibitions about future.
Salterns/catacombs.Surface: 14,700 m2· Exhibition halls
· Conference halls
· Museum depository
· Studios
· Warehouses
Salt warehouses / catacombs. Analogues and current location