Rem Koolhaas to Design New Hermitage Museum Building in St. Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has announced that Rem Koolhaas is designing a freestanding addition to the institution.

“We are now planning a third building,” Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky said Wednesday in a Ministry of Culture meeting in Moscow. “I hope to discuss it with the Department of Urban Planning next week and will present the project to the board of the Ministry of Culture in October.”

The building will be located outside the historic center of St. Petersburg — where the construction of contemporary architecture is curtailed, so as to maintain the aesthetic unity of the city’s tsarist-era architecture — near an existing museum storage facility in the northern suburb of Staraya Derevnya. Koolhaas’s building is slated to include a library, costume museum, a publishing house, and plentiful public spaces.

Koolhaas is an ideal choice for the Hermitage, having worked with the museum for more than a decade. In the early aughts, he  designed the short-lived Hermitage Guggenheim in Las Vegas, and since 2008 has been collaborating with Piotrovsky on a longterm plan to rearrange the museum’s interior, which is expected to be completed next year for the museum’s 250th anniversary. Elsewhere in Russia, he is designing a building in Moscow’s Gorky Park for the Garage Center of Contemporary Culture and also developing the curriculum of the Moscow-based Strelka Institute of Architecture, Media, and Design, which will represent Russia at the Koolhaas-curated 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. [RIA Novosti]

— Anna Kats

Image via the Strelka Institute.