Chertanovo, Moscow | Чертаново, Москва

RIBA stages 0-7
year 2013-2015
Project area 1200 sq m
Project budget £600K

Serevnoye Chertanovo Cultural Centre is at the centre of an experimental, system-built housing district constructed to coincide with the Moscow Olympics in 1980. However where the original building had clarity of organization and use, the strategies of occupation had become disjointed and inefficient. Numerous piecemeal and low quality modifications, including an illegal private flat constructed in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, had created a warren of claustrophobic and infrequently used rooms often without any significant natural light and inappropriate for contemporary use. The ambience and material character set an 'institutional' tone reinforced by low budget and dated fixtures and furniture.

The new proposals harnesses and reinforce the existing qualities of the building with the introduction of an enfilade of genuinely public rooms that are more spatially open, each with generous views to an accessible and landscaped courtyard. These spaces, including a café and small library, link a 200-seat flexible theatre and performance space directly to rehearsal, dance and teaching activity spaces; some quiet and introspective others lively and open. At the front of the building large glazed entrance doors have been reinstated and let onto a well-lit foyer and exhibition space.

New storage walls with large sliding doors and pendant lighting is used to differentiate spaces within the new organisation clarity of the building; large bespoke elements of furniture are then employed to 'disturb' the spaces in an informal way. The most visible of these, a periodical reading table and bench, welcomes visitors at the entrance.

View of the theatre and event foyer

Detail of the large furniture element at the entrance

Library and study space

Before and after

Reception and office spaces

New performance space

The internal environment and public space prior to our project

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