Community and Earth – Art Gallery and Public Plaza



Project: Spartak

Project Type: Competition

Client: City of Yaroslavl

Location: Yaroslavl, Russia

Value: $20,000,000

Size: Public Plaza; 15000 m2. Gallery & Museum; 5000 m2


The scheme aims to provide a vibrant place for the community, and explores the idea of earth & history by cutting into the ground.


A community is a beautifully diverse and vibrant entity. Here on the Spartak site the project aims to provide a variety of activities and another rich place in the city where people can dance, celebrate and fall in love. The ground plane is comprised of two sides. The first, a open surface which is driven by a respect for the sites context, framing and supporting the beautiful church at the SW end. The large plaza is divided to create spaces for markets, celebrations, dancing, soccer, picnicking, sitting, entertainment & film. The second half of the ground plane provides programmed activities, such as ice skating, basketball, community farm/gardens, playgrounds, restaurant, bar & cafe which generate activity and support the main open plaza.

The earth contains a density of history . This history is key to a communities identity. Conceptually digging and upturning the ground reveals the past and allows the exploration of its historical artifacts. This change provides the opportunity to understand the past and move into the future. Here on the Spartak site linear lines are cut into the ground, providing light to the art gallery & museum below. The walls reflect the earth, red and warm in appearance. The museum wing sits on the NW, below the large public plaza containing both large and small spaces which house Yaroslavl’s historical artifacts. The contemporary art gallery sits beneath the ice-rink, introducing light through the water above and provides a balance to this museums history, where artwork from the future can be displayed.


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