The industrial esthetic of the exposed pipes, ducts, and steel skeleton of the Pompidou Center in Paris brought Renzo Piano his first international acclaim in 1977, along with his design partner Richard Rogers. Now, nearly 45 years later, Renzo Piano Building Workshop has taken an existing industrial structure—a former power station built in 1907 in the heart of Moscow—and transformed it into the GES-2 House of Culture, a center for contemporary art and performance (that also includes space for artists’ residencies), which opens to the public on December 4th. Located in a riverfront neighborhood known as “Red October”—home to the urban laboratory Strelka Institute, as well as the historic Udanik Theater—the 215,000 square-foot facility includes exhibition spaces, a library, cinema, concert hall, workshops, studios, cafés, and a restaurant. The client is the V-A-C Foundation, a non-profit started by Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson.
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