Expanding Space: Out of the Centre

Expanding Space is a large-scale continuation of the V–A–C project of the same name in 2015-16, whereby contemporary artists developed works for the urban environment, producing pieces from scaffolding to street signs and metro station installations. This time round, selected artists are working further afield on the outskirts of the city, with a variety of local institutions and associations including libraries, cinemas, chess clubs, public squares and houses of culture, in order to get to know these communities and create new cultural opportunities.

The main goal of ‘Expanding Space: Out of the Centre’ is to broaden the focus of existing local activities towards more open and social participative practices as well as exploring their potential and meaning within the local context. V–A–C will run seven programmes over several months, which will see musicians, theatre directors, filmmakers and performers work together with residents of the different Moscow districts.

Website of the project (Russian only)

Built in 1907, GES-2 is a disused power station located on the Bolotnaya Embankment in the popular Red October district in the centre of Moscow. V–A–C bought the power station in 2014 and commissioned Renzo Piano Building Workshop to convert the main building and surrounding area. Once a supplier of energy to the Kremlin and today a prominent listed building, GES-2 and its grounds will soon become a new, public space and major cultural venue for the city of Moscow.

V–A–C’s future home is designed to gather its audiences and together produce and inspire new artistic expressions, cultural events and learning opportunities.

The entire site covers 20,000 square metres and will feature a large outdoor space surrounding GES-2. The main building will be transformed into an open plan activity area at over 100m long and 20m high, also serving as a sheltered pedestrian walkway for passers-by. The complex will also host an indoor amphitheatre-like stage and seating area, galleries, a 420-seat, glass-front playhouse overlooking a birch tree grove, a library, shop, canteen, café and restaurant, learning centre and residency block. The new GES-2 will be energy efficient via the use of solar panels and the extraction of clean air to ventilate the building. GES-2 will fully embody V–A–C’s production spirit through a new facility for experimentation and production - 2,000 m2 of workshops and co-working spaces connected to the main gallery. This historic redbrick vaulted building, once a vodka distillery, will house fully equipped workshops for new generations of Moscow artists and creative practitioners.

V–A–C Foundation, ГЭС-2 Moscow, 2018
Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Construction site images by Gleb Leonov
2009 – 2019 (c) V–A–C