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Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage

Moscow, Russia
1 of 17

Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage was a public bus garage in Moscow, designed in 1926 by Konstantin Melnikov (floorplan concept and architectural design) and Vladimir Shukhov (structural engineering). The building, completed in 1927, was an example of applying avant-garde architectural methods to an industrial facility.

The roof structure was designed by Vladimir Shukhov. Melnikov and Shukhov worked together on another building, a horseshoe-shaped Novo-Ryazanskaya Street Truck Garage. Bakhmetevsky garage housed 104 buses on an area of 8500 square meters.

Bakhmetevsky Garage, sometimes associated with constructivist architecture, was in fact styled in an indefinite red-brick industrial livery; circular windows in the attic are the only avant-garde features (and even these were destroyed decades ago). What makes it stand out as an avant-garde landmark is its unorthodox, parallelogram-shaped floor plan and the subsequent influence on later industrial designs.

The whole project was more than just a garage. Melnikov also designed workshops and office buildings on the same lot, filling the irregular voids made by placing a parallelogram-shaped garage on a larger, rectangular lot. His original, unpublished 1927 master plan was found in 1999, in preparation to the Melnikov memorial exhibition, and served as a base for the 2003 redevelopment plan.In 1990, the aging Garage was listed as an architectural memorial. In 2001, the bus company vacated the building and the City Hall donated it to the Moscow Hasidic Jewish Community Center for redevelopment, on the condition that the Community Center builds a public school on the same lot and returns it to the City. The public school however was to be completed next to Melnikov's garage, leaving the Jewish Community with an opportunity to build another cultural institution incorporating the facade of Melnikov's 1928 building.

After years of neglect, work accelerated in the second half of 2007. The garage was fully restored externally in the first half of 2008, complete with 1920-s style lettering on the eastern (entrance) facade; interior work was completed by September 2008. The building was reopened to the public in September as the Garage Center of Contemporary Culture (abbreviated in Russian as CCC).

In late 2011 the garage closed for renovations, a temporary structure was designed by Shigeru Ban to house the exhibitions during the construction period.

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  1. Garin-Studio
ziggurat, December 11th, 2013
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