Collapsed Cities / Museums and Anti-Museums

The project focuses on political oppositions on three scales – the Potemkin and the hidden city, the museum and the ‘anti-museum’, the exhibited and the rejected art. It collapses the juxtaposed worlds and operates in-between them to elaborate on various boundary conditions. It seeks alternative museum experiences that derive from contrasting architectural typologies, circulation logics and curatorial strategies.

The hybrid megastructure for new museum-island in the cultural center of St. Petersburg includes two main systems - the loop of museum halls and enfilades as well as the fields, patchworks and detours of the ‘anti-museums’. While the first world strings together the palatial interiors, controlled processions and framed masterpieces of the classical museums, the second cuts in with the unconventional and underground art-spaces that suggest radical shifts away from established formalistic, typological and ideological conventions of the museum. Extending biological analogies for symbiotic relationships from mutualism to parasitism, I suggest how the two worlds could coexist, merge and interfere with each while suggesting new transitional spaces - from curatorial divides and filtering walls to buffer voids and transfer galleries.

Further, as a critique of the hierarchical curatorial apparatus, I include the final element – the Art Landfill – that acts as a source of rejected, re-cycled and re-contextualized works. Its flexible distribution systems and ubiquitous artwork conduits permit the museums to share, exchange and fight for content – while re-evaluated artwork with extended life-span aims to lend transparency to the obscured apparatus.

Museum/Anti-Museum Opposition

There is a proliferation of museums in St. Petersburg that can be divided into two main categories.
The project derives from the existing separation between the classic state Museums, dominant and influential, and the underground non-conformist museums in St.Petersburg, that I refer to as Anti-museums.

City Inter-connections

Distorting the two city maps according to their circulation trajectories, I conceptually represented the transition between the Potemkin and Hidden City mapping portal conditions and transfer elements such as portals, circulation links, bridges and interfaces.

Alternative Curatorial Apparatus

As a part of the critique of the rigid and hierarchical curatorial apparatus in St. Petersburg, I am proposing a further elements - Art Landfill - which is to act as a major source of re-cycled and re-contextualized artwork. It exists in the center of the mega-structure to create a more flexible distribution system and bring transparency to the apparatus.

Museum/Anti-Museum Urbann Proposal

Looking at the inversions and transitions between figure / ground logics of mat buildings, the mega-structure brings together Museums acting as solid figures arranged according to ceremonial axial paths to form a loop, and Anti-Museums as independently floating fragments that reactivate the voids in the city and re-program service space to occupy in-between streets, courtyards, and rooftops.

Typological Collapses and Final Museum/Anti-Museum Fragment Proposal

Introducing a hierarchy of complex circulation network with multiple options for movement in between, the site becomes a circulation game board with multiple shortcuts, junctions, dead ends between circulation systems.

Circulation Matrix

Boundary Gradient and Anti-Museum Drift re-creating spatial/atmosopheric experience.

Boundary Gradient and Anti-Museum Drift re-creating spatial/atmosopheric experience

Typological Collapses and Final Museum/Anti-Museum Fragment Proposals.

The Parasite/Host

Fragmnet 8: Filling the Void
Anti-museum hanging galleries suspended in courtyard and covered by glass envelope , fully exposed to Museum

Fragment 4: Formal Display/Art Library & Fragmnet 8: Filling Void

Boundary Condition: Screen Wall acting as curatorial filter to distort/mask the content behind

Screen Wall

Parasitic kinetic box galleries penetrate large open Gallery Halls acting as filters, re-appropriating the museum content and recontextualizing it.