Unlike European capitals, the construction of a new museum building is a rarity for Moscow. The latest large-scale examples, such as the Paleontological Museum or the new building of the Central House of Artists, were built more than twenty years ago. Therefore, it is not surprising that the design began with the study of international experience. It turned out that the ideal room for a modern museum is a spacious hall with wide spans, which can be freely modified depending on the exposition, and where, if necessary, very large objects can be placed. In this case, for example, a church organ will be exhibited.
Alas, in this case, the building in the form of a single building was not approved, and the search continued - inclining, according to Dmitry Alexandrov, to the imagery of the ancient forum, containing several buildings of a small area. The silhouette of the future building became more complex, but then, following the reasonable need to expand the exhibition areas, the building slightly increased and "merged" into a more holistic volume with the courtyard.
Remaining within the framework of a small plot, Dmitry Aleksandrov enlarges and complicates the interior space, folding it, in the architect's own words, a “snail”. The inner courtyard has become the center of both expositional and museum life with its booths, cafes and, a feature of the music museum, a concert hall. Two "front" staircases go around the museum courtyard in an angular spiral, climbing which, the visitor observes the play of the unfolding space, examines the exhibitions, and sometimes, looking out the wide panoramic windows, enjoys the views of the Yauzskie gates, a rare beautiful and surprisingly preserved reserve of old Moscow architecture. Thus, the surrounding monuments - the luxurious Trinity church-bell tower in Serebryaniki, a cozy and businesslike merchant's Empire-style house on the boulevard, can become part of the exhibition at the request of the curators, as well as the green curtains-self-saints preserved by the architect, separating the museum from the noisy car bustle of the Ustyinsky bridge. Thus, the architect skillfully models our impressions and forms a new point of view on well-known things - after all, a visitor who comes to the museum, as a rule, is already in a contemplative mood, and the monuments will see a little differently, not like a passer-by running past.
The surrounding beauties are a coup for the new museum, but the design for the site, surrounded on all sides by historical buildings, as Dmitry Alexandrov says, was associated with solving rather specific technical problems. The fact is that over the past century, this site, once belonging to the Blank Orphanage, remained the only undeveloped place, and all relatively new communications were drawn to it, to which it was necessary to maintain access for repairs. The architects solved this problem by inventing a console hanging above the ground, which makes accessible not only heating mains, but also the channel of a small Levnivka stream, which was taken into the pipe a long time ago.
The facades of the new museum, in turn, are inscribed in the structure of the surrounding buildings, from the side of Solyanka they pick up the rhythm and proportions of the Empire style windows, and the rounded corner of the building creates a pair of the merchant house standing opposite - without using a single stylized detail, the architect develops the composition of the historically established two centuries ago, the square, adding to it the only missing element.