The Dutch-Russian firm created a concept for The House of Text ‘meta-library.’
A concept for an extension to the Pushkin Museum, designed by the SVESMI office for architecture, urbanism, and cultural programming, was signed off by museum director Marina Loshak. The House of Text, to be opened in 2021, will become a depository of various textual materials.
It will be located in a six-story neoclassical tenement building commissioned by the Stulov merchant family in 1914, not far from the main building of the museum. The project by SVESMI carefully preserves the original structure of the house. Some rooms will be restored to their original looks, while others will have certain historical pieces to underscore their heritage. The rest will be executed in a neutral style which will serve as a perfect background for various exhibitions.
The House of Text will not host permanent collections; instead, it will “provide an ever-changing cloud of information and commentaries on Visual Fine Arts.” The building will feature exhibition and public spaces, an art library, an archive, the Livre d'Artiste center, a bookstore, and a restaurant designed specifically for booklovers.
Visitors will be able to read books and magazines, work and study, enjoy a meal, or get lost in their thoughts in one of the building’s 600 rooms.
“SVESMI’s concept envisages the House of Text as a ‘slow museum,’ where visitors can almost literally dwell,” the firm said in its statement, stressing that it has created enough room for the private within the public.
SVESMI is a Dutch-Russian office for architecture, urbanism, and cultural programming based in Rotterdam and Moscow. It was founded in 2007 by architect Alexander Sverdlov and author/researcher Anastassia Smirnova, who is the Program Director of Strelka's Advanced Urban Design MA program.
Earlier in April, Smirnova took The New Normal researchers to the site of the upcoming House of Text. In their workshop, the group investigated the relationship between "text," the "room," and "The Miracle of Narrative."