The Pushinsky cinema hall is historically linked to the city of Moscow and has been a landmark of this city since the first day of its existence. For more than five decades, the building, albeit in the past had different names and use, has always been linked to the life of the people of Moscow.
The Pushinsky cinema hall has always served as a link between a closed and strict regime with the rest of the world, having served as the centre of the Moscow International Film Festival and later as the first Russian widescreen multiplex. It has marked the country’s destination from its rise to its fall and again towards its renaissance.
Last decades of Russian history
History is a path not always covered in roses. There are always good and bad moments in history, all of which are equally important to Russia’s offspring. The existing building despite having much architectural interest, it also embodies the history of a nation.
Having examined the building from an architect’s point of view the architects felt more like archeologists rather than architects. We felt like we found a frozen in time building that gave us a lot of information regarding a whole unknown era. However, the Pushinsky cinema hall is not just a historical building. It is a genuine and alive piece of art that contributes in Moscow’s life and history. The architects aim was to maintain the former building and cover it with a new “ice shape” layer so as to totally change the former shape but in the same time, to let small sharp cuts through which, traces of the past are visible for those who want to search and discover the history of the city. Therefore, we keep its uniqueness, its history and its architecture for the younger generations to see. The architects created an impressive “Ark” that symbolises Russia’s power and the country’s ability to look towards the future, having been taught from its past’s mistakes.
Basically, this building is a “phoenix” (the mythical bird) that is not reborn from its ashes as it happens at the ancient myth but it rises from the water of the raised square that we have created. The architects extended the base of the building so as to show that the base of new Russia is strong and powerful with future that will last. The square’s water will freeze during winter time and Moscow’s citizens will have the opportunity to do ice skating on it. This will give them the opportunity to maybe explore the new building that also hides their ancestors’ history.
The chosen material for the new layer of the Pushkinsky cinema hall façade is Dupont Corian. It allowed us to create the ice cubic image desired for the building giving a homogenous clear white finish. Simultaneously, corresponds to the long-term performance criteria placed by the design team. Thus, led to a durable and impressive second skin, that due to its flexibility can be formed with long cuts.