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Pushkinsky Theatre

Type. Architecture, Public Building

Location. Moscow, Russia
Date. 2010
Client. Competition

Status. Concept Design

Project Description.

The goal of the competition was to rebuild the facade for the Pushkinsky Cinema Hall in central Moscow. 

We found a building with a strong character, hard lines and dramatic gestures; heritage of the soviet times when engineering complexity was synonym of progress, strength and stability. Fifty years later the Pushkinsky Theatre stands far from its former sixties glory; having witnessed societies’ drastic change to capitalism its former daring features now appear covered by billboards and gigantic adverts that reflect the arrival of the consumer oriented society. To the sides random shops and restaurants have clustered and attached to the building’s facade contributing to the overall sense of colliding universes.


We depart from the notion of the city as the stage; the theatre as the quintessential social space of the city, a place to see and to be seen. Citizens become the actors and society assigns roles to be performed in life’s everyday’s play. Within this construct the curtain becomes the element which divides public and private lives, the line which discerns reality and hard work from dreams, play and fantasies.

The curtain as an architectural element helps to materialize this notion of the city as the stage; it embodies a sense of transparency and of veil which while enclosing the private lives let’s just enough light through suggesting shadows and silhouettes which animate the fantasies of the spectator. The new envelope we envision should be the screen onto which the aspirations of citizens get projected, dark enough to blur social behaviors and moral codes but translucent enough to understand the historical background which shaped the contemporary collective dream.

Project Team: 
Rolando Rodriguez-Leal, Natalia Wrzask

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