Tomsk, Russia
Design: 2014-2015
Client: Tomsk State University of Architecture and Building

Authors of the project:

Architects: Nikita Yavein, Anton Yar-Skryabin, Grigoriy Ivanov, Marina Goryachkina
with the participation of Alena Amelkovich, Ivan Kozhin, Anna Kutilina, Roman Pokrovskiy, Kseniya Schastlivtseva

Visualisation: Andrey Patrikeev

The construction of the Science and Technology Museum is part of the state program aimed at transforming the university town of Tomsk into the largest science and education center in Western Siberia.

The architectural concept of the museum redefines and develops the building traditions of Tomsk, deservedly considered a heritage area for Russian wooden architecture. The Museum’s appearance contains allusions to the wooden fortress that the city grew up around in the XVII century.

The building is 225 m long and 35 m wide and runs parallel to the bank of the River Tom. Looming over the two-storey structure with its gabled roof are five mighty “towers” of archetypal shape: hexagonal, square, circular, cross-shaped and octagonal. The museum’s display sections are located inside the towers. A sixth tower is a “look-out post”, with three levels of viewing platforms.

On the first floor, galleries accessible by stairs from the ground floor run around the building. In Russian 16th–17th century architecture these types of galleries surrounding churches or palaces were known as gulbishche. Like their predecessors, the museum’s gulbishche act as public spaces, places to socialise, relax and enjoy the surrounding views.

The museum will be built in Tatarskaya Sloboda, an area famous for its original wooden houses lavishly decorated in the eastern style. However, the design of the museum will not simply replicate this. There is much from the art of Russian wooden architecture in the project, which is based on the innovations of Constructivism in the 1920s in its aim to show that, in its decorativeness, and given the effect of its architecture, the neat geometric plan of the wooden frame can contend with the beautiful pattern-work of carved ornaments.