Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

Moscow, Russia

Housed in a massive modernist avant-garde building (1927), this is Russia’s first interactive museum of history. It uses artifacts, environmentally scaled filmic elements, large-screen interactive media, and theatrical design in a setting that maintains scholarly credibility and seriousness but whose tone is one of lively yet respectful engagement.

A 4-D animated film celebrates the shared foundations of the three monotheistic religions and recounts biblical stories from creation of the world through destruction of the Second Temple. A 120-meter timeline of Russian Jewish history links eight "studios"—theatrical settings that tell the story of Russian Jewry through large-scale immersive films, cutting-edge interactive experiences, oral-history theaters, and artifacts ranging from political broadsides to a Great Patriotic War-era T-34 tank (the "tank that won the war"), and full-scale aircraft.

In the museum's Tolerance Center, short films present hard-hitting stories of intolerance in Russia, followed by a program of probing questions and visitor polling. The Center invites school groups, visitors from Russia's many ethnicities, and adherents of various religions to explore difficult issues in an environment that encourages positive social engagement. Also included are a Children's Center, a Research Center, and a Temporary Exhibitions gallery.

Year:
2012
Client:
Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia
Architect:

Konstantin Melnikov (1927)

Size:

92,731 square feet

Awards:
  • Industrial Designers Society of America, Industrial Design Excellence Award, Finalist

  • Graphis, Design Annual 2014 Award: Exhibit, Gold

     

  • The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, GOOD Design Awards: Environment Award

     

  • The Art Newspaper Russia, Museum of the Year

     

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