A masterpiece avant-garde building of Melnikov that previously housed a center of contemporary art
Bakhmetevsky bus garage, this famous masterpiece of constructionism was created in 1926 by two drastic thinkers of the XX century: avant-garde artist Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov also known as Russian Eiffel.
Its unusual bevel form emerged as a result of planning decision where architect designed an innovative concept of inline bevel car parking so that car could enter the garage in a new way: face in, not on reverse and without any help of special personnel.
While fulfilling practical purposes this building received remarkable shapes: Melnikov designed different architectural decisions for all the four facades and created six central entrance portals that were solemn marked with Roman figures, he even worked out a unique font for inscription on portico of the building. He collaborated with famous engineer Vladimit Georgievich Shukhov to plan the internal space.
Metal constructions of Bakhmetevsky bus garage constitute one of the latest big works of the brilliant Russian engineer. Spanning this monumental volume Shukhov created three-aisled space using 18 thin columns and minimum of metal constrictions that supports roof of the garage.
Diagonal rays of light falling from lamps mounted in the roof covering divide space of the garage as if these were stained-glass windows. Huge area of 8,500 square meters is almost twice the size of Manege by Avgustin Avgustinovich de Betancourt. That is why the ordinary building of bus garage was seen as cult and sacred construction, new 'Soviet cathedral'.
Nevertheless, this building was not duly appreciated by following generations as well as many other masterpieces of avant-garde. At the end of XX century Bakhmetevsky bus garage almost disappeared. There was not a slightest cue of its former splendor: no walls, no roof covering. In 2002 Aleksey Vorontsov, another Russian architect, started reconstruction works of building and he did his best to revive the earlier image of this masterpiece. “We must not forget that we are only apprentices of such great artists as Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov”, sais Aleksey Vorontsov. Thank to his solicitous attitude to history of architecture, now Bakhmetevsky bus garage has a second life as a Garage center of contemporary culture.
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