GES-2 – cultural center

GES-2 (ГЭС 2) is one of the oldest power plants in Moscow, decommissioned, now a cultural center. A complex of buildings located in Moscow at Bolotnaya Embankment, 15 in the Yakimanka district.

The power plant was put into operation in 1907; it supplied energy to individual objects of the capital’s urban infrastructure. Closed in 2006 due to “physical and moral depreciation” and the excess cost of electricity produced. In 2015, it was sold at auction to the head of PJSC Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson, for the construction of a modern cultural center, after which the V-A-C Mikhelson Contemporary Art Foundation began the reconstruction of the building. On August 17, 2021, the start of commissioning of space objects was announced. The opening of the GES-2 cultural center took place on December 4, 2021.

The architect of the facility was a graduate of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and the Imperial Academy of Arts Vasily Bashkirov, who performed it in the neo-Russian style.

The building has a simple composition, the rhythm of which is set by wide windows, and its decor is made in the neo-Russian style, typical of Vasily Bashkirov’s past works – the facade of the Tretyakov Gallery based on sketches by Viktor Vasnetsov and Ivan Tsvetkov’s mansion-gallery on Prechistenskaya Embankment.

On August 17, 2021, V-A-C announced the commissioning of the territory of the House of Culture. The renovated embankment and the descent to the Vodootvodny Canal were opened for public access, yoga classes and excursions about the history of the place began to be held in the open area, and a bakery was opened. The art space began to fill with the first objects of art: in front of the entrance complex, a sculpture by the Swiss artist Urs Fischer “Big Clay No. 4” was installed, which caused a mixed assessment and a wave of criticism, and on the art alley – the work “Space of Light” Italian Giuseppe Penone.

Nearest metro: Kropotkinskaya, Borovitskaya.

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