YVK (Ярославская космическая Выставка) / Ariane Lourie Harrison, Seth Harrison, Alexander Davis, Stephen Ullman / USA, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
YVK: a new exhibition and performance center for Yaroslavl
A 1731 print of Yaroslavl presents the city as an animated landscape of religious buildings. This synthetic image of one of Russia’s “Golden Ring” cities grounds Harrison Atelier’s proposal: the YVK (Ярославль Выставка космической), a new exhibition and performance space. Assembling many visual and perform- ing art programs under an inner domed landscape, the YVK pays homage to this image of Yaroslavl across its perforated weathering steel facades.
From a distance, the new building appears as a filigreed plinth, highlighting the beauty of Yaro-
slavl’s churches of St Nicholas and the Church of the Savior. From its main approach (at the bridge at Которосльная Street), the building unfolds a dramatic sequence of space: a generous entry canopy of dap- pled light under the punched-metal skin leads to a large museum reception space and to clusters of domed exhibition spaces for the permanent and temporary exhibitions of the Yaroslavl State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.
Some of these domed spaces are intimate in scale: the perfect size for a viewer to contemplate a single icon. Other dome clusters are large, offering flexible exhibition spaces. The large exhibition domes offer multiple points for attaching wall partitions, accommodating the changing needs of temporary exhibitions. The circulation spaces between exhibits are airy interstitial spaces, expanses of light and sky, filtering in from the perforated metal screen roof.
One of the largest domes in the building houses an experimental theater, with clusters of domes allocated to rehearsal space, green rooms, costume and set ateliers. Passers-by become spectators for the activity in the ateliers: these spaces for creation and innovation are visible from the exterior of the building. Above these workshops, the northwest-corner of the building is hollowed out and faces an outdoor amphitheater, further calling attention to making sets and costume as a performative activity.
The new theater and workshops memorialize Yaroslavl’s importance in Russian theater history: the first permanent professional theater in Russia was founded in 1756 by the Yaroslav actor Fydor Volkov, his brother Grigory and the director dramatist Aleksei Sumarokov. Their neo-classical tragedies and popular comedies helped free Russian theater of its dependence on foreign works and formed the basis of a new Russian theater tradition in the 18th century.
The YVK offers a hub for the meeting of past and contemporary arts within Yaroslavl’s historic cultural center. Sponsoring a vast range of public spaces and programs, from parks and outdoor theater to visual and performing arts, the YVK offers the city a dynamic center for the arts.
Harrison Atelier is a Brooklyn-based design firm founded by Seth and Ariane Harrison. Project leader: Alexander Davis with Stephen Ullman.
Spatial and Functional Organization
YVK is a dynamic center for the arts with a vast range of public spaces and programs:
3300 m2 of conditioned indoor space
2100 m2 of sheltered outdoor space
4600 m2 of outdoor space
Outdoor space: 4600 m2
4440 m2 of a new public park
160 m2 of seated outdoor space including an amphitheater
Sheltered outdoor space: 2100 m2
1200 m2 of festival space: the weathering steel entry canopy and its glazing protects the space from rain and sun while allowing festivals to take place outside
900 m2 of outdoor performance space around the perimeter of the building. The YVK’s building envelope cantilevers 4.3m2 on each side excepting the western entry façade. This space can be used for outdoor performances for the public, who can take advantage of the ravine’s gentle slope for outdoor seating.
Interior space: 3300 m2
500 m2 of indoor reception and lobby space, including a 75m2 café, 4m2 café kitchen, 100m2 restrooms and 230m2 cloakroom and storage areas
1300 m2 of flexible exhibition space for temporary and virtual exhibitions, this space, with its flexible partitions, can also be used for festivals
750 m2 of permanent exhibition space, for the collections of the Yaroslavl State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Permanent collections include icons and other religious artifacts, local culture (painting, silver, embroidery, fabrics and manuscripts) and natural history. The flexible partitions and the dome clusters allow fragile works to be protected from sunlight and displayed in a matter appropriate to each object.
400 m2 of storage space.
200 m2 of fabric and set display and storage space shared with the costume atelier. The Yaroslavl State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum houses an important collection (300 pieces) of pictorial and ornamental embroidery from the XV-XIX centuries, including works by famous Stroganov workshops and local monasteries. Students at the costume atelier benefit from studying these works as inspirations for new costumes.
300 m2 theater, seating 186 persons
150 m2 theater reception space including ticketing and a bar
150 m2 of performer rehearsal space
400 m2 of workshop space dedicated to costume and set design ateliers
Harrison Atelier is a Brooklyn-based firm whose master planning, performances and design works explore the impact of technology on culture. Harrison Atelier takes a multidisciplinary and experimental approach, merging themes from biotechnology with ecological issues often left unexplored in performance and design. Founded in 2009, Harrison Atelier joins the diverse backgrounds of its founders: Ariane Lourie Harrison, an architect who teaches at the Yale School of Architecture and Seth Harrison, a writer, designer and biotechnology entrepreneur. Project leader Alexander Davis and Stephen Ullman are recent graduates from the graduate architecture program at Pratt Institute.
Harrison Atelier’s performances include Anchises (2010), a work on aging which was listed among the New York Times’ Top Ten performances of the year; Pharmacophore: Architectural Placebo (2011), an installation and performance at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and VEAL (2013), an installation at the Invisible Dog Art Center, which was recently awarded at World Stage Design 2013.