Treivas Architecture Buro

5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art


Exhibition design for one of the most significant cultural events in Russia

The main platform of the fifth biennale occupied an area of about ten thousand square meters in the exhibition center Manege, a heritage building in the heart of Moscow, formerly a royal horse-riding arena.

72 artworks were chosen for the exhibition. 30 of them were created specially for Moscow Biennale — among them are installations by Yona Friedman, Alexander Brodsky and many others.

Project’s curator Catherine de Zegher defined the theme of the biennale as ‘More Light’, promoting «enlightened conversation and action, at the crossroads, where different concepts of space and time, and consequent structures of thought and sensibility, are elaborated.»

This theme was reflected in the architecture of the exhibition. The exhibition was divided into two distinct spaces. The lower floor, which housed video and performance art, was defined by a grid of columns and walls, which gradually transformed from dark to light throughout the space.

In designing the Biennale tasks had to be solved within the limitations of a heritage building. The walls of the Manege could not be touched.

Ascending to the upper floor, the visitor was bathed in light and surrounded with large-scale installations.

The plan of the upper hall recalled the suprematist works of Malevich.

The architecture itself was irrational and non linear, allowing the visitor to undertake an individual journey.

Viewed from above the structures formed a composition in close dialogue with the artworks.

Project authors