Treivas Architecture Buro

The Visitor’s Portrait


VDNKh, the key exhibition centre of Russia, has turned 80 in 2019. One of the events to celebrate the anniversary is ‘The Visitor’s Portrait. 1939–2019’ exhibition featuring costumes, accessories and photographs from Alexandre Vassiliev’s collection.

VDNKh has always been the main exhibiting venue of the USSR and later, Russia. The collection on display in the Hydrometeorology pavilion covers several crucial epochs in the country’s history: the Stalin era, the Khrushchev Thaw, Brezhnev’s stagnation, the Perestroika, the freewheeling 1990s and the early 2000s.

The exhibits offer insights into how portraits of visitors to the all-union exhibition centre were changing over time.

The exhibition scenography is based on white geometric podiums and red details contrasting with each other.

The red ribbon takes centre stage interlacing both the interior and the exterior of the pavilion. Used as a metaphor for the USSR and a host of contradictions from the Soviet era, it appears on the glass facade to announce the exhibition.

Another distinctive element is the red diamond gradient pattern on the facade. Echoing simple geometric shapes, it creates eye-catching flecks of light in the pavilion on sunny days.

Project authors