January 31st, 2008

Hermitage Museum via 

Dutch Architect Rem Koolhaas will redesign the art diplays at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia in an effort to update the almost 250 year-old institution. He is charged with creating a schema to display the nearly three million artworks and artifacts housed in the encylopedic museum’s 2000 rooms.


Rem Koolhaas via

The project, estimated to span the six years leading up to the Museum’s 250th anniversay in 2014, will include revamping the Islamic and Chinese galleries, as well as recasting a section of the imperial general staff buidling as a contemporary art space. Koolhaas, winner of the pretigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2000 and the architect behind the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas, has worked closely with Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky. No buildings will be changed, nor will any new structures be erected. Rather, “I want to find another way to modernize the museum, to modernize the physical substance,” explains Koolhaas.  He will concentrate on lighting, arrangement and number of objects on view, in addition to the display cases to bring the Museum into the 21st century. According to Koolhaas, “The goal is not about going back to a previous condition, but perhaps creating a greater awareness of what was once there, or finding a way so the two can be present at the same time.” No budget for the project has been disclosed.

Rem Koolhaas to Redesign Hermitage Museum’s Art Displays []

New Look Planned for Hermitage [The New York Times]

Hermitage News Archive [The Hermitage]