The building as a landscape

Yaroslavl Museum

Municipality of Yaroslavl
Francesco Adorni, Nikoloz Lekveishvili

The idea behind this project was to use the existing morphology of the surrounding land to create a large square around which are organized, partly underground, all the functions: exhibition, conference or business. According to the isoghipses lines of the ground the square is open on one side to the view of the Church of Spasa Na Gorodu, while the other ends in a large amphitheater / staircase. In this way, rather than becoming an obstacle, not only does the building become a space that connects the park system and its various attractions, but it also keeps the historical memory of the place by fully preserving the existing morphology, in an attitude of great respect of the location.

The architecture that ensued explores the potential of the plastic section of the «ravine» reshaped in reinforced concrete and its variations in the form of stairs, steps, wall or slope. It ‘s easy to see the charm and power of the alternation of solids and voids that alternate or blend into the mass of concrete. The search for clarity of expression has alternated with surrender to the lure of spatial solutions that the project offered.
The public square is organizing two major functions: the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibition halls, and the adjoining conference center.
Access to the permanent museum is a large hall that in addition to performing the functions of reception, ticket office and cloakroom, includes a relaxation area, toilets and bookshop. The course of the visit to the museum follows a path through the various rooms (some with artificial lighting to other mixed natural and artificial lighting, the last with only artificial lighting), video-projection room etc., and then return to the lobby to input through a long narrow room that flanks the large window where, in addition to being exposed to some pieces of the collection or parts information, you can appreciate the view of the two churches that overlook the square and the new view of the park. The output is made through the book-shop and spaces for the relaxation provided in the lobby.


The different functions provided are organized around a common lobby, which leads to temporary exhibitions, the cafe and conference center on the floor below. Temporary exhibitions are planned in a large space with mixed natural and artificial lighting and others with only artificial lighting, left free to give maximum flexibility in exhibition. The local cafe directly accessible from the entrance hall or directly from the outside allows you to easily organize events related to exhibitions. Downstairs there is a large conference room for 400 seats divided into smaller rooms if necessary.