I'll skip commentary on the grim events at the Holocaust Museum in Washington in favor of more sanguine news in the Jewish museum world. Earlier this week, plans were released for the new Jewish museum in Moscow, to be placed in Konstantin Melnikov's landmark Balhmetvsky bus depot. The renovation is by the German firm Graft. The exterior will remain essentially untouched. Inside, a scrolling blobby insertion — "intervention," to use the architectural term of art — will connect the two floors of the structure and serve various programmatic needs.
I use the term scrolling, but I'm not sure the architects had anything so literal in mind, which makes it a nice change of pace from the architectural parlante of other Jewish museums, to say nothing of Daniel Libeskind's abstracted Hebrew letter forms in Berlin and elsewhere. How well or poorly such amoebic shapes will relate to Melnikov's open space, or serve their functions, is another story. We'll see.
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