Moscow's Post-Industrial Renaissance - Flacon creative hub.

Moscow’s Post-Industrial Renaissance – Flacon creative hub.

Russia 2018 – In Moscow, over the past years, artists, designers and young professionals are taking over abandoned factories to injects them with new life. The city has been experiencing a post-industrial Renaissance: where once workers used to deal with heavy machines, there now thrive art galleries, design studios, cultural centers and open air festivals. If you visit the Russian Capital, make sure to explore these re-developed production plants at the forefront of Russia creativity.

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Red October

Bersenevskaya Naberezhnaya, 14/5 – 119072 [Map]

Red October -WikiCommons CC

A red-bricked factory building stands in front of the cathedral of the Savior across the Moskva river on the Bolotny Island. It’s Red October, a former chocolate factory which has nothing to do anymore with the image of a Soviet young girl in a headscarf you still see on the packaging of Red October chocolate bars. Indeed, the venue has become one of Moscow’s trendiest and most mundane epicenters which almost seems to defy the Kremlin’s sober architecture.

Red October, Moscow

By Red October you can find the Strelka Institute for Media and Design which aims to change the cultural and physical landscapes of Russian cities through a program of talks, events and educational activities. The complex hosts the Lumiére Brothers Center for Photography with a rich calendar of exhibitions and workshops and Moscow’s largest public art library. Meander through the courtyards and alleys of the factory which now hosts cafes, a Georgian restaurant and independent design ateliers. Sip a cocktail at the Gipsy club which was inspired by a post-modern gipsy camp.


Bol’shaya Novodmitrovskaya Ulitsa, 36 – 127015 [Map]
Moscow's Post-Industrial Renaissance - Flacon's Action Park.

Moscow’s Post-Industrial Renaissance – Flacon’s Action Park.

A former glass factory has been transformed into a creative hub hosting festivals, concerts, exhibitions and flea markets. The complex underwent in transformation in 2009 but preserved the legacy of the factory’s premises and maintained the texture of the red brick buildings. “Since its birth, Flacon always played a key role as a powerful platform tuning with the motto CREATE WHHATEVER YOU WANT” explain the organizers.

The complex hosts a local TV Channel, independent magazines, cafés and funky shops, and unusual designers’  boutiques like Made in Cosmos which proposes local designers’ jewelry made from meteorites. You can fight monsters or explore the outer space in virtual reality at VR Evolution video game arena or relax at an Ayurvedic spa. A residence program invites architecture studios and designers to join the hub, co-working spaces cinemas and galleries organise events, lectures and exhibitions. Recently, has opened a designer basketball court where you can not only play basketball with friends, but simply enjoy the bright colors that might by missing in cloudy days.

Garage Art Muesum

Krimsky Val, 9 строение 32 -119049 [Map]
Garage Art Museum - Photo by Sergey Norin, CC.

Garage Art Museum – Photo by Sergey Norin, CC.

Located in the iconic Gorky Park, the first park built in Russia that was not intended for royalty, Garage Art Museum is a major venue to explore for both its architecture renovation and its high-profile art shows. The re-developmemnt features Rem Koolhaas’ polycarbonate-clad facade and a refurbished the venue’s Soviet-era restaurant. The two-storey main building was derelict for 20 years before being bought by Russian businesswoman and gallerist Dasha Zhukova. Inside, some of the original Soviet mosaics have been preserved, and decorative tiles and brickwork elements were also kept intact. 

Garage hosts a rich program of activities for all ages, from kids’ labs to lectures and workshops, and constantly researches and works to enrich an extensive archive collection of contemporary Russian art and runs a small publishing art company producing about 20 books a year. 

Trekhgornaya Manufaktura

Rochdelskaya Street, 15с1, 123022 [Map]
Photo by @manufactury1905, IG.

Photo by @manufactury1905, IG.

Trekhgornaya Manifaktura is Russia’s oldest textile factory, founded in 1799 in Presnya. The company – now listed on the stock exchange – has survived nationalization, then privatization, and the influx of capitalism. While production is not at the levels of the ‘80s, the company still rocks but many of the disused spaces have been reconverted in ateliers and interior design showrooms.

Winzavod Contemporary Art Center

4-Y Syromyatnicheskiy Pereulok, 1/8 строение 6 – 105120 [Map]
Photo by @Winzavod IG

Photo by @Winzavod IG.

In the 40s, the Winzavod brewery and wine bottling plant behind the Kursky train station was the second largest enterprise after Trekhgornaya, to then it become a large industrial slum during the Soviet era. Red bricked buildings and vaulted brewing halls have been reconverted into creative spaces with art galleries and boutiques of indie designers.

Photo by @Winzavod IG

Photo by @Winzavod IG.

Since 2010, Winzavod invites international street artists to create murals as part of the graffiti Wall project focusing on graffiti culture. Winzavod hosts also the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, which is an opportunity for those under 35 to come and share their work. 

ARTPLAY Design Center

Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya Ulitsa, 10 – 105120 [Map]
ARTPLAY Moscow - Photo by marusyyya_miracle IG

ARTPLAY Moscow – Photo by @marusyyya_miracle, IG.

ARTPLAY Design Center is known as one of the first creative clusters of Moscow. A post industrial area of 75,000 sqm has become the home of over 300 architectural workshops and design offices, stores selling furniture, lights, plumbing, building materials and equipment from the best premium-class manufacturers.

ARTPLAY Moscow - Photo by @vs_vie, IG.

Photo by @vs_vie, IG.

The venue hosts also educational institutions such as the British Higher School of Design, MARCH School of Architecture and the Scream School of Computer Graphics. The highlight of this art center is the rooftop café from where you can watch the passing trains. The rooftop is also a concert venue that hosts multiple music festivals during the summer.

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

Ulitsa Obraztsova, 11, стр.1, лит. А – 127055 [Map]
Jewish Museum Moscow, photo by Sergei Norin, CC.

Photo by Sergei Norin, CC.

Inaugurated in 2012, the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center occupies the restored Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage which was originally designed by Constructivism masters Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov in 1926 and is now consider a landmark of Russian Avantgarde.

The permanent exhibitions narrates through panoramic cinemas, interactive screens, audiovisual installations the every life and culture of Russian Jewish community from Catherine the Great down to our days including the dark periods of anti-Semitic discriminatory policies and persecutions. The structure hosts also temporary exhibitions, a education and research center and an area for kids.

Moscow's Post-Industrial Renaissance - Flacon - Photo via @flaconru IG.

Moscow’s Post-Industrial Renaissance – Flacon – Photo via @flaconru IG.