Shchusev State Museum of Architecture today is Russia’s sole specialised museum of architecture. It owns a unique collection and priceless archives. For a long time the museum has been functioning as a research institution dealing with preservation of monuments, creation of the archival and art collections. Currently, the Museum has entered a new period of its life. The main enfilade of the main building facing the Vozdvizhenka Street in front of the Moscow Kremlin was restored, the sculpture courtyard was erected, and the first permanent exhibition halls are already accepting their first visitors thanks to the public and philanthropic support.
Today the work on the permanent exhibition has entered the active phase. Its most important part is the Corridor of Time multimedia complex.
The new exhibition includes several sections: the introductory, designed to present to the visitor the history of domestic architecture, to give an idea about the architectural styles and eras; and the main one representing the outstanding monuments of the museum funds. In both cases, the multimedia complex and the additional information provided via the technical means should become one of the key elements allowing for the solution of the main problem of the museum’s exhibitions:
The basic idea of the Corridor of Time permanent multimedia exhibition of the museum is to use the new forms of demonstration of the history of Russian architecture, which could on the one hand supplement the permanent exhibition while being its integral part on the other hand. ARCHIprojects of Russia have been selected from original works being crucial for the further development of architecture.
The visitors to the museum have the opportunity not only to pass along the Corridor of Time with a guide, but also to get acquainted with the history of Russian architecture independently in way of an individual or group presentation and learn about architectural styles. Then the multimedia complex provides the ability to connect directly to the virtual museum via touch screens, which presents detailed information and stock materials on several thousands of outstanding architectural buildings and projects. Visitors of the museum, as well as any Internet users from any city of Russia and the world can not only learn the basic stages of development of Russian architecture, but choose the way of acquaintance with the museum collection by sorting objects and pictures according to several parameters: style, time, architect (author), construction site, and learn the meaning of unfamiliar architectural terms.
Touch screens of Corridor of Time also give the opportunity to experience the special experience of touring around the unique ensembles presented in Special Projects section recreated using 3D technology. At the moment it has already collected 13 lost, rebuilt or missing ensembles that played a key role in the history of architecture. The Chudov and Voznesensky Monasteries of the Moscow Kremlin, V.I. Bazhenov Grand Kremlin Palace, Baryshnikov Manor, Rusakov Club (architect: K.S. Melnikov), and Russian Village in Glasgow designed by F.O. Shekhtel are among them. The contest projects of the Palace of Soviets being the most ambitious monument of Soviet architecture are of particular interest. Not only the most famous Boris Iofan’s Project has been recreated, but also other projects, including the Le Corbusier’s Project that is important for the whole world architecture. Unlike photographs, panoramas, or video materials, a human being is not a passive observer of other people’s journey but enjoying his own journey. This total immersion in an interactive three-dimensional environment aided by a professional guide in 5 languages telling the story of how the architecture item was created, about the reasons for rejecting the construction or the circumstances in which the building was lost. The video guide is available for the users of mobile devices that do not support detailed 3D graphics.
The experience received when creating the Virtual Museum of Architecture and the associated multimedia complex Corridor of Time can be applied in other institutions: either in a lack of exhibition space, or in presence of significant gaps in the collections that can be replenished via multimedia tools.
The Information Technologies Unit of the Administrative Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation would like to expresses its gratitude to you and to the company’s employees for the productive, high quality work and creativity demonstrated during the organisation of the interactive platform showcasing the museum fund and establishing the virtual museum of Shchusev Museum of Architecture FSBCI on its basis. Virtual reality has become a new way for the museum to make visitors aware of the lost and missing monuments.
On behalf of our organisation we would like to thank your employees for their expertise and creative approach to implementation of the interactive platform showcasing items of the museum fund, including the usage of three-dimensional modelling integrated with the portal http://www.culture.ru and establishing the virtual museum of Shchusev Museum of Architecture FSBCI on its basis, as well as the creation of Permanent Exhibition of Shchusev State Museum of Architecture interactive hardware and software package.
We are confident in further fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation between our organisations.