Today Shchusev State Museum of Architecture 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.
The mobile application Virtual Museum of Architecture was developed for Windows PC, Mac, iOS and Android to enhance access to large-scale exhibits of the museum and to provide the opportunity to live through the special experience of touring around the unique ensembles presented in Special Projects section recreated via 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. The application provides an opportunity to visit the high-precision 3D-models of ensembles to obtain a unique experience sitting at home with a cup of tea or on the way to work in a noisy subway. 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 application is currently used in more than 100 countries around the world, available in more than 30 application stores and is included in Apple AppStore collections, such as My Country, Through the Ages, and Time for the Museum, Guidebooks for Museums and Exhibitions. It is included in the top 5 most popular museum apps in the Russian App Store and is regularly ranked in the top educational apps of the App Store and Google Play. In early 2016 the application passed preliminary selection to enter Steam, the largest international distribution system of entertainment apps. For 13 days, the application has gained more than 4,000 user likes and 300 comments while reaching the 9th place of almost 2,000 applications and was greenlit by Steam administration. All apps are available at vma.muar.ru and vma.Next Space.pro free of charge
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.