The Museum of Russian Art
Minneapolis MN

The Museum of Russian Art holds the largest collection of Soviet-era realist art outside of Russia. To expand its audience and exhibition capability, the museum restored and renovated a Spanish colonial church, revitalizing a derelict community landmark. A new elevator tower reiterates the verticality of the bell tower and balances the dominant horizontal of the new terraced court. To maximize the amount of exhibition space, a mezzanine is suspended from the nave’s steel-reinforced wood roof trusses, avoiding columns that might have obscured sightlines between first floor installations. A long, narrow opening in the mezzanine, oriented in the direction of the nave, allows the visitor to experience it's linear orientation, the repetition of the original wood trusses, and the semicircular apse as the visual focal point.

2006 Heritage Preservation Commission Award, City of Minneapolis

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