Ciné-moiré: Changing the Face of Pushkin Square

Our proposal for the historic Pushkinsky Theater creates a programmatic envelope for the existing volume that expands the territory of the theater into a series of enfolded layers and surfaces that connect the building enclosure to the plinth on which it resides and out onto the landscape of Pushkin Square itself. The shifting angles of the new envelope knit together the two axes in the public space of the square: the building’s frontal alignment with the park, fountain and Pushkin statue and its diagonal relationship to the Boulevard Ring angling away from it.

This transition of horizontal to vertical connects and activates the different spaces around the theater. Enfolding the plinth, secondary stairs and central grand stair generates more connections to the ground plan that allow the building to connect with street life and the public realm of the square. These new surfaces provide exterior sheltered spaces for gathering that become sites of projection, sources of illumination, and conveyors of graphic information that create a new context for engaging auxiliary cinematic and cultural programs.

Extending the territory of the theater into Pushkin Square allows for an expansion of the program into the urban scale. The grand stairway becomes an amphitheater for viewing live performances, film screening or simply the everyday theater of the street. An outdoor stage is configured as a detached frame that is positioned in the square to act as the armature for screening events. Its outline creates a floating picture plane that delineates the new institutional image of the building and the public space of the square as its spatial counterpoint.

The new outer envelope is to be clad in a laminated assembly of Dupont Sentry glass backed by translucent Dupont Corian. Each glass layer is surfaced with a with a different dot screen pattern using Dupont Alesta powdercoatings that together produce a moire effect that echoes the shifting angles of the massing. The new inner enfolded facade is constructed entirely out of laminated structural Dupont Sentry Glass, each layer fritted with a dichroic film that continues the dot screen moire. Dichroic film, a material that projects color when light passes through it, not only references the traditional medium of motion pictures but also provides an interactive experience of changing lighting effects based on vantage point and time of day.