Under the Soviet regime this state library was a closed archive but with economic and political change, the organisation became a rich resource for research and public education and was renamed The National Library of Foreign Literature. The Governors invited the British Council to be a co-tenant and wanted to know how best to make use of a building that was in need of upgrade and improvement.
The Library was a series of buildings, some historic and some dating from the recent past. Together they created an institution but the identity of the organisation had been lost in the disparate buildings and locations. Sustainable facilities were needed to store books and provide larger educational and reading spaces.
Malcolm Reading Consultants carried out a strategic review to help them establish a series of options for the short and long term development of the building and site. This led to a decision to hold an invited architectural competition to give the study a clear masterplan.
We were engaged to coordinate a brief for the competition and develop a business plan, working with the Library, the City of Moscow and the British Council who were providing specialist expertise.
The competition came at a time when the old state institutions were seeking new relationships and international collaborations. Importantly the project created opportunities for foreign investment and involvement.