In the dog days of Perestroika, Malcolm Reading carried out a modest refurbishment of space in the old State Library of Foreign Literature for the Moscow branch of the British Council. This grew into a long term relationship with the Director and Board of the Library.
With the new freedom to establish economic independence, the Library asked us to prepare a long-term plan to optimise space and create an adaptable education and cultural use centre in the 1960’s era building. We established a wide ranging brief for the re-use of the old library spaces and stack areas, involving the opening up of new accommodation and improving the external spaces, which included views across the Moscva River.
We ran a limited international design competition for a masterplan for the building that the Library could use to raise funding and seek the support of key stakeholders, including the main diplomatic cultural partners. The building is now successfully running as an international centre using culture and education as a core purpose.