May 01, 2008

Travel Notes

Remaking Kama 

The Siberian city of Perm held an open contest to design and build a modern art gallery similar to Bilbao’s Guggenheim and Cincinatti’s Museum of Modern Art. The ambitious project aims to invigorate tourism and culture in Perm, which boasts Siberia’s largest art collection. Architects from 50 countries submitted some 320 proposals, which were reviewed over the course of 18 months. The jury finally decided to choose two winners:  Boris Bernasconi, who designed a giant glass parallelepiped that will combine gallery space with Perm’s Transsib railway station, and Valerio Olgiati, who proposed an uneven pyramid on the bank of the Kama River. Zaha Hadid was awarded third place. 

The jury awarded $300,000 in prize money, yet it is unclear when or if the ambitious project will begin construction, and with which design. Although Perm’s art collection needs a new exhibition space, local officials are wary of funding a unique, state-of-the-art (and expensive) new development, Kommersant reported.

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