Yard. A music venue

Concept for the development of the former Experimental Plant of Technological Equipment in Minsk

The development of decayed industrial sites is a key factor in the renewal of Minsk. Tucked away amid residential quarters, such territories are often more viable than specially designed public spaces. Despite its enclosed nature and isolation from the streets, the Experimental Plant of Technological Equipment too has the potential to become a full-fledged and successful place. The neighbouring cultural and entertainment places such as “Песочница” (Pesotchnitsa), “Горизонт” (Horizont) and “Корпус 8” (Korpus 8) already embody the idea of a modern, young Minsk with room for creativity, business and cooperation.

The area of the Plant is 1.89 ha and in the early stages of the project it functioned as warehouses and repair workshops. One of the fundamental objectives of the development of the area was not so much to create comfortable workplaces and infrastructure for them, but to create a place and a community capable of supporting and generating life in the area.

Minsk’s great love of music predetermined the key theme for the development of such a place. The core of the project is a music centre with a club and a bar, and the main public space is an area for concerts and parties. A music school, specialised shops with vinyl records and musical instruments, and rehearsal studios provide visitors with a wealth of different and interesting experiences. Most of the buildings function as office spaces of varying typologies with developed infrastructure on the ground floors.

The only way to “design” the life of a new place is to build up a step-by-step development process of the area together with a group of stakeholders. In collaboration with the different actors, certain patterns of use of the place should be created, emphasising its physical, social and cultural identity. As the European experience shows, creating a place works for its reputation, increases the demand for it, and consequently affects the rental value.

The first stage - “Opening up the area” - is to overcome the barriers and enclosures created by the long production building with no entrances, perimeter retaining walls and fencing structures, and make the area easily accessible to citizens with a new music bar and pass-through shops.

The second stage creates active public spaces: a cinema with an outdoor section, a music centre with an outdoor stage and dance floor, street food outlets, recreational and hangout areas, and workshops.

The construction of the new office building will complete the third stage, providing quality workspaces and the necessary infrastructure to the ground floors.

Exposed red and white bricks, ceramic tile façade cladding, and metal constructions create a spontaneous aesthetic character. As a balancing act, we introduce calm and deliberately neutral new materials: light plaster, in tone with the white brick, to hide façade imperfections, and to highlight entrances. The window frames and other new metallic elements in green are intended to be a visual feature of the Yard.

Date: January 2020
Location: 15 Masherova Av., Minsk
Client: Beltyazhmash
Status: Concept