Multifunctional Museum Complex in Yaroslavl

Revitalization of the Stadium “Spartak” in the Historical Center of Yaroslavl (UNESCO Zone)

The impressions from the sunflower have encouraged the young and talented Armenian architects working in Moscow to produce an artistic and skillful project full of imagination. Well done indeed and wish you all the best in your professional career.

The project is created within the framework of the Official competition of the Yaroslavl International Architecture Biennale “Spartacus alive”.

The goal of the project is the formation of a closed space for exhibitions, festivals, fairs and creation of a new pavilion type in the historic center of the city of Yaroslavl, on the site of the old ravine (protected landscape) according to the development program of the museum complex of the city.

The complex located in the territory of the “Spartak” stadium, Yaroslavl, Russia with an area of 2,6 ha consists of the following halls:

  • Museum of local lore
  • Museum of the History of Yaroslavl
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Space for temporary exhibitions
  • Library
  • Gift and book shop
  • Panoramic cinema with a spherical dome
  • Cineplex
  • Attractions hall
  • Great concert Hall
  • Outdoor amphitheatre

The museum complex can be transformed to a multifunctional space under one dome for exhibitions, concerts, festivals, conferences, business and political forums of regional, federal and international importance.

In the initial mode, the complex is divided into two main areas:

a. a space for the museums and exhibits, which also includes a research department, a library with a reading room and archives, a gift and a book shop, a cafe and a large spherical panoramic (360 degrees) 3D cinema (pic. 1). Picturesque views of the city or restorations of medieval battle scenes, shown at that cinema create by the visitors a feeling that the action is happening directly around the visitor.

b. an entertainment area with a multiplex cinema, a concert hall, an outdoor amphitheater and a game room with interactive and didactic games and simulators for children and adults.

Pic. 1. –Panoramic 3D cinema interior 

The proposed spatial composition was chosen due to the conditions of competition, the nature of the landscape and historical-cultural urban environment.

The building is placed into the deepening of the existing stadium. The complex with characteristic shafts, knobs and domed halls is only few meters higher as the existing level of land. The green roof of the ensemble is based on a parametric model of gravitational lenses with beautiful fractal grid in the image of a sunflower. The roof blends harmoniously into the existing landscape, and in fact is the fifth and the only façade of the building.

Pic. 2. –The concept of architectural forms of the complex based on a fractal parametric half-timbered structure.

Nine vortexes of different diameters and heights create a single indoor space in the interior of the complex. The hyperboloid of the vortexes is modeled in strict accordance with the principles of the golden ratio and contains the code of the real harmony in the universe. The form of the vortexes has a perfect proportion and creates the most enjoyable and unforgettable for the human visual perception silhouette of a powerful form of the vortex, the galaxy, the whirlpool, the gravitational field …

Vortexes remind of a kind of gravity centers with exhibitions, concerts, events and other entertainment activities happening around them. In addition the vortexes provide the necessary insulations into the museum. Showrooms, exhibition halls and other rooms with the need of ambient lighting are situated in the north segments of the exhibition spaces.

Pic. 3. –Examples of a modular grid with use of the golden ratio (Le Corbusier, MODULOR, Moscow 1976)


The technology of the parametric design made it possible to gather different by function spaces under a huge picturesque structure and to solve many aesthetic, functional, navigational and spatial compositional problems with large strokes. That innovative approach made it possible to transform all the pavilions of the museum into a single space when needed.

The green hills, hillocks and trees create a traditional national landscape and remind of an urban environment of the medieval Russian cities, the Kremlin walls and golden domes and the glass vortexes give a modern and extravagant touch to the landscape.

At the same time, the roof of the building serves as a playground and a place for walks and meetings of the citizens. Fans of extreme sports can practice their technique in skateboarding or inline skating and biking, smoothly and deftly skirting the bumps and craters.

Taking into account, that the museum is being placed in a historical zone, any identified during the archaeological excavations historical materials can be properly preserved and integrated into the structure of the museum and become an excellent “live” exhibit for the museum. The structure of the roof will protect the important historical material against external harmful nature (rain, snow, wind, sun) and anthropogenic impacts.

Company contacts:

ITHAKA – Architecture and design

Tel: +374 10 546609, + 7 495 5176537