Lenin as part of the tolerance dialogue
For a competition I entered in collaboration with architect Thijs Brienen to design a Tolerance Pavilion on the Red Square in Moscow. However, due to the large scale of the square, we found it necessary to carry out a larger urban planning intervention. A pavilion that loses itself in space would quickly be overlooked or – worse – ignored. By creating an exhibition, the visitors of Lenin's mausoleum, as well as the visitors of the GUM (Moscow's largest department store) are, as it were, sucked into the exhibition.
By placing eight volumes around Lenin's mausoleum, the mausoleum (and Lenin) itself becomes part of the tolerance issue.
As architects, we should not judge whether the mausoleum is more or less important than the other themes in the exhibition. Therefore, the dimensions of each volume are equal to those of the mausoleum in terms of footprint and height. Placing the volumes on a grid implies democracy and equality. However, a center inevitably arises in a composition with nine objects. To maintain neutrality, the volumes have been turned slightly to avoid the feeling of centrality. Being non-hierarchical is thus achieved with a mannerist grid. One of the volumes includes a contemplation terrace, which is elevated above everyday life. Its shape is the inverse of the volume of Lenin's mausoleum.