Billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich has snapped up two buildings in Gorky Park for a total of 433 million roubles as part of plans to expand the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, Artguide reported. Park Development, an affiliate of Millhouse Capital, which manages Abramovich’s assets purchased the former Seasons restaurant and the Hexagon, an iconic building with national heritage status that was once an exhibition centre and the largest cinema in Europe.
Once renovated, the Hexagon will provide a new home for the main exhibition area of Garage, which is currently housed in a temporary pavilion designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The renovation will be overseen by Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas. Garage is a project of Ambramovich’s partner, Dasha Zhukova.
Andrei Stepanenko, generation director of the Auction House of the Russian Federation, said: “We’re pleased with the results of the auction. Objects of national heritage are more difficult in terms of attracting investment, and, as a result, harder to sell. They are transferred into private hands with the strict requirement that they will be reconstructed and preserved. It’s practically impossible to estimate the full amount of investment that will be needed at such an early stage of the project.”