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This week during Art Basel, the Republic of Uzbekistan’s Art and Cultural Development Foundation (ACDF) unveiled plans for the development of the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Tashkent at its booth at Design Miami/Basel. The country’s first contemporary art center, the project will see French architectural firm Studio KO renovating a 1912 diesel station in Tashkent for the home of the CCA, which first opened in 2019.
“The Centre for Contemporary Arts is a major element of cultural infrastructure of the Republic of Uzbekistan. We are glad to collaborate with an innovative studio with the large international portfolio who have experience developing ingenious projects respectful of local traditions and national heritage,” said Saida Mirziyoyeva, Deputy Chairwoman of the Council of the Art and Culture Development Foundation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. “Together we are going to create a cultural hub which will facilitate our diverse initiatives and allow creative communities in Tashkent to flourish.”
With a first look at the future of the space debuted at the fair as part of the Special Projects sector, ACDF’s presentation included a model in miniature of the CCA’s updated home, created in a collaboration between the design studio and Atelier Misto founder, Miza Mucciarelli. The 1:100-sized replica—composed of boxwood and black Corian—revealed plans that maintain the integrity of the historic stone structure, whilst modernizing its interiors to better engage a global audience across facets like hosting lectures, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, and more.
“Contemporary cultural institutions are complex creative environments tailored for needs of producers and diverse audiences. Our collaboration with Studio KO will ensure that the Centre for Contemporary Arts is an inclusive space where cultural practitioners of different genres and backgrounds will be able to express themselves and share their work with visitors from Uzbekistan and beyond,” stated Gayane Umerova, the Executive Director of ACDF.
In tandem with the building’s renovation, ACDF also commissioned Studio KO to design a space for the Mahalla Artist Residencies (MAH). The residency will encompass its own space set within old city quarters, where creative workshops will span a range of mediums and disciplines (like painting, sculpting, textiles, film, ceramics, and 3D printing) alongside an educational program existing within the CCA’s main structure.