A MUSEUM FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE
Opinion regarding the former Russian president is divided, but Yekaterinburg is an exception, as it is the city which led Yeltsin from being a construction site worker to being the first secretary of the local communist party. The museum or rather the Presidential Center was opened to the public in November 2015. It is designed as a social-political institution, encouraging the growth of a democratic country and exploring how the presidential institution evolved in Russia. It is the first such museum of any president of Russia. Besides the center’s name, an imposing statue stands in front of the museum serving as a reminder of the former president.
Telling the truth about the nineties
The nineties were a turbulent time for Russia. After the downfall of the Soviet Union, the economy collapsed and there was no money for wages and pensions. Yeltsin had the support of the entire world, but at home the economic state was in chaos and topped off by the uprising of members of the Parliament. We cannot go past the fact that Yeltsin established a democratic system that can be compared to European democracy, despite how difficult the economic conditions were. The museum showcases the zeitgeist of Russian history and highlights it from the perspective of an ordinary citizen.
“Russia will now never go back to the past”, Boris Yeltsin
More than just a museum
Inside the centre, you can find a museum, a library, archives, an educational and children’s centre, and even exhibition and congress halls. The museum and archive keep more than 30,000 exhibits and over 130,000 photographs. The museum’s primary function is to store, research and give meaning to the historic legacy of Yeltsin in the context of political and social events of the nineties. The location of the museum was chosen by the Yeltsin Foundation and a visible role was played by his daughter Tatjana Yumasheva. This is the first museum in Russia to showcase a Russian president and his legacy, and many more are set to open.
Special congress venue
The centre is also an interesting congress venue, offering a rather unusual and inspirational environment in which to organise events. The venue’s total area stretches out over 2700 m2. The main hall is relatively small and can accommodate up to 200 participants in theatre setting. The entire centre covers 22,000 m2 and there is plenty of space to organise any sort of event. The Music Club Centre is a great example of such a space, equipped with a modern interior and great video and sound equipment.
The incredibly appealing detail of the facility is the facade, which has been awarded for its uniqueness. It is composed of an imposing media wall, covering around 2500 m2 of the surface. It operates as an amazing projection screen and soon after the installation had become a big hit. The entire façade has the quality of a high-definition video wall. Every single pixel spread over the surface can be played simultaneously at 25-frames-per-second and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The creators of this unique wall were the German company Lichtwerke.
The Residence Hotel
As part of the centre, there is a smaller boutique hotel with 11 rooms, which is located on the top floor, offering beautiful views of the city. It is well-equipped and suitable for even the most demanding guests. A sauna, gym, and smaller conference rooms are also part of the hotel. The most exclusive space is the 180 m2 suite where many well-known faces love to spend the night.
Art shops and restaurants
Restaurants and shops have also found their place inside the centre. One of them specialises in retro clothing from the eighties. In other shops, you can find numerous authentic souvenirs from the entire Ural region and in some, you can even find young designers and their works. The bars and taverns are also far from ordinary and have quickly become popular lifestyle hotspots. This part of the offer is a novelty with a strong urban feel and is the icing on the cake for the centre’s whole offer.
As a whole, the centre appears fresh and youthful and looks boldly into the future. This would probably excite even Boris Yeltsin himself. The centre is constantly bustling with concerts, performances, movie screenings and lectures. At the same time, the centre is following the trends coming from similar centres around the globe, which are gaining in popularity among event organisers because of their multifunctional design.