Russian Box

Outside our pop-up museum stands an unusual building. Aldo Rossi (1931-1997 Milan), who also designed the Bonnefanten museum building, created the towerRossi designed it in 1989 as a ticket booth and kiosk building for the Architecture and Imagination event at Fort Asperen. It was not designed for a Russian city, but because it resembles the Russian Matryoshka dolls, which can be fitted into one another from big to small. The same applies to the tower, which appears to consist of different boxes piled up. These boxes would actually fit inside one another by turning a handle! Unfortunately, that can no longer be done, as the mechanism became too fragile. 


The tower's architecture refers to the colourful Russian buildings built before the Russian Revolution of 1917. Before the revolution, the Russian Empire had close ties with Europe, and the architecture in Russia looked like that of France, Germany and Austria. This classist style is seen in the Russian Box. Classic, stereotypical architectural shapes from the past were an important source of inspiration for Rossi.  The Russian Box was donated to the Bonnefanten by the municipality of Leeuwarden in 2020 and is being exhibited for the first time this summer.

Beelden door Peter Cox