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Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center

Yekaterinburg, Russia

Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center

The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center is the first institution in the Russian Federation dedicated to the public understanding of its founding, and its first President.

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Tracing the historical decade immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Center provides a unique vantage point to a recent (and contentious) history. Located in Yekaterinburg, the Center serves as a public resource for Russia’s fourth largest city, incorporating cultural and social programming alongside its museum and archival functions.

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Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center_4

RAA was asked to interpret the legacy of President Yeltsin in the Center, whose tumultuous tenure coincided with Russia’s first democratic elections in 1,000 years, the creation of a new national constitution, an economic crisis, and the remaking of its international relationships. Through themed exhibitions tied to historical moments (“days”) of decision-making in crisis, the museum documents the decisions, challenges, successes, and failures inherent in Boris Yeltsin’s effort to remake Russia’s political, economic, and social landscape in the 1990s.

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Working closely with an international team of scholars and historical participants, we paired large-scale scenographic installations with factual, historical information displayed along a timeline extending across the Center. Incorporating new historical research, fresh first-person perspectives, and contemporaneous video and audio content that had yet to publicly surface, the Center’s exhibits convey a storyline that highlights nuance and opens room for debate and the visiting public’s own testimonials.

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Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center_7

Opened in March 2016, the museum is the most visited in the Russia Federation outside of Moscow or St. Petersburg. It was named by the European Museums Association in 2018 as the institution “most likely to challenge stereotypes.”

Year 2015

Size 28,503 square feet

Architect ASPA

AwardsEuropean Museum Forum (EMF), European Museum of the Year (EMYA): Winner, Kenneth Hudson AwardGOOD DESIGN® Award: Winner, EnvironmentsGraphis Design Annual: Silver

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