Oktava Cluster opened in 2018 within the inactive part of the plant of the same name in the center of Tula. A multifunctional space to support the «makers» micing education, entrepreneurship, creativity and cultural leisur. We have developed the concept, program and architectural concept of the cluster, as well as the socio-cultural program.
Octava plant has been producing microphones since 1927. Oktava’s musical equipment is used by U2, Radiohead, Sting, Marilyn Manson and many other international artists. The plant is located in the center of Tula, a city of craftsme, where traditions and values of handmade production are still strong.
The cluster was conceived as a cultural center around makers; a place where the ideas and initiatives of citizens are realized, combining cultural events and educational programs for all.
The courtyard of the cluster is a multifunctional space. Here, visitors can drink coffee, listen to a lecture, play table tennis — large scale events such as open air concerts areregularly organised in the courtyard.
GROUND FLOOR: a large multifunctional hall was designed as an indoor «public space», next to a specialised library, a Fab Lab, a flexible workshop room, a cafe and a professional recording studio.
2nd FLOOR: Machine tool museum dedicated to the history of Russian and world industry.
3rd FLOOR: The Higher Technical School is a platform for training specialists in the field of introducing modern management mechanisms into industry.
4th FLOOR: offices for start-ups and small industries.
The machine tool museum is located on the second floor — in order to provide direct access to it from the courtyard and make the museum more visible, we installed a «signal» external staircase, which has become the visual symbol of Octave. The open staircase terrace works as a summer bar and observation platform. An additional connection between the floors is provided by a staircase inside the building — the fluidity of the internal circulation was carefully studied to encourage.
Its space is designed as a «black box» for immersive mapping projections on exhibits. The «friendly machines» installation on the first floor of the cluster prepares visitors for visiting the museum: we installed decommissioned machines from Oktava on pedestals where you can sit down and literally touch the factory heritage.
The interiors of the cluster are inspired by the aesthetics of factory spaces — concrete, metal and plywood are used as the main materials. The entrance group is highlighted with translucent glass blocks, typical of Soviet industrial architecture. On the floor in the recreation of the first floor, signal graphics are applied, structuring the space and referring to the device of the former workshop.
Based on sociocultural research, we have developed the Voices of the Makers, aimed at supporting and developing a community of inventors, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and everyone who loves to create something new.
The core of the public program is the theme of making. The main content areas are formed around it: «Science and Technology», «Design and Communications», «DIY Art» and «Ecology».
During the first year of operation of the cluster, more than 350 lectures, concerts, performances and master classes, 3 temporary exhibitions and 6 major festivals were held in it, in which 84 thousand people took part.