A palace? A shopping mall?
An exhibition centre?
A palace you wouldn’t want to miss. On closer look you will discover it is Gum, the main department store of the country. It’s long history, in Red Square, offers a unique experience, blending the opportunity to purchase modern day goods with the excitement of historical art and architecture.
For centuries there was a huge market place with many wooden counters which were lined in rows. They also had divisions according to the goods sold there like soap rows, hat rows and many others. As any open market it was chaotic and so in time it had to be replaced by a permanent building.
The building we see now was constructed by the architect Pomerantsev in 1893. It was built in the Old Russian style to live in harmony with the architecture of the Kremlin and the Historical Museum. The inside of it was planned as a modern European shopping arcade of that time—with three galleries connected by elegant bridges looking so light as if made of air.
A glass roof, the «sky» of Gum , was designed by the engineer Shuhov.
With the open glass roof the atmosphere in Gum changes daily, the sun and rain play with it giving different images to the interior. It can vary from bright and colorful to elegant and strict.
The decorations of the mall are changed according to the season: in winter sparkling with the lights of Christmas trees and New Year decorations and in summer floating in flowers.
What I love about Gum is the concept. When the present building was open in 1893 it became a fashionable place to go. It was not only attractive for shopping but became a place for people to socialize. They may meet in a café, visit a bank and even send a telegram. The first exhibition took place there in 1895. It was organized by Mr. Brokar, the owner of a big collection of paintings, rare books and antiques. In 1895 musical evenings started and became a regular venue.
Nowadays the concept is kept the same but the decorations changed to the modern ones. We go to Gum for shopping and socializing. Presentations and activities change there frequently so each time you visit, there will be something new to see.
I invite you: to an amazing opportunity to experience how the present meets with the past! The exhibition “100 years of fashion in Russia”, Moscow, Gum