Special Camp

Memory Park, Magadan Region, 2021—p.t.
Landscape, a mold of the Dneprovsky mine territory
Special Camp in the Garden of Memory pavilion, 2022
Mineral Separation Plant, precise copy of the industrial facility remains
Case no. 1.3 with the Shafts model
Case №3.2, dedicated to restoration
Site Cabin, a project of museum, research center, and residence
Exposition plan

Auditoria, Memory Fund, GULAG History Museum, and Meganom have been working on a project to turn the former Dneprovsky mine into an open-air museum since 2021. The Special Camp exhibition focuses on the concept and architecture of the future Memory Park, which covers 400 hectares of taiga.

The Dneprovsky mine is the most fully preserved industrial-camp complex in Kolyma. It's workforce was made up of prisoners, including many who were persecuted on political grounds. The mine was founded to extract tin in the summer of 1941 and worked until 1955, when the territory was abandoned after the ore deposit dilution. 

Memory Park Project
The Dneprovsky mine’s historic landscape is being carefully preserved—all of the rocks, paths and elements of camp life are being left in place. The territory will acquire a museum structure, the foundation of which will be a pedestrian route through the natural halls with their artifacts—camp's remains.

The Path is a circular route leading around the territory. It takes visitors through ten landscape halls that are formed around a series of key sites at the Dneprovsky mine: the Entry Group, the Headquarters, the Testing Area, the Cemetery, two Mineral Separation Plants, the Work Area, the Residential Area, the Gravity Runway, and the Enriching Factory. Walking the Path will take three to four hours. 

Small intervention sites subtly guide the visitors along the way. Bridges, stairways, benches, viewing boards, information posts and signs help to make moving around the park comfortable, interesting and intuitively comprehensible.

The Site Cabin
The only new architectural facility on the Dneprovsky’s territory will be the Site Cabin, marking the beginning and end of the Path and serving as a symbol of the Park, as well as housing a research center and accommodation for guests for the night. Built first, it will become a catalyst for the transformation of the abandoned camp into the Memory Park. 

The shape of the building develops the archetype of a house with a sloping roof. The Cabin’s three-sided beam stretches from North to South—the building will have a length of 72 meters and a width of 3.3 to 6.6 meters. It stands on a slope: one end is cut into a hill, while the other is raised over the ground. 

The Site Cabin architecture brings together residential and museum functions in one form. The monolithic building is divided internally into warm and cold sections linked by a gallery with an open terrace that is cut into the contours of the building.

Special Camp Concept
As a result of the Deneprovsky mine being so difficult to reach, the exhibition carries an image of expiditional mobility. It led to the creation of numbered wooden cases on legs that accompany the models—they are used both to transport and display valuable items. 

Exposition can be set up without tools. The large models can be dismantled into sections and packed in shipping boxes. The smaller items safely pack away into their cases. The cases legs are easily removed without screwdrivers through the use of bolts with wingnuts. 

The exhibition is constructed around five key models: Landscape, Mineral Separation Plant, the Path, Shafts, and the Site Cabin. Together, they are the icons of the future Memory Park. 

Exhibition Models


The exhibition’s main model is a precise copy of the Dneprovsky camp’s landscape, a monument to the history of the site. The sculpture was cast in a mold designed using data collected through low-level aerial photography. The layout’s ragged contours remind us of the camp’s lack of demarcated, fixed borders. 

Mineral Separation Plant

The Mineral Separation Plant that sprawls across the landscape at the mine is a key historic construction within the Memory Park. The exhibit symbolizes total preservation. It has been created in expanded polystyrene, and its texture of weathered wood results from an artistic covering with a solution of paint and plaster. 


The Path is a symbol of the museumification of the territory. The model presents the structure of the excursion route around the Memory Park. It was created in metal by hand: the contours have been cut out of a single sheet, its volume being provided through the use of embossing. 


In the model, a phenomenon that is usually invisible to the naked eye is laid bare—the underground world of the mine. The layout of the shafts has been recreated using Dneprovsky’s archived geological logs. The model was built using a 3D printer and then covered in a primer, varnish and graphite, before being given a metallic surface with the aid of electroplating. 

Site Cabin

The Site Cabin museum, research and residential block serves as a catalyst for the transformation of the former camp into a memorial site. The model has been created from sheet metal and welded at nodal points. The texture has been achieved through patination.



Memory Fund:

Roman Romanov — manager

Artyom Gotlib — executive director

Irina Neustroyeva — project coordinator

Marina Gornostayeva — chief accountant 

Moscow GULAG History Museum:

Anna Stadinchuk — deputy development director

Natalia Karpukhina — chief museum artifact custodian 

Anna Redkina — head of exhibition department

Timur Bulgakov — exhibition project curator

Ilya Udovenko — senior academic

Olesya Yevteyeva — academic of the archive department 

Olga Bulatnova — head of the archive records section

Vasily Cherkasov — restorer

Yekaterina Filippova — senior academic of the exhibition department

Ilya Davydov — chief engineer

Alexander Farkushin — head of IT department

Sergei Pronin — complex servicing and building repair supervisor

Vlad Oblasov — lighting designer

Auditoria / Meganom:

Yury Grigoryan — founding partner of the Meganom bureau

Alexei Lashkov — Auditoria project director

Misha Mostovoi — project architect 

Anya Simchit — exhibition architect, artist

Kirill Garagan — exhibition architect, artist

Marta Abramova — architect 

Ira Zabrodina — architect

Yuri Kuznetsov — model studio chief, Meganom bureau

Artyom Fetisov — architect, model studio

Matvei Kanayev — artist

Dana Smagina — graphic designer 

Polina Patimova — editor 

Taya Osipova — editor

Glafira Parinos — coordinator

Ira Bogachkina — layout designer

Ruslan Tkachenko — diagram graphic artist

Vladimir Babenkov Studio — work with metal items

Alexander Golubinkin Studio — work with wood items

PHOTOS: Daniil Annenkov, Alexei Smirnov, Vasilisa Bikeeva