Classicism, constructivism, empire, art nouveau – every architectural style is present on Moscow streets today. Stalin-era high-rise buildings and 1990s-2000s skyscrapers stand next to manor houses from the times of Russian Emperor Peter the Great and Russian Empress Catherine the Great ; city malls and sports complexes rise among residential buildings; and Moscow metro is a true architectural museum under the ground.
Projects by modern architects adorn the city too. The most interesting ones are nominated for the Best Completed Construction Project contest every year. The winner is decided by the city jury and residents.
Let us see the works residents liked most and remember the best projects from back over the years.
Let’s draw and live: residential construction
Residents pay the most attention to choosing residential buildings and complexes, because these projects will become an example for other developers.
In 2015, a nine-storey high building in the Khoroshyovo-Mnyovniki District became the best building: it is easy to reach by public transportation and has a very developed social infrastructure with shops, kindergartens, schools and medical centres.
Russian products were used to build it. The jury also took into account the planning, parking organisation and development of the outdoor area.
Last year, houses at quarter 34–35, Prospekt Vernadskogo won the contest. Buildings with different numbers of storeys are designed with soft tones stressing the balconies and front windows.
This year, the residential complex on 141 Varshavskoye Motorway in the Yuzhnoye Chertanovo District was nominated for the contest as it fascinated residents with its bright facade design, yards without any cars, wave-shaped lawns plus an unusual playground.
Grand Deluxe on Plyushchikha luxury complex is nominated as best luxury buildings among others. The jury praised the energy-saving technology and high security level as well as easy access for disabled people and easy parking.
The best completed low-rise construction project is Andersen residential complex in Desyonovskoye rural town. Neat buildings match the landscape well; there are recreation areas near the water inside the complex, playgrounds and easy parking. Due to the modern security systems the residents are protected from fire and other threats.
This year, residents preferred Donskoi Olimp residential complex to the other four luxury-class buildings. Five colourful buildings in Neo-Classic style have been constructed on Serpukhovskoy Val Street. The style of the yard matches the buildings: it has columns, rotundas, neat little tables, paved paths, a children’s playground complex and even a big boat. A restaurant, shops, a medical centre, a fitness club and offices will open on the ground floors of the buildings. It will also have its own kindergarten.
Moscow Metro designs
Faceless metro station interiors built in the 1990s are giving way to recognisable lively designs, such as Spartak station of the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line.
The station that was opened in 2014 was named after the popular Moscow football club. It was selected the best transportation infrastructure project for its themed interior design, accessibility for passengers with restricted mobility, safety and comfort.
During the first year that it operated, the station served 700,000 passengers. In 2018, it will be one of the stations included on the itinerary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup fans coming to Spartak Stadium.
Kotelniki station was voted the best station last year. Passengers noted the unusual lamps in the centre of the platform and real potted trees. The station is fitted out with a modern navigation system and device chargers. But most importantly, the metro became closer to people living and working in Kotelniki, Zhulebino and Lyubertsy districts.
According to public opinion, this year the winning title should be awarded not to just one station but to the entire Moscow Central Circle (MCC) launched in September 2016. Today, 31 MCC stations are available to passengers, including 15 interchanges to the metro and six to commuter trains.
MCC stations are equipped with escalators and lifts, new pay gates accepting credit card and smart phone payments, navigation and alert systems, phone chargers, and also have strict security. More than 300,000 people use Lastochka fast trains on a daily basis. For many, the circle reduced the number of changes and travel time by half.
Centre of attraction
The Lotos business centre at the intersection of Nakhimovsky Prospekt and Odesskaya Street was named the best office project of 2014.
The business property comprises three 21-storey high glass-faced towers shaped like petals. The offices are located in close proximity to the metro and major roads. Thanks to panoramic windows, rooms have a lot of light. In addition to the four-level parking space, the area around the towers was turned into a recreational area for office workers.
Evolution Tower of the Moscow City International Business Centre was selected the exemplary office space last year. Its shape resembles the DNA string. Locals call it ‘dancing skyscraper’ or ‘wedding hall’ although the civil registry office only occupies 2,000 square metres of its total area. Almost all other floors are taken up by offices. The lower part of the building also has shopping and entertainment facilities, metro passages, a route to the Bagration Bridge and other towers, and a parking space for 1,350 cars.
This year, the best business property title may be given to the Oruzheiny multi-purpose centre on the Garden Ring.
At first glance, the building resembles a glass-faced version of the famous Stalinist high-rises. A beautiful view of the city opens up from panoramic windows that let in a lot of light. Office workers and visitors can conveniently commute by public transit or car and use a large underground parking space. There are 44 lifts for fast transfer between floors. The building also accommodates a shopping mall, a café plus a gym.
The business centre has a flexible floorplan meaning that each company can choose its own office design. Safety and security facilities include a security station, access control, CCTV, fire alarms and a fire extinguishing system.
Sites for resounding victories
Otkrytye Arena, the Spartak Moscow football club home stadium, was acknowledged as the best sports facility in 2014. When it was being built environmentally safe materials and energy saving technology were used.
The front of the stadium is covered with red and white large overlapping tiles and there is also a large media screen too. This modern stadium can seat 45,360 spectators. This place was considered to be the best with good reason – following the results of the Confederations Cup in June this year, foreign footballers and FIFA gave high marks to the turf and the changing rooms.
The VTB Ice Palace built in the former ZIL industrial zone won a prize as the best sports facility last year. Advanced technology, materials and design options were used in its construction. Three arenas are located under the same roof – the large (with 12,000 seats), small (3,000 seats) and training (200 seats). Two transformable arenas make it possible to hold competitions in other sports and also concerts and shows in addition to football matches.
According to participants of the Active Citizen project, this year the prize should go to the CSKA stadium with its 127 VIP boxes offering a panoramic view of the field and 30,000 seats. The sports complex features the CSKA museum, a sports school for children and teenagers, a medical centre, restaurants, gift shops and tennis courts. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup the CSKA home arena will be the training field for the teams participating in the championship.
Remembering the past: The best reconstruction projects
The Central Children’s Store on Lubyanka Square can be considered a good example when it comes to the restoration of a cultural establishment into a place that can be used today. During the reconstruction the working teams managed to restore the granite plinth on the façade, the window s, the original ceramic tiles and the three-span balcony lost in the 1980s. They also restored the bronze standard lamps, the marble balusters in the atrium railing and the oak-wood entrance doors.
Before the restoration only four floors out of seven were being used by customers, the other premises were used as warehouses and offices. Now shops (all in all 250) are located on all the floors and offer a full range of children’s goods and services.
Visitors will be impressed by the world’s largest clock made at the Petrodvorets Watch Factory, the observation platform commanding a view of the Kremlin and Red Square, the stained glass pictures in the atrium dome and the Childhood Museum. Each floor also has interactive areas with training programmes for children. Visitors can comfortably move around the shopping centre with the help of 24 escalators and 22 lifts.
Muscovites believe that, following the results of last year’s restoration, the Kievsky railway station can lay claim to being called the best restoration project. Work has been going on there since 2011. During this period, construction teams have face-lifted the walls and arches, the granite steps and the latticed plinth, the columns and the metal and stone statues. They have also cleaned the majolica bas-relief of St George decorating the gable and restored its lost fragments.
Restoration of the station’s facades was completed in 2016. This year, restoration of the Red and Pink rooms (halls) will come to an end. The rooms will be given back their historical look – they will be faced with marble and will regain their mouldings and decorative paintings. Ticket vending machines and signs both in Russian and English will also be set up there.
Hotels and shopping malls
In 2015, the Danilov Plaza integrated hotel complex on the Novodanilovskaya Embankment got full marks. Its location, transportation accessibility and parking availability were seen as good points by the jury. An important factor was the use in the construction of energy-saving technology and the high safety standards. Guests will certainly enjoy the view of the Moskva River from their hotel room windows.
This year, people were attracted by the unusual shape and decoration of the Inside / «Инсайд» hotel in the rural town of Moskovsky. The building is shaped like a glass cylinder, so that the corridors are round. On the floor, there is a bizarre pattern of flowers, and the walls are adorned with mesmerising landscapes. There are 27 rooms, a cozy restaurant and a shopping and entertainment centre inside the hotel.
Also, ‘active citizens’ voted for the Khorosho! entertainment and shopping mall this year. The front of the building has unusual windows, and the walls are brightly illuminated at night. The interior uses light white tones, lighting techniques that make everything seem more spacious, a fountain and pictures of flowers projected by means of slides.
The building is also functional. In addition to 250 shops, there is a cafe, a supermarket and a cinema, 800 parking spaces, wide passages and places for recreation.
In 2015 top marks went to Dmitry Bertman’s Moscow Helikon OperaTheatre, chosen out of many other cultural and educational establishments. The theatre is located in the Shakhovskys-Glebovs-Streshnevs estate on Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street. The interior of the place, the dome above the small hall, columns made of artificial marble, chandeliers, floor lighting and wall lamps were all restored based on the original 19th century design. The floor in the main halls and the lobby is decorated with parquet encrusted with rare kinds of wood. Both the hall and the stage used the latest technology.
The restored Oleg Tabakov Theatre may become the best cultural and educational facility this year. It is equipped with modern sound, lighting and stage equipment. Its distinctive feature is a Vivace system, used to create various sound effects.
It is also important that medical centres are designed well and be comfortable.
This task was completely handled by the MEDSI clinical and diagnostic centre, located on Krasnaya Presnya Street. The front of the building is decorated with stained glass and ornamental design. During construction, local materials and energy-saving technology were used. It’s easy to park, at the same time it is convenient to get there by metro.
The Infectious Disease Hospital No 2 used for maternity purposes on 8th Sokolinaya Gora Street may become the best medical facility this year. The building was constructed using city budget funds; it has 130 beds, wards for receiving and discharging patients, including HIV-infected persons, an isolator, an ultrasound room, a two-section maternity ward, a postpartum department for infected mothers, a neonatal department and another postpartum department.