Construction and renovation

World-class city buildings receive prestigious architectural awards

World-class city buildings receive prestigious architectural awards
Most of the buildings that mushroomed in Moscow in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are notorious for their unattractive appearance. But the situation continues to change little by little. Newly-built stadiums, parks, schools and hotels and residential developments continue to receive prestigious architectural awards. Now that the ARCH MOSCOW Exhibition has opened in the city, we would like to review the buildings that have won the most prestigious competitions.

Moscow’s architecture continues to become more sophisticated with every passing year. The city continues to receive unusual and interesting developments, including parks, schools, buildings and sport stadiums. The impressive level of design is confirmed by various prestigious prizes and awards.

Zaryadye Park has won the Arch Daily award in the Best Public Space project category. It was also rated the best project during the InAVation Awards 2018 international competition in the Visitor Attraction category. Moreover, Zaryadye was shortlisted by MIPIM Awards 2018 in the Best Urban Regeneration Project category.

In 2017, the renovated Luzhniki Stadium received the Sport Engineering AWARDs in the High Sport Architecture category. This year, the upgraded facility won an online vote on the international website and was shortlisted by MIPIM Awards in the Best Renovated Facility category.


The Park of Legends Ice Palace was rated the best implemented sport facility project during the Best Implemented Construction Project competition and also received the Golden Trowel during the High-Quality Architecture competition.

Education facilities are hot on its heels. For example, School No. 2075 won first place during the RTFA 2017 Awards competition in the Educational Institution Concept for Redefining the Future and received a Build School Project certificate.

The best projects are displayed at the 23rd ARCH MOSCOW Exhibition (, the largest exhibition of construction, urban development and design. The event brings together leading experts in these areas.

“Moscow is part of global trends. Today, it is seen as an interesting and lucrative city by famous stellar architects wishing to realise their concepts. Prestigious companies want to boost their image, and new and talented architecture firms can make it to the top, become famous and obtain contracts,” Mr Kuznetsov noted.

Miniature replica of Russian nature

Although Zaryadye opened last year during celebrations of Moscow’s 870th anniversary, the prequel of the newest city park dates back six years. In 2012, it was decided to build this park in the heart of Moscow, to replace the demolished Rossiya Hotel.

The ambitious project called for a special approach, and an international competition for the best park concept was organised. In all, representatives of 90 consortiums from 27 countries filed applications. An international consortium of experts from the Diller Scofidio + Renfro architectural firm, landscape studio Hargreaves Associates, and City-Makers Co. won the competition.

The concept is designed to show Russia’s huge natural diversity over a small area. It was decided to create miniature versions of the Russian steppe, meadowlands, forest and tundra. Hills turned into observation decks providing excellent views of central Moscow’s landmarks, including the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, the Patriarch’s Residence and the Moskva River. Construction began in 2014.

The park received its first visitors in September 2017 or just three years later. Its natural landscape and rich flora blend nicely with the innovative technologies. People can use its walkways and admire birch-trees, willows, water-lilies, almond trees, cherry-trees, geraniums and other native plants. A large green meadow is located in the middle of the park. For a great view, visitors can walk the 70-metre River Overlook footbridge cantilevered 15 metres above the Moskva River.

High-tech buffs can use a media centre, an information centre and various amusements. The media centre offers the highly realistic Soaring over Moscow show on a 13-metre screen, Dolby Surround, a mobile platform and special effects. The innovative remote-controlled smart lighting system features bright, hushed and diffused hues, as well as 2,460 LEDs with built-in sensors.

The Ice Cave is set to open in Zaryadye tomorrow, followed by the 25,200 square metre Philharmonic concert hall a bit later. The unusual-looking building features a unique dome. A glass “crown” covers a garden on the Philharmonic’s roof. The garden is always five degrees warmer than mean city temperatures. This creates comfortable conditions for subtropical plants from southern Russia, including rhododendrons, juniper, lianas and ferns. 

An overpass leading towards the embankment houses a small museum featuring a section of a 16th century Kitai-Gorod wall. Exhibits mostly include artifacts unearthed in the Kitai-Gorod District and Zaryadye. Visitors will see weapons, horse harnesses, cannonballs, customs-office seals, coins and tiles. A glass showcase beneath the floor shows a reconstructed section of the city’s Velikaya Street.

Luzhniki 2.0

Unlike Zaryadye that opened last year, the Luzhniki Olympic Complex has been around since 31 July 1956 when it hosted the first sport festival involving gymnasts, acrobats and track-and-field athletes. That same day, the Luzhniki Big Sport Arena hosted its first football match between RSFSR and the Chinese national teams. Luzhniki has hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics, seven Spartakiads, various world and European championships, UEFA Euro and Champions League finals, as well as many other sports events. The city has now upgraded and rebuilt the legendary but rundown stadium for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the most appropriate pretext.

Luzhniki was shut down in 2014 for a comprehensive overhaul of the interior. Before, 10 percent of the seats provided only obstructed views. New two-deck grandstands were installed at a steeper angle and closer to the football pitch. The stadium’s capacity increased by 3,000 seats, for 81,000 spectators total.

To protect fans from the rain, the roof overhang was extended an additional 14-metres. The roof itself is coated with translucent polycarbonate, a durable modern material that lets sunlight in.

The Big Sport Arena’s upper level features an observation deck with excellent views of central Moscow, Novodevichy Convent, the Moscow International Business Centre and Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The football pitch was covered with a natural grass on a 1.5-metre layer of drainage and heating systems, sprinklers, an aeration system and instruments to monitor the turf’s technical specifications. In all, 35 kilometres of pipes are installed under the football pitch. And the turf was sown with 410 kilogrammes of seeds.

The stadium’s goals are equipped with goal-line technology helping referees identify the exact moment when a ball crosses the goal line. Several cameras are fixed on the goals, with special bracelets informing referees when the ball makes a valid goal.

It was decided to preserve the historical image of the Big Sport Arena. Its walls were cleaned and restored. Semi-transparent panels depicting sport competitions were installed on the Arena’s façade.

Like Zaryadye, Luzhniki features an unusual architectural lighting system operating in three modes. The brightest, festive, mode is used during major sport and cultural events. The second mode is intended for routine sport and cultural events. And the third mode is used to illuminate the stadium at night.

The upgraded Luzhniki Big Sport Arena has already hosted its first matches. In November 2017, the Russian national team took on Argentina, with the Russian and Brazilian national teams playing in March.

A legend is born

In March 2015, Moscow received the Park of Legends Ice Palace, a huge new sport facility, at the reorganised ZIL industrial park redevelopment site. The sports palace’s total area is 69,000 square metres. It has large and small arenas, and training arenas for 12,100, 3,500 and 500 spectators, respectively.

The convertible large and small arenas can host basketball, boxing, tennis, martial-arts and other competitions, as well as various cultural events, such as concerts and exhibitions.

The large and small arenas can seat up to 14,000 and 5,000 spectators, respectively. Apart from standard grandstands, the Ice Palace boasts about 70 comfortable VIP boxes.

The Ice Palace can host professional ice hockey matches at any level, including world championship and Kontinental Hockey League games.

A seamless LED media cube in the large arena can display images at 360-degree angles. A 900-square metre media screen is located on the Ice Palace’s main façade, opposite the fan zone.

The Ice Palace building has comfortable locker rooms, chill zones, a gym with exercise equipment, a workshop for sharpening skates and sports gear repairs and a medical unit.

Digital school

School No. 2075 has become the first digital school in the city. Apart from the main curriculum, students learn to play chess, study robotics and the basics of programming.

This project involved a team of educators, psychologists and architects. As a result, the building helps boost the quality of education. The new school focuses on public space.

Architects deviated from the modular school-building concept and designed multi-scale properties, including small rooms for up to five students and lecture-rooms for up to 50 people. Partitions help adapt classrooms to various academic tasks.

The school boasts gyms and a swimming pool with a balcony for spectators on the second floor. Its open spaces, stained-glass windows, recreational zones with natural lighting and large classrooms all merit attention. Musical and artistic classes help promote creative development. A science and engineering campus is being established for research projects and experiments.

More different good awards

Residential buildings, hotels and business centres have also received prestigious architectural awards. Certain hotels were rated the best hotel construction projects by International Property Awards 2017/2018.

In the past 12 months, large residential developments have received awards in categories like Best Implemented Development Project on the Russian Real estate Market, and they have also received the Proestate Awards 2017, Dedalo Minosse and Brick Award Russia 2017.