Smart, round and with shelters: Unusual benches in Moscow

Smart, round and with shelters: Unusual benches in Moscow
Photo: Maxim Denisov
Benches with and without sockets, with shelters and back rests, and with solar power and interactive screens are available from morning to late night almost everywhere. There are benches in parks, public gardens, courtyards and on embankments. The seats are not just for resting.

Every year under the My District programme Moscow beautifies hundreds of parks, garden squares and public spaces, where thousands of new benches appear. They have become synonymous with city comfort. shares where to find Moscow’s most comfortable and original benches.

Benches with interactive screens

Smart benches are the product of advanced technologies. They have sockets to charge devices, which most often use solar batteries and sometimes have interactive screens that show local news, weather reports, maps and ads. Moscow actively supports global trends: this year, the city plans to equip public transport stops with USB chargers. To date, benches with sockets can be found in the Islam Karimov public garden in the Yakimanka District.

Sun loungers

People can relax from the city noise, read a book, enjoy the view of a pond, lie down and think on wooden sun loungers. They can be found everywhere from morning until late night almost everywhere: in parks, public gardens, on embankments in even in courtyards, for example in the Stroginskaya Poima and Brateyevskaya Poima (flood plains). Beach loungers can be found in the Otradnoye public garden and recreation zone near Beket Pond and minimalistic seats on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment.

Garden sofas, classic benches and office chairs

One-seat benches are an introvert’s delight. Those who value personal space can sit in peace: no one will break their solitude because these benches are designed for one. They look different: like garden sofas in Severnoye Tushino Park, like classic benches on Nagatinskaya Embankment and like office chairs in the public garden on Nagorny Boulevard in the Kotlovka District.

Lean benches

Many megalopolises have popular benches for which it is difficult to find a Russian name. People cannot sit on these benches but only lean on them to rest their back and legs for a bit. They are especially useful where there is not enough room for usual benches. They can be found on Ovchinnikovskaya Embankment where there are garden sofas with backs almost as tall as humans. Lean benches were installed at the Ploshchad Gagarina station of the Moscow Central Circle: warm benches with heated back bars were put in there ahead of the winter cold in 2019.

Photo: Press Service of Moscow Mayor and the Moscow Government. Maxim Mishin

Just for sitting

Comfortable benches are not only appreciated by the city dwellers strolling in parks and public gardens but also by the homeless because they can sleep there. Sometimes rough sleepers make it impossible to use the benches as intended. Outdoor furniture manufacturers found a solution: they divided the benches into sections with armrests. You can find such a bench in Torfyanka Park: it is quite comfortable to sit on, but you will not be able to lie down. The Petrovsko-Razumovskaya station of the Dmitrovskaya Line has curved benches: it is easy to slide off them if you try to assume a horizontal position.

Photo: Maxim Denisov

With shelter

Comfortable benches with shelters are also popular among people living in Moscow. They have special sun-, wind- and rain-proof shields made of durable material or a shaded pergola. These benches are made in the country style; they look very cosy, and it is comfortable to relax on them. Double benches located opposite each other have a protective arched structure and resemble gazebos for rest. They can be found in Brateyevskaya Poima Park and in the public garden on Kukhmisterova Street. Mobile benches are on Osenny Boulevard in Krylatskoye: their seats under the canopy can rotate 360 degrees.

Round flowerbeds

A ring-like street bench is esthetic and practical: it can seat a lot of people where there is no space for a standard bench. Round benches can be found in parks, on boulevards, along embankments and even in courtyards. They are often called flowerbeds and are installed around trees. It is especially pleasant to spend several minutes on a hot summer day sitting in the cool shade of leaves: try it next time you walk along Novodevichya Embankment.

Protected by just-married streetlamps

Sometimes a street bench looks so unusual that it becomes a local sight. For example, a true masterpiece, the Reconciliation Bench, can be found at the intersection of Kadashevskaya Embankment and Lavrushinsky Pereulok near Luzhkov Bridge. According to the idea of architect Alexander Kolesnikov and designer Georgy Nepomnyashchikh, the arched bench will bring together those who are upset and want to sit as far away from each other as possible.

Another romantic bench can be found in the Just Married public garden in Vostochnoye Izmailovo: the seat resembling two intertwined hearts is symbolically protected by “just-married streetlamps”. Unusual benches adorn the Mozart public garden in Severnoye Butovo: their intricate backs are decorated with musical notes and clefs, and the seats resemble a piano keyboard.