Children’s techno park, magic doors and rooftop sunshine: City’s unusual infrastructure

September 5
Social sector

It is not only new metro stations, roads and residential buildings that are constantly springing up all around Moscow but also social infrastructure facilities that are making life in the big city more user-friendly. Some of the new schools in the capital seem more like research centres; kindergartens and modern outpatient clinics are opening just a stone’s throw away from local residents’ homes. In the past nine years, Moscow has added 284 kindergartens and 98 schools, over 40 outpatient clinics and 32 hospitals, as well as ambulance stations and many other facilities. Thirteen education facilities have been opened since the beginning of 2020 alone while nine more kindergartens and 19 schools are planned for completion before the year is out.

A new kindergarten was opened as part of School No. 2098 in Zapadnoye Degunino recently (Northern Administrative Area). The three-story building for 150 children was uniquely designed, with transformer rooms and a Malevich-style façade.

New buildings in Moscow are increasingly more often built based on individual projects and  some of them are even designed by internationally acclaimed architectures who are known to have won prestigious architecture awards for their work in the city. Renovated landmarks are being turned into public spaces and given a new lease of life. Such places also provide locals with necessary infrastructure.

Learn about the most fascinating public facilities that have been built or renovated in the capital in the past years.

Country’s biggest school

The school located on the territory of the former ZIL factory occupies an area of 40,800 sq m and is rightly considered the biggest school in the whole of Russia. These giant experimental education centres are a new trend in Moscow’s construction projects for education. The building has already won a prize in a city contest for the best finished construction project.

The school can accommodate 2,500 pupils simultaneously and is comparable to a small research centre, both in terms of scale and capacities.

A children’s techno park is expected to become a centre for extracurricular activities. It is equipped with 3D printers, scanners, lasers, milling machines and turning lathes. Study programmes available to pupils include natural sciences, robotics, engineering, physics and computer science. The young people will be able to try out different jobs and decide on their future career.

Pupils are divided into age groups. Primary school children have a separate block from the secondary and high school pupils who have their own wing. Shared facilities in the central part of the building include two canteens, libraries with a reading area, a media zone, a conference hall and a staffroom.

In addition to regular classrooms, there are special rooms for foreign language teaching with transformer partitions, handicraft and manual training classrooms, an art studio and a LEGO design studio. There are facilities for afterschool groups and even several bedrooms. Each pupil will get a locker for books and personal belongings.

Apart from research activities, the school has facilities for PE (physical education) and creative classes. An auditorium with 1,100 seats has modern sound equipment, a recording studio and dressing rooms. There are two dance and gymnastics studios while the main gym covering several thousand square metres is even suitable for district sports competitions.

There are outdoor sports grounds and playgrounds as well, including a big stadium for outdoor PE lessons.

Another study centre of the future

The school on the former ZIL industrial area surpassed another excellent facility of a similar scale. The school in Nekrasovka for 2,100 pupils is shaped like the letter M, which lets sunshine light into every single room. The primary and secondary schools are separated and have their own entrances.

Primary school classrooms are fitted out with movable partitions. If necessary, a classroom can be divided into two parts so that pupils can study in the quiet without disturbing each other. This is particularly useful for foreign language lessons.

Secondary and high school classrooms are equipped with specialised devices for every school subject in the curriculum. There is a computer lab for computer science, chemistry and physics labs, a geography classroom as well as literature and history classrooms.

The school also has facilities for afterschool groups and bedrooms for the youngest pupils.

Festivals and shows usually take place in one of the two auditoriums. The library conference room is perfect for meetings with prominent figures such as authors, athletes and war veterans.

The school stands out for its sports centre as well. There are several gyms, gymnastics and dance studios, and health improvement facilities. A big outdoor stadium with running tracks has crumb rubber coating. There are facilities for futsal, basketball, volleyball, badminton and table tennis. Pupils can also exercise using outdoor exercise machines.

Kindergartens as bright spots

Architects and designers make sure to add colour and other eye-catching features to Moscow kindergartens to help them stand out among the residential blocks of flats.

An unusual shaped kindergarten was built on Pervomaiskaya Street. With a protruded façade, ornately shaped windows and multi-coloured walls, the building resembles a child’s drawing or colourful blocks piled up on each other.

Every feature of this design has a function. The colours help with orientation: red and turquoise blocks with round windows indicate staircases while bright green and orange sections indicate an auditorium, a gym and a swimming pool on the ground floor. The classrooms, bedrooms and play areas are located behind white walls.

Inside, it is also not your typical kindergarten. Thanks to large zigzag-shaped windows in the corridors, the rooms are brightly lit up and feel very cozy. Large corner windows in the classrooms are another source of pleasant natural light. Children love observing what is happening outside through these windows.

Children’s hospital as art space

Building modern healthcare facilities is another important sphere of social infrastructure development. Moscow’s two signature projects of the recent times include a new hospital in Kommunarka and an infectious disease clinic in Voronovskoye – a facility that took just over a month to construct.

Morozov Children’s Hospital deserves a special mention. The capital’s oldest healthcare facility, opened in 1903, is now the biggest children’s hospital, with 35 departments equipped with advanced technology. When it comes to comprehensive medical care available at a single inpatient facility, this children’s hospital has very few competitors in the world.

In October 2017, the hospital’s new seven-story building opened for emergency cardiovascular operations, cardiac electrophysiology, and organ and tissue transplantation (including bone marrow transplantation).

Still, the Morozov Hospital is not only about first-rank doctors and state-of-the-art equipment. It is also a big art space. For six years now, artists and sculptors have been bringing life and colour to the interior of the hospital with bright paintings, colourful furniture and original mosaics. There are pictures of flying cats and an entire wall of “do-the-opposite” advice. The first thing visitors see in the reception area is a DNA sculpture made out of multi-coloured blocks. Road signs regulate “traffic” on stairs and doors are decorated with pictures of vegetables. The furniture in the haematology department looks as if it was carved out of watermelons. The magical atmosphere distracts children from thinking about painful procedures and helps doctors do their job while turning the young patients’ attention to more pleasant things.

Library out of science fiction

After its upgrade in 2019, Library No. 234 situated at 8 Gabrichevskogo Street obtained its own theme. It specialises in science fiction, fantasy and fairy-tales. The interior of the library based on scenes from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland immediately take readers to the world of magic.

In one of the rooms, the floor and ceiling are designed as chessboards, with a red table on the ceiling defying the laws of gravity. Visitors can enjoy reading while sitting on a throne with a two-metre-high back – very much like the Queen of Hearts’ throne. Another room is decorated with Alice’s portraits on easels. The bookshelves in the room for parents with toddlers were designed to resemble a castle.

There is a co-working area for visitors who come to the library to work or study in the quiet. The event hall is often used for meetings with sci-fi authors, book presentations, lectures and concerts. Exhibitions often take place in the lobby.

New-generation social services centre

The Chertanovo Social Services Centre is located in a rather unusual building whose creators received an award from the Golden Ratio architecture festival.

Customers visiting the social services centre love to gather in the spacious hall with a fireplace and a window that takes up an entire wall. Morning hours are for exercise sessions while club meetings take place in the evening. The centre’s juice bars offer healthy drinks, including oxygen cocktails and herbal teas.

The senior generation can take classes in the computer lab to learn how to use modern equipment and the internet, or to sign up to the Moscow public services website.


There is also an auditorium and a billiard room in the new building. One-on-one mechanotherapy and kinesiotherapy sessions, using such machines as Ekzarta, can be arranged in the gym. A halotherapy course in the salt chamber helps patients with chronic bronchitis, asthma and other bronchopulmonary conditions. The salt chamber walls are covered with a thick layer of Himalayan salt. Thirty minutes in the chamber have an equal effect to several hours spent at the seaside.

The building’s most unusual feature is its open rooftop. During warm weather, the staff puts out lounge chairs for visitors who can enjoy the sun.

Unique services and exhibition space

The VDNKh Public Services Centre opened almost two years ago in the renovated Pavilion.71 (RSFSR). The building was completely restored back to how it once was, with all the decorative features on the façade. The interior was also brought back to its original state. The pavilion itself has been adapted to modern use.

Every My Documents office provides more than 270 services while the three flagship offices provide more than 280. The VDNKh Public Services Centre is the only office in Moscow where customers can register their real estate title to a property located in any Russian region.

This particular public services centre is more than its name implies. It is also a cultural space serving as a public service history museum and an exhibition venue. Images of public servants from the past centuries – such as finance officers and state councilors – rotate on interactive screens. The museum collection boasts vintage abacuses, typewriters and arithmometresas well as other items used by public officers in the past, including rubber stamps and goose quills. Detailed descriptions of the secretarial and bookkeeping jobs are provided on exhibition stands. Visitors can even try on a public servant’s uniform common in the Russian Empire and take a selfie wearing it.

MCs and string quartet

The Shipilovsky Wedding Palace was designed specifically for festive ceremonies and has everything that a marrying couple may need. Shipilovsky was one of the first civil registry offices built in Moscow in the past 30 years.

Brides and grooms can prepare for the ceremony in their separate rooms. There’s also a dressing room, a banquet hall and a room for musicians. The bright spacious ceremony hall is located on the ground floor. All the facilities are adapted for people with limited mobility, with ramps installed even in the ceremony hall. Young guests who get bored can play in the children’s corner.

The civil registry office is located near the Tsaritsyno Museum and Reserve; therefore, marriage ceremonies can be held in the park as well. The couples wishing to have an open-air wedding are encouraged to book a date via or in person at the Shipilovsky Wedding Palace. A MC dressed in an 18th century costume will conduct the wedding ceremony and a string quartet will be playing in the background. After the ceremony, newlyweds can have their photos taken in the palace, the Tsaritsyno Greenhouses and the park alleys.


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