Moscow’s biggest construction projects: The best of 2019

August 12
Construction and renovation

Moscow has announced the winners in its annual contest The Best Completed Construction Project. Sergei Sobyanin has presented the prizes ahead of the Builder’s Day, which is marked on 9 August this year.

The best projects were chosen in 12 categories: housing developments, shopping centres, office buildings, schools, and sports and other facilities. Each application was considered by the city competition commission, which included the heads of municipal executive authorities, leading architects, civil designers and developers.

In addition, each Moscow resident could cast a vote for the best project. The voting was done on the Active Citizen site, through the Just Build application, at and in the Moscow City Scale Model pavilion at VDNKh. The organisers recorded over a million votes this year. Based on the results of the general city voting, one more winner was added in most categories and in one category the preferences of the public and the expert jury coincided.

The city commission awarded the first place (Project of the Year) to Irina Viner-Usmanova's Gymnastics Palace (Zaryadye park and concert hall won the prize in the two preceding years). Several special prizes were also given to the contest participants.

In total, 111 projects competed in the contest this year. All of them were completed between 1 January and 31 December 2019. The applications were accepted from the customers, investors, civil designers and general contractors that took part in the projects’ implementation. The winners included buildings and entire complexes of absolutely different architectural styles, schools as well as road network, metro and railway facilities.

Gymnastic ribbons and Soviet era bas-reliefs

The main prize-winner was Irina Viner-Usmanova's Gymnastics Palace. The unique building gained the most of Moscow residents’ votes in The Best Sports Facility Project category and won the Project of the Year award.

The building’s hallmark is its roof in the form of a flying gymnastic ribbon. The stained glass façade shields original interiors inspired by folk culture: Zhostovo and Khokhloma designs, as well as Kholui lacquer miniatures. The sports centre accommodates gyms and a multipurpose arena for 4,000 visitors. LED bulbs form white, blue and red gymnastic ribbons along the dark walls around the arena. The ceiling is decorated with 900 lamps simulating a starry sky. The palace was designed using BIM-technology and has already won many architectural prizes.

In the commission’s view, the Water Sports Palace is the best sports facility. It was built on the site of the old swimming pool that stood there since 1956. The new complex inherited some traits of the previous building and fits well with the architecture of the sports complex. Its façades are decorated with replicas of 12 bas-reliefs, which repeat the historical panels that were in their place. They also feature an ornamental pattern of rings reminiscent of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. The old bas-reliefs were renovated and placed inside the building. The palace has three swimming pools: a 50-metre-long pool with 10 lanes and two 25-metre pools with three lanes each. In addition, it has a waterpark, a thermal and wellness centre, gyms, a boxing academy, a fitness centre, a café and shops. The swimming centre also has a convertible roof: it takes just 15 minutes to open it and enjoy sports outdoors.

A giant school and a Japanese-style kindergarten

When reviewing educational projects, experts picked the largest school in the country, built at the site of the former Likhachev Automotive Plant (ZIL). The school, covering an area of over 40,000 square metres, will accommodate 2,500 children. Such experimental giant educational centres have become a new trend in educational facilities’ construction in Moscow.. These schools will have cutting-edge technologies and areas of education. This building accommodates primary and secondary schools, as well as dormitories, administrative offices, nurse’s rooms, cafeterias, auditoriums and gyms, two libraries, a linguistics section and a lecture hall. The school will also have a children’s technology park for advanced studies in natural sciences and engineering.

Following an open vote, the kindergarten in the Novye Vatutinki District was named the best educational facility. It is located 14 kilometres from the Moscow Ring Road on Kaluzhskoye Motorway. This project has won several architectural prizes for its unique façade in the Japanese style. For each group, there are spacious napping rooms, playrooms and locker rooms. The building also has common gyms, workshop and assembly rooms, as well as a nurse’s office and a medical procedure room. Outside are playgrounds, a sports area and a lawn for active recreation.

A comfortable outpatient clinic and the newest hospitals

The best healthcare facility was the outpatient clinic for adults and children on Leningradsky Prospekt. The six-storey building can accommodate 750 patients per shift. It was built at the site of former garages near the old children’s outpatient clinic. The space is set up to avoid long lines and make the waiting time comfortable. Designers also made it possible to separate patients with infectious diseases. The colour of the facades matches the historical development of Leningradsky Prospekt.

In the category Construction of Healthcare and Recreational Facilities, Muscovites voted for the national endocrinology centre of the Russian Healthcare Ministry located on Dmitriya Ulyanova Street. After the renovation, the building received two facades, the main one in the Neoclassicist style with columns and an attic, and a contemporary asymmetrical one similar to the new buildings in the city centre. Inside, there are outpatient departments, operation rooms and intensive care units. The top floor has administrative and educational premises.

The special prize in this category went to the hospital in the township of Kommunarka. The hospital, with its several buildings, reflects the main trends in the global healthcare construction sector, such as rationality, clean and clear connections and eco-friendliness. Despite a large area of 150,000 square metres, architects tried to limit the construction site and made the hospital functional and compact at the same time. All buildings overlook green areas.

The hospital has over 20 departments and can accommodate over 600 beds. Emergency and non-emergency patients are separated, which helped in quickly repurposing the hospital to treat a large number of COVID-19 patients.

A Moscow dream factory and a business oasis

As for cultural and educational facilities, the commission picked the new buildings of the Mosfilm Studio. These are the studio stage and the House of Costumes and Props facility. They are built at a right angle to each other, with a car park in between them. The new, 16th pavilion covers 2,500 square metres, with the height of the ceilings reaching 16 metres. It is suitable for any stage set, such as the rainforest or the Arctic coast, Moscow City or Manhattan high-rises, depending on the director’s objective. The space has unique acoustic properties, and also has a huge, 6-metre gate for large vehicles.

The House of Costumes and Props, covering 15,500 square metres, will accommodate the numerous items from the studio collection. The basement floor will house over 70 retro cars and over 100 drawn vehicles. Props will be stored on the first storey and costumes on the second one.

Muscovites picked the new city square between the high-rises of the Moscow City business centre. The public space has a pedestrian gallery and a concert room with a stage and amphitheatre in the shape of a rostrum hill. In the centre of the square, there is a large clock to remind people  that time is the bedrock of success, and also that “time is money.”

New bridges and interchanges

The new Karamyshevsky Bridge, part of the North-West Expressway, was named the best road-and-street infrastructure construction project. The 1.4-km girder structure links Narodnogo Opolcheniya and Nizhniye Mnyovniki streets. The bridge is the final element of the entire North-West Expressway. Apart from opening the bridge to traffic, workers have finished reconstructing sections of the nearby Nizhniye Mnyovniki and Narodnogo Opolcheniya streets and Karamyshevskaya Embankment. It was decided to preserve the old canal locks bridge, which is located 200 metres from the new structure. The bridge provides access to Karamyshevskaya Embankment, Zvenigorodskoye Motorway and the North-West Expressway.

According to city residents, multi-level interchanges where the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) intersects with Besedinskoye Motorway are the main construction project of the year. The obsolete partial cloverleaf interchange has been replaced with seven exit ramps and two flyovers. The interchange’s capacity has doubled to 8,000 vehicles per hour in each direction.

There are plans to merge the interchange with a new motorway that will link the Third Ring Road with MKAD via the Yuzhnoportovy and Pechatniki districts. It will also cross the Kursk Line of the Moscow Railway and the Lyblino industrial zone, and will merge with existing sections of Besedinskoye Motorway and Lyublinskaya Street.

A train maintenance facility and surface metro

Members of an expert commission called the Rudnevo electric train maintenance facility the project of the year among metro and railway structures. It was built for servicing and repairing trains on the metro’s Nekrasovskaya Line. The huge facility includes 37 buildings and 32 tracks with a length of over nine km. The train maintenance facility’s second stage is to open before the year is out. It will therefore become possible to service 48 trains here daily, to repair one train, to wash 20 trains and to store 31 trains overnight.

Voters named the new 10-km section of the metro’s Sokolnicheskaya Line between the Salaryevo and Kommunarka stations the main metro construction project. The line was built using a unique technology and is enclosed by the Solntsevo-Butovo-Varshavskoye Motorway surface route for the first time in history. The city’s first combined vehicle and metro tunnel was built at an intersection with Kaluzhskoye Motorway. The new section has four stations, namely, Filatov Lug, Prokshino, Olkhovaya and Kommunarka. The new line mostly runs on the surface and is covered by a special roof. The new metro line that extends to Kommunarka has improved the transport situation in the Moskovsky and Sosenskoye municipal entities.

Mollusk shell halls and an old train maintenance facility’s new life

Experts ranked the Grotto Pavilion at the Kuskovo Museum Estate as the best restored cultural landmark of 2020. It took three years to restore one of the most exotic structures piecemeal.

The Grotto Pavilion is Russia’s only 18th century building with decor featuring mollusk shells from the Mediterranean and Black seas and the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as real mother of pearl. Specialists restored the sculptures’ facing, panel details and interiors, using about 150,000 shells. In some cases, they had to identify and replace the shells. For this purpose, they searched for the shells of 24 mollusk species all over the world. Some of these mollusks are extinct, and restorers had to find equivalents. The pavilion’s white-stone elements, brickwork, plasterwork and metal facing were also restored, and imitation marble was installed on ceilings, arches, walls and columns.

The restored ensemble of the Miusskoye tram maintenance facility placed first during the vote. Architects were able to turn it into Europe’s largest food mall and one of the most popular local lifestyle blocks.

The Miusskoye tram maintenance facility was established in 1874 and initially called the Fleet of the Miussky Horse-Drawn Railway, the first such railway in the city. In 1907, the first local electric tram left the facility.

Its buildings embody the combined Neo-Russian and Gothic brickwork style, a typical feature of industrial buildings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The style was developed by architect Mikhail Gleining and engineer Nikolai Sytenko. In turn, engineer Vladimir Shukhov presumably designed the structure of floors and ceilings of the Large Carriage Shed. Almost 150 years on, restorers scraped the paint off the walls, reinforced the brickwork, repaired the roof, and restored missing décor elements and the details of historical interiors.


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