Moscow builds

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06 Moscow
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World-famous architecture

St. Basil’s Cathedral


In 2016, Moscow marked the 455th anniversary of the Cathedral of Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, better known as St. Basil’s Cathedral. Built on orders from Tsar Ivan the Terrible, the cathedral is currently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nine independent churches/extensions all stand at the same foundations, with eight of them surrounding the central church.

A masterpiece of Constructivism

The Melnikov House


The Melnikov House located in Krivoarbatsky Lane was completed in 1929. Its unusual shape and architectural elements are strictly functional. The absence of 90-degree angles increased the building’s useful area, and a special brick-laying system made it possible to evenly distribute loads along the entire wall, to eliminate load-bearing pillars and partitions and to provide good natural lighting using hexagonal window openings, the location of which can be changed whenever necessary, and it is therefore possible to install windows inside any wall section.

An innovative engineering solution

The Shukhov Tower


The Shukhov Tower was built between 1920-1922 on Shabolovka Street. Its unique light steel wire-mesh shroud is subjected to minimal wind loads that pose the main threat to high-rise structures. The intricate open-work structure combines durability and lightness. Workers used three times less metal per every unit of the Shukhov Tower’s height than their colleagues did per every unit of the Paris-based Eiffel Tower. Although the Shukhov Tower is 160 meters tall, its height could have reached 350 metres, in line with Vladimir Shukhov’s initial concept.

The most beautiful in the world

The Moscow Metro


The Moscow Metro’s radial/ring structure reproduces the city’s traditional layout. The first metro train set out 15 May 1935 from Sokolniki station towards Park Kultury station. “The metro highlights unprecedentedly massive creative work and architectural thought; every station is a palace with its own unique design,” the Pravda newspaper wrote at the time. In 1937, the Sokolniki and Kropotkinskaya metro station designs received a Grand Prix during the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life in Paris.

The city’s symbols

Moscow’s skyscrapers


The foundations of all seven skyscrapers were laid on 7 September 1947 while the people of Moscow celebrated their city’s 800th anniversary. Each skyscraper symbolises the professionalism of Soviet builders. The main building of Lomonosov Moscow State University remained the tallest building in Europe until 1990. The building near Krasniye Vorota (Lermontovskaya) metro station was built at a preset angle. Part of the building loomed over the metro station’s pit, and the ground had to be frozen to a depth of 27 metres. While building Leningradskaya Hotel near Komsomolskaya Square, workers encountered flowing sand at a depth of 8.5 metres, and they had to cast huge piles along the entire perimeter of the foundation.