Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky
Photogallery оf the most serious violations of historical environment
of Moscow in the last decade.
Who said that Moscow authorities and Mayor Luzhkov personally do not like modern architecture? What a building was erected in front of the shop “Detsky Mir”! This shopping and office complex "Nautilus" (architect Andrei Vorontsov) – not just modernism, but even futurism. And not somewhere, but in the historical heart of Moscow, on Lubyanka Square!
In 1960s Mikhail Posokhin-father erected Novy Arbat. In the 2000's Michael Posokhin-son has attached to Novy Arbat’s "books" another high-rise building. Again, it is symbolically, and one more skyscraper in the center...
And such a "mini-skyscraper’ (architect Dmitry Barkhin) stands in front of Posokhin’s. Of course, Garden Ring has nothing to lose, but does the exceptional multi-style of its buildings have to augment further?
However, the building of Dm. Barkhin was erected relatively long ago (early 2000-ies), has somehow become familiar, and has modest size. But the new-make of 2007 ("Citydel" – white-glass business center on the Garden Ring) has managed to "crush" even the houses of Stalin's era.
Probably, complex Citydel is the “revenge” of modern architecture to “Stalin’s houses”, because ultra-modern residential house of the British embassy built in the early 1990's at Smolenskaya Embankment was lost between them. However, in recent years new new-makes (sorry for tautology) were built there. The combination of styles is, of course, tremendous, but not unique:
... This is the combination of styles at Bolshaya Dorogomilovskaya street ...
... And this combination – at Kudrinskaya square. And the funny thing is that the dark-brown building in the Moorish style of the early 2000's was built by Posokhin-son, and one of “Seven Sisters” behind it – by Posokhin-father. Again, the continuity of generations is observed...
Another "decoration" of Garden Ring – "Smolensky Passage". Far away – the tower of “Zholtovsky house", which immediately began to seem much lower. Hotel "Beograd" did not “press” it so much.
In the past the Square of Kursk railway station was at Garden Ring. Kursk station remained, but the square has disappeared: it was almost completely occupied by shopping and entertainment complex "Atrium"...
...Thus, the city has lost one more open space, and the guests of the city at the exit of the station are met not by a square (as in the vast majority of towns and cities around the world), but by the ugly blank back wall of “Atrium”.
Apparently, Moscow authorities finally gave up the ensemble of the Garden Ring, if they admit the appearance of contemporary standard brick apartment buildings on the "red line" (Zemlyanoy Val, 21).
And the modern brick living block (Petrovsky Boulevard, 12-3) even hangs over the historical buildings of Trubnaya Square. However, these historical building are recycled into dummies ...
Sukharevskaya Square had the old high-altitude dominant – Trinity Church “V Listah”. Now a new eclectic building dominates not only over the church, but above the recently restored bell tower.
And this very fresh new-make (hotel “Park Inn”, Bolshaya Polyanka, 17), whose author is again hiding behind the brand of builder "Group MCT", dominates over the perspective of Moscow ancient street and over the Church of St. Gregory Neokesariysky.
But what to speak about old streets and churches, if the luxury residential complex under construction (Novy Arbat, 27-29) managed to "crush" even the very large scale and multi-style ensemble of western Novy Arbat?
In the yards new buildings are also set in huge quantities. This is Bol. Dmitrovka, 34-4)...
Sometimes new houses “sit down” on the old ones (pre-transformed into dummies) in the literal sense. The corner of Bol. Dmitrovka and Garden Ring.
The ensemble of 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya street, though consisted mainly of "Stalin houses", made more or less cohesive impression due to a consistent height. Made, while it had not got a "false tooth" in the form of “Hals Tower" (№ 5). Architect – the same Posokhin Jr.
Old houses usually give way to new ones "voluntary-compulsory": or are recognized as being "emergent", or trite burn, like the buildings at Sadovnicheskaya Embankment. And beside – what a luck – there is a wasteland! Here's where to deploy the large-scale new construction!..
However, even new buildings enter into conflicts whith each other. 3 huge thirty-storey buildings above the Strogino floodplain of Moscow River have been constructed in the end of 20th century. There was not a simply penthouse on the roof of each building but the whole villa with its own garden. It stands to reason, that people have paid huge amount of money for the right of its’ ownership. It’s really an advantage to be uppermost in the area of some kilometers and have a possibility to drink, walk, have fun and sunbathe at the distance of several kilometers from the ground in your own garden, admiring the broad lands of Moscow! But soon, in about two years, one more building was constructed nearby. It is about 40 floors. So, the owners of the previous buildings could drink-walk-have fun and sunbathe, but at the time while the population of another 10 floors looks down at them, and the sun and the broad lands of Moscow are thoroughly overlapped…
And this boundlessly decorated luxury house near Garden Ring (Krasnoproletarskaya Str., 7, Architect – Roman Kananin, early 2000s) is in danger: to the south a colossal skyscraper will be built, and it will close for Kananin’s house tenants the choicest views of the historical center of Moscow and insolation.
This charming corner of old Moscow – Patriarch's Ponds – not only survived, but has retained its unique atmosphere under Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. The buildings constructed around the pond in the Soviet times, are heavy, but proportionate and urban-neutral, and it saved Patriarch’s...
...Saved until near the water got up the tall, bright, unrestrainedly eclectic residential building "Patriarch" (architect – Sergey Tkachenko).
And here is another charming old corner of Moscow – Neskuchny Garden. In the early 1990's the office building "Galika” was built on its border. How deeply the building itself intruded into the protected zone – a debatable question, but its fence is constantly expanding and gradually "captures" more and more areas of the garden ...
And above Gorky Park and Neskuchny garden the skyscraper of Raiffeisenbank hangs (Leninsky Prospekt, 15a).
At the beginning of Andrew Embankment, next to St. Andrew Cloister, an elite residential complex has recently been built…
... And the cloister "crushed".
That is what a charming corner of the former Moscow reserve around Andrew Cloister eventually turned into.
And next to St. Andrew Cloister there was Andreevsky bridge, a masterpiece of industrial architecture of early twentieth century (architect Alexander Pomerantsev). Now in its place – the plaster cast, the creators of which did not even bother to play the primary author's idea of Pomerantsev – the bending arch, resembling a bow with a stretched string.
However, Andreevsky Bridge survived, was moved downstream of the Moscow River and made pedestrian. But unique Pomerantsev’s arch disappeared under the glass "caterpillar" (architect Yury Platonov).
Here is the "caterpillar" inside. In summer there is stuffy and in winter – cold. And was the endless desert of yellow-brown corridor worth disfiguring of the monument of architecture?
On the other bend of the Moscow River there was Krasnoluzhsky bridge, the same type as Andreyevsky. It suffered the same fate: there is a rough dummy at its place...
... And the old bridge was moved, became pedestrian and disappeared under even more pretentious "caterpillar" of architect Platonov.
I remember that many years ago (late 1990) Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said quite seriously in some newspaper interview that if he had been the Mayor of Rome, he would have restored Coliseum to give Romans the large stadium in the city center. But Rome is far, and here is Moscow: about the same time "restoration" of great Bazhenov’s ruins in Tsaritsyno began. The result is obvious – the Muscovites now have no monument of architecture, but one more huge remake.
Especially "in Bazhenov’s style" the roofs of Tsaritsino buildings look. "Scientific restoration" after all...
And that's quite a fresh new-make – the skyscraper (under construction) of quite decent architecture (workshop of architect Sergey Skuratov) on the corner of Mosfilmovskaya and Puryev streets.
On the photo – the view at Vorobyevi Hills from Third Ring Road (the visual landscape analysis of the project was conducted from this point). It seems that everything is fine and the skyscraper is far away from the ensemble of Vorobyevi Hills. But it only seems ...
Moskva River forms a curve near Vorobyevi Hills, and the skyscraper is "ahead". As a result, the calm atmosphere of the famous nature reserve park area has been irreparably broken by the colossal height dominant.
Here's how this skyscraper looks from the lookout at Vorobyevi Hills: on its background there is Trinity Church in Vorobyovo. And it is not necessary to be a prophet to understand that near this "first sign" other high-rise buildings will appear on Vorobyevi Hills.
© Sergey Zagraevsky