New urban projects – the new face of Moscow

It will be impossible to enhance the status and competitiveness of Moscow among major cities, and to fulfill its mission as a world city, without improving the quality of its urban environment. On the level of global competition, this factor proves decisive for the influx of investment and the augmentation of human potential. For this reason the authorities in Moscow are paying great attention to innovations and projects aimed at creating a comfortable urban environment that will ensure a comfortable lifestyle for Muscovites and guests of the capital, up-to-date conditions for initiating and running businesses, and effective communication in urban and informational spaces. In our survey we have placed an accent on the most far-reaching and ambitious projects, which offer new standards for the quality of life in the city. How will Moscow change in the near future, and which projects will become the face of the capital?

Developing the embankment territories of the Moscow river

The development of the Russian capital was always closely tied to its location on the banks of the Moscow River, which was a very important passage for transportation. At all times this river has consistently maintained its significance to the city, while also changing its function.

European city planning relatively recently discovered rivers as a resource for development. Up until this point rivers were viewed only as technical devices. The first step toward elevating the status of rivers in Europe was made by the French, who built up the lower embankments of the Seine in Paris in the middle of the eighteenth century. In the Russian capital, the city’s first move in the direction of the river was the construction of Gorky Park, with its slopes down to the water. After this, the embankments were developed in accordance with the General Plan of 1935 – they were lined with granite in the central part of the city. Londoners began paying attention to their city’s river even later – in the 1950s and 1960s.

 Chief Architect of the Scientific Research and Design Institute “General Plan for Moscow,” Andrei Gnezdilov:“The city has turned its attention to the river and begun to study it. The river is a whole country within the city, which many people know only vaguely. I believe that it is a treasure, which we must put to proper use.”

Now the situation looks more or less the same in any city of world significance: the cost of real estate with access to a river has risen substantially. In addition, a river accords a certain VIP status to those properties located on it. For instance, in Moscow, such properties include the Kremlin, the White House (where the Government of the Russian Federation convenes), the Moscow International Business Center, and various monasteries and temple complexes.

The navigable channel of the Moscow River, between opposite points of the city’s Ring Road, is approximately 80 kilometers long, and the entire length of the bank, including inlets and docks, stretches longer than 200 kilometers. For a long time, the areas around the banks were not developed, and in a number of places they are not at all accessible to citizens. In the evaluation of specialists from the Body for Urban Development Policies and Construction, 16% of territories along the major aquatic passageway of Moscow (32.4 hectares) have no access to the river, and another 44% (87 hectares) are poorly designed or abandoned.

As the Deputy Mayor of Moscow in charge of construction and urban development policies, Marat Khusnullin, has repeatedly observed, efforts to refashion the Moscow River should result in the construction of an integrated system of interconnected territories along the banks, as well as in ensuring they are used more effectively. According to plans, another 10.4 thousand hectares of land reaching down to the river’s waters would also be reorganized. It is also planned that the embankments would be improved upon, access roads would be constructed, and a developed system of aquatic transport would be organized. The river’s renewal ought to improve the visual profile of the historical ensembles, bring about a logical reorganization of the industrial parks abutting the river, and result in a change in the function of these parks.

 Deputy Mayor of Moscow in charge of construction and urban development policies, Marat Khusnullin:“The experience of other large cities demonstrates that the area around a river should be dedicated, first and foremost, to pedestrians. It should be accessible for strolls and leisure. But in Moscow we have become accustomed to automobiles running along the embankments, and there’s little access to the river. In actual fact, only 7% of the Moscow River’s banks are accessible to pedestrians. This situation is not at all comparable to other world centers. Let’s take London for example: there, 76% of the bank of the Thames is accessible to people, and everyone can walk up to the water and touch it. In Paris, 52% of the bank of the Seine is accessible. Therefore, the main purpose of this project is to make the embankments accessible to people. In order to ‘liberate’ the river, we need to partially redirect the highway from it.”

There will be three stages to realizing this concept for developing the embankment territories of the Moscow River: The first stage proposes to realize some of the ideas for improving areas along the banks, and it is planned to be finished by 2017; the second encompasses more important urban development tasks, and is planned be finished by 2025; all work is planned to be finished in 2035.

The winner in the contest to develop the embankments of the Moscow River was the Russian architectural agency “Project Meganom.”

The guiding idea for their concept was a generalized image of the “port.” Such a “port” includes attractive cultural and recreational spaces on the water – magnets and “trailheads” built into a carefully thought-out system of pedestrian and transport connections, supporting features, leading ecological technologies, and programs in urban partnership. Each of these ports has its own unique identity in the form of gateways for the regions located nearby. The port and its dense system of city spaces will create a new axis of development for Moscow. The system of riverside parks provides a future structure for Greater Moscow. The framework for realizing this concept includes three strategic courses:

  • a selective process for constructing new river portals;
  • the strengthening of connections: a human scale for systemic development;
  • a healthy ecosystem and intelligent sanitation.

This project proposes, above all, to develop the infrastructure of mass transit: the metro, new bus and tram routes and aquatic transit; to develop the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure above the river and en route to the river; to transform the river’s embankments into public spaces; to create ports which will become agents of the urban environment and will serve for transmissions on the river.

 Russian Architect and Director of the Architectural Agency “Project Meganom,” Iurii Grigorian:“Our project is called ‘Future Ports.’ We wanted to present a kind of urban space that is quite new but also traditional, like St. Mark’s Square. This is a space that is directly joined to the river, just as the Venetian square interacts with the lagoon. The result is new urban centers: 11 centers of citywide significance, and 28 of regional standing. We have called these ports “Places where the city meets the river.” We believe that there are transportation lines, the embankments along which you travel, but there are also certain places where you can find yourself on the river. In addition to ‘Future Ports’ there are some other more minor facilities in our project, but the 39 portals are, in essence, the main elements of the structure.”

A large quantity of landmark properties is located within the zone of pedestrian accessibility from the Moscow River. Connecting the territories along the banks of the three rivers – the Setun, Moscow, and Yauza – holds great potential for the development of major programs in the city, for consolidating the urban fabric, and for creating new areas of attraction. The plan for making the river corridor more ecologically friendly involves the construction of a certain lively space for interaction, creativity, enlightenment, and cultural activity.

The primary direction for developing the territories adjoining the Moscow River is elevating their role in urban development and the formation of new areas of urban activity:

  • developing a system of new city-wide centers: Rublevo-Arkhangelskoe, Tushino-Spartak, Mneviki, City, ZiL, Negatinskaya Poyma;
  • actively implementing a residential facility: Tushino, Simonovskaya Embankment, ZiL, River Park (a former dockyard);
  • forming a multifunctional environment: a new “combined municipal and residential” type of real estate development with a distinct interrelation of residential and municipal development;
  • increasing the proportion of municipal and residential development by almost double in comparison to the current situation;
  • activating recreational use: creating new parks, such as Zaryadye, parks in Mnevnikovskaya Poyma; a more active recreational usage; the development of a recreational infrastructure for the existing parks and recreational territories, such as Marinksy Park and the park on Gurianov street;
  • reorganizing industrial territories while reducing them proportionally and forming combined business-industrial parks;
  • developing municipal, residential, and recreational facilities on undeveloped and underdeveloped territories;
  • reducing the area of the “impenetrable territories” by almost 1000 hectares.

The most important lines for development in these territories are: entering the embankments into public circulation, ensuring that the regions located along the banks of the river will be connected, and solving ecological problems.

It is planned that improvements to the connections between the banks will be realized through the construction of 12 pedestrian bridges, the reconstruction of the pedestrian parts of two vehicular bridges, and the organization of a ferry crossing.

It will be possible to evaluate the results of the improvements along the embankments of the Moscow River at the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. “At present the work along the Moscow River has fallen in individual categories: the identification of territory on which further urban-development documentation can be done, work with lots that already have existing land users and investors, and work with territories that enter into various urban programs under the auspices of the Department of Culture, the Department of Housing, Public Utilities, and Development, and others among our colleagues,” explained Kuznetsov.

Moreover, there are plans to construct 24 bridges over the Moscow River in the coming years. A number of them will be for automobiles, and others for pedestrian traffic. In the words of Khusnullin, one of the first to appear will be a bridge in Maryino. It will unite Shosseynaya Street and the Kashirskoye Highway. Plans for constructing new bridges in the south of Moscow are tied to the realization of major projects: the reorganization of the industrial park ZiL and the creation of an amusement park in Nagatinskaya Poyma, which will be dedicated to Russian and international cartoon characters.

Zaryadye park

Zaryadye will become the first major park built in the capital in the past 50 years. It will unite all pedestrian and tourist routes in the center, from Varvarka Street to the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge to the Sparrow Hills. A unique landscape will be created here, as well as a philharmonic hall, viewing platforms, museums, and cafes. The city had previously only reorganized existing municipal spaces, such as Gorky Park, the Krymskaya embankment, Solkoniki, and historic streets. The opening of the new park is planned for City Day in September 2017, the year of Moscow’s 870-year jubilee. Entrance to the grounds will be free, and visitors will only have to buy tickets for exhibitions and concerts.

The winner of the contest for planning the park in Zaryadye was an international consortium headed by the architectural agency Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York). The American agency is known for its unusual natural-architectural properties, such as a building made from fog created for a Swiss exhibition in 2002. But of course, their most famous project is a park built from abandoned railways in New York.

  Chief Architect of Moscow,Sergei Kuznetzov:“Zaryadye will be an entirely open space. We have made the decision to forego any type of enclosure, and the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, has supported this idea. We plan to integrate the park maximally into the urban environment, from all sides. People will be able to stop in from Red Square or the Great Moscow-River Bridge without any problem. Convenient entrances from the embankment – from direction of the aforementioned bridge, as well as from that of the Peter the Great Academy – will be preserved. From the academy it will be possible to pass along to the Church of the Conception of Anna, and to the park. Pedestrians will also reach Zaryadye from Varvarka street, as well as from other places: there is a plan to organize a promenade between the churches. From the Kitay-gorod passage one will need to enter through the arch in the wall of Kitay-gorod; the main entrance to the philharmonic hall is there as well.”

The park will feature the full variety of nature in Russia: forest, steppe, northern landscapes, and river meadows. These sections will descend from the upper portion of the park to its lower areas by means of terraces in the northeast and southwest. Visitors coming from Red Square will find themselves in a birch grove, beyond which low and rambling plants from the northern landscapes will extend along Varvarka Street. This will preserve the view of the street’s historic monuments. Below, a temperate forest will spread out, as well as a large meadow that will seamlessly transition into the roof of the philharmonic hall. And in the southwest there will appear ponds with a network of wooden scaffolding for pedestrian.

Visitors will encounter the coldest region of Russia, Yakutya, in the form of an ice cave. This structure will maintain a negative temperature even on the hottest days. Here it will be possible to view an exhibition of ice sculptures and to learn about famous arctic expeditions and the lives of northern peoples.

The philharmonic hall in Zaryadye will become one of the best musical venues in the country due to its uncommon acoustics, architecture, and technical capabilities. On account of its naturally sloping contours, a part of the building will be “buried” in a hill. Only one side will remain open, and this side will be made entirely of glass, from floor to ceiling. An open amphitheater will be built for large-scale events. Performances will be broadcast on a gigantic screen.

  Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the idea behind the Zaryadye park project:“The design is based on the principle of Wild Urbanism, a hybrid landscape where the natural and the built cohabit to create a new type of public space. Characteristic elements of the historic district of Kitay-Gorod and the cobblestone paving of Red Square are combined with the lush gardens of the Kremlin to create a new park that is both urban and green. The Park incorporates four Russian landscape typologies: tundra, steppe, forest, and wetland. Interior spaces are folded into the landscape within a series of terraces – architecture and landscape are a synthetic whole. A unique paver system that seamlessly knits landscape with walking surfaces makes the park ‘pathless’, allowing people the freedom to move about in entirely unscripted ways.”

Visitors will be protected from inclement weather by “glass bark” – a translucent cupola with wooden braces that will cover the entire hill above the philharmonic. Beneath the “bark” the temperature will remain above freezing even in the winter, and green grass and flowers will grow there. In all kinds of weather, visitors will be able to gaze upon the urban landscape from the summit of the hill. From here one can see a beautiful view of the Kremlin, which has never stood before a spectator at such an angle.

One more viewing platform in the park will be a “hovering” bridge 140 meters high, which will hang above the water without supports. This openwork construction resembles the letter “V.”

One can get to the viewing platform from the philharmonic building and the park cafes, or from the embankment of the Moscow River by taking a transparent elevator. Interactive guardrails will be installed along the perimeter of the bridge. They will exhibit the developmental history of Zaryadya from ancient times until the present day. For safety’s sake, they will be reinforced with a firm frame, and the ground covering will be made resistant to heat and cold.

One will also be able to get to the lower embankment through an underground walkway with an area of 2.3 thousand square meters. This passageway will be a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to the architecture of the capital: the builders will open up to visitors a piece of the Kitay-gorod wall.

Alongside the future Zaryadye park, a passenger pier will be built on the Moscow River. “We decided not to build the pier near the ‘hovering’ bridge, since that would have overfilled the space and prevented it from maintaining the function of a embankment promenade. The pier will be opened 200-300 meters from the park,” explained the chief architect of the capital, Sergei Kuznetsov. The pier will be built downstream, at the location of the old pier. The landing is being reconstructed and refurbished in order to receive passengers.

Every element of the park will be literally built into its contours and nothing like traditional structures. This will make it possible to hide the managerial quarters, to reduce visually the size of the new buildings, and to maintain an open view of the historic center.

Under the park’s grounds will be located a parking lot with 430 spaces, where there will be not only passenger cars but also tour buses. Technical rooms and loading zones will also be set up underground. This will allow the personnel of the park to avoid crossing paths with the visitors.

  The Mayor of Moscow,Sergei Sobianin:“Among our plans for 2017 is the completion of construction on the philharmonic hall in the park ‘Zaryadye.’ On the whole, the new recreational area is one of the unique parks of the world, being located within immediate proximity to the Kremlin. Just recently the massive structure of the hotel “Russia” stood here, and a large office center was being projected.In accordance with the mandate of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the decision was made to construct a unique landscape park, which includes a philharmonic hall, a ‘hovering’ bridge, an embankment, a media center, and whole array of other interesting facilities. The construction of this park is called upon to resolve uncommon challenges. The overall volume of visits is up to 12 million persons per year, taking into account the modest area of this park. It is a serious task.”

Anyone who is curious can view what is now being done on the grounds of Zaryadye. Information about the project is available at the information pavilion that opened on the grounds of Zaryadye in spring of 2014. The pavilion looks like a glass cupola from without, and within its walls are covered with signs featuring Quick Response Codes. One can access text and pictures via these codes by using a tablet available at the entrance or by using one’s own gadget with a special application.

“As concerns the quality of the design for the Zaryadye park, there truly exists no similar park anywhere. And this is not only my opinion, but the opinion of my colleagues in architecture and even of the representatives of UNECO, with whom we have been in intensive contact regarding the coordination of this design; after all, it is located in the protected zone of the Moscow Kremlin,” observed the chief architect of Moscow, Sergei Kuznetsov.

In his words, Zaryadye is not simply a park but a multifunctional space with a complex engineering achievement on the inside. “This is an unprecedented project, and I hope that the quality of its realization will correspond to the declared demands of the design,” underscored the chief architect of the city.

Sports facilities for the World football championship

In 2018, for the first time in the history of football, Russia will host the world championship. The central venue for the competition will be the legendary Luzhniki stadium, which will be the location of the opening ceremony, first match, one semi-final match, and the final.

“Fans do not need to worry: in Moscow we will build every thing on time,” assured the mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin. In his words, the central venue for the competition will be the Luzhniki stadium, which is now actively being reconstructed. The Spartak stadium has also been built with 40 thousand seats. “Construction is being completed on the Dynamo stadium, which is a beautiful facility. In addition to the football stadium, there will also be an ice arena for hockey at this location. The CSKA football stadium sits empty. So Moscow is becoming one of the most football-friendly cities in the world,” observed the mayor.


The main sports arena in the Luzhniki stadium will maintain its historic character after reconstruction. The overall area of the reconstructed stadium, including the stands, comprises 221 thousand square meters. This is more than half the territory of the Vatican. This massive size not withstanding, the reconstruction is progressing ahead of schedule. Work should be finished in the second quarter of 2017, but the fundamental work on building and installation is planned for completion this year. In September 2016 FIFA arrived for an inspection and accorded Luzhniki green status. That means that there is not risk that the stadium will not be prepared for the world championship.

One of the main tasks for the reconstruction is to create comfortable conditions for fans. The quantity of main entrances to the arena will rise from 13 to 16. Before work was begun, around 10 percent of spectator seats were in an area of poor visibility. Now the stands are located on two platforms at a more pronounced angle. Thus, fans will be treated to an excellent view of the field from any point in the stands, including the upper and lower rows. On the northern and southern stands, two media screens will be set up, which will also be highly visible from everywhere. And thanks to a new French audio system, fans will be able to hear clear, well-defined sound even from the farthest seats.

The renovated stadium will be able to hold 81 thousand spectators, which was three thousand more than before. 300 seats are being set up for people with limited mobility. For VIP spectators, there will be 2 thousand seats on the main stands, 4.5 thousand seats in the guest service area, and around 2.5 thousand seats for the press. In the stands an additional balcony will be made out of 100 corporate boxes with enhanced comfort (skyboxes). Here, visitors will be served according to a heightened standard, including hot food.

The color of the stands at Luzhniki – burgundy with gold accents – was selected by Muscovites themselves. More than 137 thousand citizens participated in the vote on the “Active Citizen” portal in August 2014.

The roof on the stadium has already been replaced. The new covering is 30 millimeters thick and made of impact-resistant polycarbonate. This material allows sunlight to pass through and is an excellent fit for stadiums with natural grass, as Luzhniki will have. To protect fans from precipitation, the roof of the stadium above the stands has received an additional tarp, 11-meters long.

Sports lighting will be installed under the roof. It will ensure a quality picture on television screens. The roof itself will be a special kind of media screen. To this end, a great quantity of LED will be installed in it. It will be possible to see the broadcast of a match from the Sparrow Hills, the Third Transit Ring, and even from Komsomolsky Prospect.

The goals at Luzhniki are equipped with the “goal control” system. Several cameras will watch after them, and they will be linked to the referee with the help of a special bracelet.

The area of the rooms below the stands will increase. In this space will be located two warm-up areas, a dressing room for the athletes, a hall for press conferences, an express-interview area, television studios, office spaces, restaurants and toilets.

In the main sports arena building there will be a hall for press conferences, an express-interview area, several television studios, and a presentation studio with a panoramic view of the football field. A campus for guest services will also appear here.

In developing the security system for Luzhniki, specialists studied previous experience in Russia and abroad, including the experience of holding the Olympics in Sochi in 2014. Here they will build six transit and five pedestrian security checkpoints and install 1.5 thousand cameras for external observation plus a thousand cameras in the arenas, as well as radiation monitors, detectors for explosive substances and dangerous liquids, X-ray introscopes, and scanners for the bottoms of automobiles.

Video cameras cover the entire stadium: the stands, the inner building, entrances and exits, and also the parking lot. In line with FIFA demands, the entire complex will be divided into 10 zones according to levels of security. These will be areas for general access, the press, hospitality, VIP guests, transit zones, a technical zone, and others.

 Deputy Mayor of Moscow in charge of construction and urban development policies, Marat Khusnullin:“This facility is our priority, and it is receiving special attention and oversight. First of all, I would like to say that we have left unchanged the historic appearance of our legendary stadium. This is important inasmuch as Luzhniki is a recognizable visiting card not only for Moscow athletics, but also for athletics across Russia. And we have already succeeded in the primary task of conducting the reconstruction in such away that our legendary stadium maintains its historic appearance. I am certain that Luzhniki – with its unique rooftop media display, “goal control” recording system, ultra-contemporary natural grass field, and two international broadcasting center – will be transformed into one of the most up-to-date and beautiful structures on a world-wide level – and incidentally, much of it will have no analogue elsewhere in the world.”

More than 62 thousand persons will be able to pass through the new security checkpoints in one hour; more than a thousand automobiles and 60 buses will be able to pass through in this time. This will prevent traffic jams at the entrance, even on days of major events.

The reconstruction of Luzhniki involves not only work on the sports arena, but also renovating the whole grounds of the sports complex. It will be transformed into a modern park with running and biking paths, as well as a separate path for roller-skating. At the same time, the stadium will maintain its historic appearance: the walls of the building have been cleaned and renovated, but the façade remains the bright sandy color that is familiar to Muscovites. It has been decorated with a frieze depicting football players, hockey players, track runners, and other athletes. They are frozen in motion, like the ancient Olympians on Greek vases.

The entire grounds and system of navigation for the stadium are being decorated in a unified style. At its base lay the symbol for Luzhniki: a picture of a ring made of five swallows. Dark blue, violet, yellow, and crimson representations of these feathered creatures will be drawn on the sidewalk on the side of the main entrance from the “Sportivnaya” metro station. They will also appear on the Prestizhny alley near the western stands, and in the winter one will be able to see these birds on the ice rink. This rink will be located on the area between the arena and the embankment. In the summer dry fountains will run in Luzhniki, and cafes with terraces will be constructed on either side of the arena.

A viewing platform will be made on the upper level of the main sports arena. It will be open to visitors on days when no events are scheduled in the stadium. Visitors can gaze upon a beautiful view of the city center, the Novodevichy monastery, the “Moscow City” skyscrapers, and the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The departure point for all visitor routes on the grounds of Luzhniki will be a sightseeing center built on the north section of the stadium. One will be able to get there either by walking or by air – on a funicular from the Sparrow Hills. And for thrill-seekers there will be a pathway on the roof of the stadium. They will have the opportunity to drop onto the Luzhnetskaya embankment with the help of a zip-line system, that is, along a steel cable.

A pathway of cable 737 meters long will connect Luzhniki with the other bank of the Moscow River, where the Sparrow Hills, the Neskuchny Garden, and Gorky Park are located. This funicular will simultaneously solve sightseeing, athletic, and transit problems. In the winter athletes will use it to travel up to the ski jump on Sparrow Hills, which will be reconstructed by 2018. There is a plan to build an athletic school nearby for children and youths. In actuality, this will restore a sports zone that historically arose here.

After reconstruction, the pool at Luzhniki will become in modern swimming center, with an athletic pool that has 10 lanes and two training areas for adults and children (with three lanes each). Besides the athletic infrastructure there will be an aqua park and a spa zone. Luzhniki will feature a wave pool, a salt bath and a river pool, a bath with an area of 270 “squares,” a thermo-pool, hydromassage and spa baths.

Training halls and a fitness center will lead into the complex. The boxing club and children’s gymnastics center will be revived, and new sections will be constructed upon the children’s sports center.

The area around the pool will be divided into pedestrian alleys, pathways for running and cycling, automobile passages, and parking. In front of the main entrance there will be a square with a fountain, lawns, stone benches, and street lamps. In the evenings the walls of the building with openwork installations will be illuminated within, while the blank walls will be lighted with yellow spotlights from below.

After reconstruction the Luzhnetskaya embankment will be more convenient for pedestrians. The highway section has been reduced to two lanes, and in the newly freed space has become an area for going on strolls, running, cycling, and roller-skating.

A professional running path with a special rubberized surface extends for 3 kilometers. Six workout stations, altogether covering 400 square meters, were installed in the shade of trees along the embankment. The following have been placed along the embankment for the comfort of athletes and pedestrians: 170 new benches, 118 litter bins, 50 bicycle stands, 300 street lamps, and 30 navigation stands.

A new municipal space by the water has also appeared on the Luzhnetskaya embankment. Instead of a granite slope down to the river, now there is a wooden stairway. On these steps one can exercise, tan, read, meet friends, or simply gaze at the Moscow River.

Informational Point CI – Luzhniki

On 23 December 1954, the Soviet government made the decision to construct in Luzhniki a “major Moscow stadium.” At first this stadium, along with the entire sports complex, carried Lenin’s name. (The “V.I. Lenin Central Stadium” was the name not of the stadium as a large sports arena, but of the whole sports complex.)

On 31 July 1956 the ceremonial opening of the Central Stadium took place, after it was built in record time – in the span of only 450 days. Then the Central Moscow Station at Luzhniki was comprised of a great sports arena, a minor sports arena, a palace of sports, a swimming pool, and a number of open-air sports venues. These structures were sufficient for competitions and training in 18-20 types of sport, from track and field to hockey. From the very beginning there were plans to use the sports complex for three main types of activity: as an arena for major international and domestic competitions, as a training base for team preparation, and as a base for the establishment of mass sports. Considerable success was achieved in all three directions.

In 1980 the stadium became the main arena for the Olympics, one of the most important locations for holding the summer Olympic games.

In 1998 UEFA included the stadium on its list of 5-star European football stadiums. (Since 2006 they have used a system of four categories.)

On 12 May 1999 this stadium hosted the final of the UEFA Cup, in which the Italian club Parma played against the French Marseille. This football match was the first European club tournament final to be played in Russia.

On 21 May 2008 the Luzhniki stadium was the venue for the first UEFA Champion’s League final to be held in Russia, as well as the farthest eastern final in the tournament’s history. The English clubs Chelsea and Manchester United played. On 22 May UEFA accorded to the Luzhniki stadium the status of an “elite” stadium.

Luzhniki is also the largest concert venue in Russia. At various times Luzhniki has hosted concerts for the Rolling Stone, Rammstein, the Pet Shop Boys, Moby, DDT, Spleen, and many others.

In 2018 Luzhniki will receive 7 matches in world football championship (four matches at the group stage, a match in the quarter final, one of the semifinal matches, and the final match).


The Dynamo central stadium has historically been considered one of the centers for the development of athletic culture and sports in Moscow. Today it is undergoing the most major reconstruction in its history.

Work on the renovation of the stadium is provided for in the design for the development of a complex on the grounds of “VTB Arena Park.” The international architectural agency Manica Architecture was brought in to work on the concept of the new stadium; this agency, based in Kansas with affiliates in London and Shanghai, is headed by the American architect David Manica. This young architectural studio (founded in 2007) has made a name for itself in the past several years as a major international agency specializing in bold and effective public projects, especially stadiums.

From the beginning, it was proposed that the renovated stadium would be among those applying to host matches for the World Football Championship in 2018. But then the decision was made to hold the Moscow matches in the Luzhniki and Spartak (or Otkritie Arena) stadiums, and the capacity of Dynamo was reduced from the plan of 45 thousand spectators to 26 thousand.

Those developing the project arrived at some revolutionary ideas in the sphere of constructing sports facilities. The uniqueness of the renovated stadium will consist in the fact that a small multipurpose arena and a larger sports arena will be housed simultaneously beneath its roof. The Museum of the Dynamo club will also be housed here, as well as a recreational complex and underground parking.

  The Mayor of Moscow,Sergey Sobyanin:“The reconstruction of Dynamo is proceeding according to schedule. I hope that the stadium will be complete in 2017. This is a unique sports facility. Not only will a new sports compound by built, but the historic western stands will be preserved and the bas-relies will be restored, so that the history of the unique Dynamo stadium will be preserved. In essence, a new sports compound is being born in Moscow. Besides the stadium, a sports academy will be built and a first-class sports park will appear, so that this complex will be a unique and, I hope, favorite place for Muscovites to engage in athletic activities.”

In the future, Dynamo will be transformed into a multifunctional complex, in which there will be both sports competitions and concert and entertainment events.

The minor arena can hold from 11.5 thousand to 14 thousand spectators and host hockey and basketball matches, but it will also be a scene for artistic performances. The configuration of the hall will be adjusted depending on the specific event.

The roof will be made out of special materials that allow light to get through. Moreover, LED ribbons will be built into it, and these will allow the dome to be used as a media surface when it is dark out. The western wall, facing Leningrad Prospect, will feature a gigantic screen.

The major task for the builder was maintain and restoring the historic western wall of the stadium, which has held the status of an architectural monument since 1987. Thus, special attention will be paid to restoring the bas-reliefs made by the outstanding Soviet sculptor Sergei Merkurov, which have decorated the porticoes to the north and south of the stands.

The opening of the renovated Dynamo stadium will be marked by its first football match, which is planned to occur on 22 October 2017 – on the birthday of the famous goalkeeper Lev Yashin.

The design for the development of a complex on the grounds of VTB Arena Park also provides for the construction of a sports-recreation complex, the Dynamo Sports Academy, the erection of the Urban Park city block, and the establishment of the Dynamo sports park.

The Dynamo Sports Academy is a sports training complex with an area of 62.8 thousand square meters. It includes 2 hockey venues, a gymnastics hall, rooms for boxing, squash courts, a fencing area, and a rehabilitation center.

Informational Point CI – Dynamo

The Dynamo central stadium was built in 1928 according to the design of architects A. Ya. Langman and L. Z. Cherikover. In the beginning, it was in the form of a horseshow with an opening toward Petrovsky Park. In 1936, after work had been completed on the eastern stands, which closed off the stadium, it was able to hold 54 thousand spectators, and until Luzhniki opened it was the main sports arena in Moscow.

The stadium was partially reconstructed for the 1980 Olympics and on the even of the World Youth Games in 1998. On 22 November 2008, the final match was played here, after which Dynamo was closed for reconstruction. The project was named “VTB Arena Park.”

After the reconstruction “VTB Arena – Dynamo Central Stadium” is complete, it will unite under a single roof a football arena with 26,319 seats and a multipurpose sports hall for 11,488-14,000 spectators. Hockey and basketball games can be held here, as well as concerts. The overall area of the stadium is 206 thousand square meters. It will have eight stories above the ground, and one story below, which will contain 719 parking spaces.

As the reconstruction progresses, the historic western stands opening out onto Leningrad Prospect will be preserved and restored.

At present work has been completed on reinforcing the preserved western stands. In-situ concrete molding is being performed to construct the stadium’s frame, to structure the walls and columns on the fourth and eighth floors, and to install precast elements on the first and second levels of the stands.

Reconstruction of the Dynamo stadium is planned to be complete in 2017. It will be named after Lev Yashin.


The professional football club CSKA (PFC CSKA) has awaited a sports arena of their own for nearly 10 years. Over the past several years the Army has conducted matches and practice at other clubs’ stadiums. Now CSKA has its own bastion. This stadium fully complies with all standards set by FIFA and UEFA. During the World Football Championship in 2018 teams participating in the World Cup will train in this stadium. The new arena of the “red and blue” is planned to hold 30 thousand spectator seats.

Fans will be provided with special metal chairs, and there will be plastic ones on the central stands. This stadium has also been outfitted with 125 skyboxes, built with VIP sections and a panoramic view of the field.

The playing surface has the peculiarity of being woven with threads of artificial grass. This stabilizes the surface and reinforces the root system.

The corpus of this complex will also include a sports school for children and youths, a museum, a hotel for visiting teams, restaurants and cafes, an official merchandise store, and a medical center. For those who would like to drive in their own cars, 1400 parking spaces will be provided. The underground parking lot will provide 600 spaces, and another 750 will be in a separate building, plus 50 on the street.

A 38-floor office tower has been built in the southwest sector of the stadium. It resembles the UEFA football trophy, which the Army claimed in 2005.

Located in the Khodynsky field, the stadium for the CSKA club became one of the main properties in the complex construction of that region. In addition to residential buildings, the largest sales and entertainment complex in Moscow was built here: “Aviapark” with an area of 400 thousand square meters (4 Khodynsky Boulevard).

At present, construction is being conducted on two hotel and office complexes, featuring apartments, with an area of 166.6 thousand square meters. Moreover, there are plans to construct in the Khodynsky field a State Center of Contemporary Art (area: 46.5 thousand square meters), a 825-student school, a temple in honor of the Saint Sergii Radonezhsky (capacity: 800 persons), and other public and business facilities.

On the undeveloped grounds, a new urban park will be created with an area of 24 hectares.

Information Point CI – CSKA

The first stadium for the CSKA (Central Sports Club of the Army) was opened in Moscow in 1961 a part of the universal sports location “Pesachnoe” and named after Grigory Fedotov, a famous football player who scored 100 goals in the USSR championship.

The arena could hold 11 thousand spectators. The stadium was built without overhead lighting, and the matches could only be held in the day. The issues was that the football field was located right next to an airfield that operated at the time in the Khodynsky field, and lighting for the match could have been a distraction for planes as they took off and taxied. What is more, this stadium was not very comfortable for spectators, as it had wooden benches instead of comfortable seats.

In 1997 this sports facility was reconstructed. The capacity of the stadium was increased, and the wooden benches were replaced with plastic seats. But in 2000 the CSKA stadium was closed and torn down so that a new, comfortable stadium could be constructed. Today the CSKA stadium has risen like a phoenix from the ashes.

The ZiL Grounds

In the spring of 2013 a design was accepted for planning the industrial park ZiL. These grounds were divided into nine functional sections, which will include residential micro-regions, a business center, parks, a sports compound, and an automobile factory. As a result, on the site of the abandoned industrial park there will be a “City within the city” with an accessible transportation infrastructure, workplaces, and social facilities.

The builders have already begun construction on an art-class residential complex ZiLART. Ten leading architectural agencies in Russia and worldwide have come forward to design buildings of the first order for the ZiLART residential complex within the framework of a unified design code. Each building, designed by a single architect, is a true masterpiece, thought out to the smallest detail and having its own concept and individual face. The builders took into account specificities of the location where each building was constructed, the direction of the facades, and how the building looks from different angles.

The grounds of this massive residential complex will become a new center for Moscow, where not only the local residents, but also other citizens and tourists will enjoy spending their time. For instance, there will be parks with a combined area of 20 hectares, a pedestrian boulevard, a developed embankment, and also theaters, concert halls, art galleries, and art centers for exhibitions and installations.

  Chief Architect of Moscow,Sergei Kuznetsov:“This is the most important, model design of multifaceted development for large portion of the city, which mayor Sergey Sobyanin has called one of the major world capitals. For us the cornerstone was finding continuity, showing that the plan for these grounds, the streets that the residents of the new region will walk upon, was not accidental. The history of this place will appear not only through place names, or through the preserved exteriors of the workshops, but in the very structure of the design. ZiL will be an outstanding project from an urban development point of view, as well as the architecture of individual buildings. Without a doubt, there will be public spaces with an actively putting forward various functions, the park will be broken up, and of course, there will be interesting architecture. Moreover, in ZiL a serious investment will be made in public transportation, which in the context of Mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s policies plays a role for the city as a whole.”

The first section of the boulevard will feature a large fountain and the “Moscow Hermitage” museum center (an affiliate of the world-renowned Hermitage Museum).

The museum will be designed by American Architect Hani Rashid. Combined with a 150-meter residential tower designed by Hani Rashid on the neighboring plot, these facilities will become new sites to see in Moscow.

This will all bring a large influx of Muscovites and tourists to the new region. Thus, more than 25 thousand persons will become residents of the residential structure, approximately another 20 thousand will work in the commercial properties, and tens of thousand of people will come to this region daily for leisure, shopping, and visiting the public attractions.

The main virtue of the project’s design, as it has been developed, lies in the fact that a qualitatively new urban environment will take the place of the out-of-date factory and abandoned structures. ZiL will be come a city within a city, where one can live, work, and relax.

In addition, those who worked on the design promise to preserve the historic appearance of the industrial park. The most interesting properties in ZiL, in a historic-architectural sense, will be preserved and reconstructed. From these buildings they will “excise” the production facilities, and the remaining administrative offices will be refurbished as offices.

In addition to all this, there is a plan to build a contemporary yacht club on one of the embankments at ZiL.

There are plans to create a large, 14.5-hectare city park in the former industrial park, and a world-renowned specialist has been brought for this task: the well-known Dutch American landscape designer and urbanist, head of the New York agency !melk (a deign studio of landscape architecture and urbanism), Jerry van Eyck. He has promised that the ZiLART park will become a symbol of Moscow for the 21st century, part of the city’s brand. This park, which combines natural and architectural elements, is like a show; it’s a place for leisure, art, and entertainment. It will be of interest not only to residents of the ZiLART region, but also to other citizens and tourists. It will correspond to the principles of sustained development in the economic and cultural sense. The ZiLART park will be for the 21st century what the Parisian Parc de La Villete was for the 20th.

Sports and game venues will be built, as well as places for recreation and cycling. The first 10 hectares of this Moscow park will appear in the summer of 2017. And in the following year the first pedestrians will already be walking along the embankment of the Moscow River, which will be named in honor of Marc Chagall in this section. The overall length of the ZiL river peninsula is approximately 4 kilometers.

 Landscape Designer and Urbanist, Head of the New York Agency !melk, Jerry van Eyck:“Moscow is a good example of a city with an important history of public spaces, many of which have historical significance and have an influence on how people across with world think of such areas. As I see it, the system of parks and green municipal zones called ZiLART could become a symbol of Moscow in the 21st century. I imagine the design of a park that is unlike those that already exist. I believe that the ZiLART park could be come the leading park, and its image should be ahistorical, with materials put to proper use; it should be full of innovative elements and fantastic public art. I imagine a park with a social infrastructure – it will suit all types of visitors. The park is stable not only ecologically, but also culturally and economically. The ZiLART park will become part of the Moscow brand. It is a great honor for me to take part in this fantastic project.”

The overall area of construction in the ZiL industrial park comprises approximately 6.2 million square meters, out of which 3.5 million “squares” will be residential

There are plans to build comfortable contemporary apartments for 38 thousand persons and to create approximately 43 thousand jobs. This approach has long been typical of developed European cities, and since recently it has been the norm in Moscow. It is anticipated that this will make it possible to reduce commuting and unburden the street infrastructure. Being such a massive project, it will be realized in two stages, lasting until 2022.


In less than five years a new city will appear near Moscow. On the 400 hectares that were transferred to Skolkovo six years ago, around 2.5 million square meters of real estate are planned for construction: one third will be office and research sites, another third will be a residential section, and the last third will go to transit, event infrastructure, and so forth. Two million square meters of this space will go to the projects of investors, who will build – and are already building – within the framework of worked-out master plan, while observing its fundamental principles: residences, public spaces, service infrastructure, and workplaces should be located within walking distance; the construction should be low-rise and high-density, while also devoting a significant portion to public spaces. They will ultimately determine the quality of life and create the necessary “climate” and interaction between citizens.

The chief architect of Moscow, Sergei Kuznetsov, believes that despite the difficulty and short deadlines for realizing the Skolkovo mega-project, it can be considered paradigmatic, and its example can be studied.

As part of the Skolkovo project, five compounds have been created to develop innovative projects. These are compounds dedicated to informational, biomedical, energy-conservation, atomic, and cosmic technologies. The staff of the IT compound is developing strategic aims in information technologies – from search systems to cloud computing. The “Effective Technologies” compound supports innovations and groundbreaking technologies aimed at reducing the energy consumption of industrial facilities, public utilities, and the municipal infrastructure. The experts in the “Biomedical Technologies” compound are supporting and developing innovations in the field of biomedical technologies. The goal of Atomic Technologies compound is to support the non-energy applications of atomic technologies and realizing the potential of the division for transferring technologies that have been created in the process of developing atomic science and atomic power to other industries. The workers in the “Cosmic Technologies and Telecommunications” compound occupy themselves with cosmic projects and the development of telecommunications technologies. This group also addresses many other spheres of activity, from cosmic tourism to systems of satellite navigation.

  President and CEO of Sberbank, German Gref:“For us this is more than a building, it is a place where the future of major Russian and international bank will unfold. We want to use this building to emphasize the necessity of ongoing improvement. The new Technical Park should create an environment that will continually push us forward, to set a high bar that cannot be lowered.”

In the near future, an IT park for Sberbank will appear on the grounds of Skolkovo. Construction on the Sberbank technical park in Skolkovo is expected to begin in 2017, and construction will be complete in 2020.

In April of this year, the winner of the closed international contest for a functional and architectural concept for the Sberbank technical park in Skolkovo was the design proposed by the architectural agency Zaha Hadid Architects. “Zaha Hadid Architects developed a unique concept for the building complex in the Sberbank technical park, which will be brought together in a unified architectural ensemble and harmoniously inscribed on the architectural environment alongside the Skolkovo innovation center, and will respond to all demand of the present day,” said the chief architect of Moscow, Sergei Kuznetsov.

The area of the technical park will exceed 130 thousand square meters. The “Sbertech” company and other technological subdivisions of the credit organization will be located here. 10-12 thousand persons will work in the technical park. According to the information of Moskomarkhitektura, the technical park will be essentially a building-sculpture, forming a nonlinear terminal arc over the main boulevard. The bipartite “central hub” will emerge as the connecting module of the complex and will operate as an exhibition and ceremonial block. This project presupposes the usage of leading technologies and innovative elements in its architectural and planning solutions, as well as in construction and engineering solutions – in particular, panoramic glass paneling and light shelves, as well as innovative technologies for heating and energy supply.

Plans have also been finalized for a diagnostic corpus on the Skolkov grounds, which will be the flagship building for the Skolkovo international medical compound. The area of this facility will be approximately 13 thousand cubic meters. Two other corpuses will enter into this medical compound: a therapeutic corpus and an interdisciplinary one with a clinical block.

All three buildings are planned to be four stories high, and they will be distinguished by heterogeneous types of façade, featuring vertical aluminum plates painted to resemble bronze, wood, or white, which will help to highlight the differing functional zones of the compound.

On 15 August, the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, buried a time capsule in the foundation of the Skolkovo medical compound. Before construction a plot of land was chosen with an area of 57.6 hectares. In 10-15 years this land is planned to contain up to 15 clinics specializing in the treatment of the most serious and widespread disease: oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, traumatology, and neurology.

 Project Manager for the Company Zaha Hadid Architects, Christos Passas:“Our concept is to reexamine and perfect a principally modern approach to the creation of working spaces, which have been standardized until now. We see now possibilities for the allocation and transformation of modular components with simplified geometry, with a renovated and perfected means of accessing light and areas that maximally induct fresh air into the work environment.”

The Skolkovo medical compound will unite world-class clinics that will be able to attract foreign doctors and to use foreign medical equipment and medications.

Scientific organizations specializing in the development of medicines, medical technologies, and medical equipment will work at the base of the compound, as will educational organizations concerned with raising the qualifications of Russian doctors and other medical works, as well as attracting international experts in the field of medicine.

The diagnostic clinic will specialize in deep investigations of patients’ overall health (Check-Up). 133 specialists will work here.

The two pilot corpuses are planned to be realized over the period 2017-2020.

This document was prepared using information from the following sites: (official site of the Mayor of Moscow), (Body for Urban Development Policies and Construction), (Moskomarkhitektura), (Architectural Committee of Moscow), (Russian architectural web-portal), (architectural agency diller scofidio + renfro).


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