How foreign architects are changing the face of Moscow

Anton Belitskiy
American, Dutch, German and other architects known for their projects in New York, Utrecht, London and Oslo are rebuilding the Russian capital.

Yakimanskaya Embankment / Anton BelitskiyYakimanskaya Embankment / Anton Belitskiy

Tourists who came to Moscow this summer probably noticed that the city center had turned into one large construction site. By September 2017 the Russian capital will see the appearance of 50 new parks, 50 kilometers of renewed streets and 12 renovated embankments. All this is happening thanks to the "My Street" program, which was launched by the city administration in 2014 in cooperation with the Strelka Design Bureau and foreign architecture stars, such as Snøhetta, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Okra and others. Here are some examples of new projects that are under way in Moscow right now.

Tverskaya Street and Tverskaya Zastava Square

Tverskaya Street / Anton BelitskiyTverskaya Street / Anton Belitskiy

The project for the reconstruction of the Moscow’s main street is being handled by the Dutch bureau West 8, which is already known for its works in Russia: for instance, their New Holland renovation project in St. Petersburg.

Tverskaya Street / Anton BelitskiyTverskaya Street / Anton Belitskiy

Tverskaya Street’s facelift is almost over, and the reconstruction of Tverskaya Zastava Square is slated for completion by the end of 2017.

Bolotnaya Square and Yakimanskaya Embankment

Bolotnaya Square / Anton BelitskiyBolotnaya Square / Anton Belitskiy

Another Dutch bureau Okra specializes in designing embankments and urban landscapes. Among the projects of the bureau are Cutty Sark Gardens in London with levels stepping down to the water, as well as the Boulevard de Villingen, stretching along the coast to Cadzand-Baden and the center of Basel.

Yakimanskaya Embankment / Anton BelitskiyYakimanskaya Embankment / Anton Belitskiy

They were also the team behind the Domplain renovation project — a residential quarter in Utrecht, under which the remains of the Roman Castellum are buried.

Crimean Square and Lubyanka

Lubyanka / Strelka KBLubyanka / Strelka KB

These two famous districts of Moscow are being renovated by the architectural office Snøhetta from Norway.

Lubyanka / Strelka KBLubyanka / Strelka KB

Snøhetta became famous for the makeover of the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo and the reconstruction of Times Square in New York.

Children's Route

Pushechnaya Street / Anton BelitskiyPushechnaya Street / Anton Belitskiy

In 2016 American landscape architect Martha Schwartz and her eponymous bureau devised the architectural concept for the "Children's Route".

Novaya Square / Anton BelitskiyNovaya Square / Anton Belitskiy

The route passes around the Detsky Mir (Children’s World) store, which has carried the unofficial title "Country of Childhood" since Soviet times.

Streets around Zaryadie

Kitai-Gorod / Strelka KBKitai-Gorod / Strelka KB

American bureau Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS + R) are the creators of The High Line, a public park in New York built on former railway tracks.

Varvarka Street  / Strelka KBVarvarka Street / Strelka KB

The Americans will be busy reworking the most mysterious part of old Moscow - the Zaryadie region, which is located to the right of the Kremlin.

Khokhlovskaya Square

Khokhlovskaya Square / Strelka KBKhokhlovskaya Square / Strelka KB

The reconstruction of one of the oldest districts of Moscow — Kitai-Gorod — is in the capable hands of London landscape company Djao-Rakitine. The studio developed a public area for the Selfridges department store in London, urban spaces in Luxembourg, and a 337-hectare campus in the Paris-Saclay business cluster (France).

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