10 never built projects of Soviet Moscow

Among the far-reaching programs of the first Stalinist five-year plans, the General Plan for the reconstruction of Moscow, adopted in 1935, overshadowed all others in terms of grandeur. Under the plan, Moscow was to be transformed almost overnight into the model capital of the world's first socialist state.

1. The People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry on Red Square

In 1934, a construction tender was announced for the building of the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry on Red Square. This grand edifice with a volume of 110,000 cubic meters spread over an area of 4 hectares would have led to a radical reconstruction of Red Square. But it was never built.

2. The Palace of the Soviets instead of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

The tender for the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow was one of the largest and representative architectural competitions of the last century. The idea of erecting a building in the capital of the world's first state for workers and peasants as a symbol of the "imminent triumph of communism" first appeared in the 1920s.

The tender for the Palace of the Soviets project was announced in 1931 and consisted of several stages. The Palace of Soviets was conceived as the largest building on Earth. At 415 meters high, it would have eclipsed the two tallest buildings of the day: the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. But again, it was never built. Read more about the project here.

3. The Palace of Technology on the banks of the Moskva River

A tender for the Palace of Technology was announced in 1933. An area on the banks of the Moskva River was selected as the construction site. The Palace of Technology was never built.

4. The Aeroflot building

The Aeroflot building, planned to be sited at Belorussky Station, was designed by architect Dmitry Chechulin as a monument to the heroism of Soviet aviation. The project was not realized as originally conceived.

5. Home of the Book

Dom Knigi (Home of the Book) is a typical example of the early 1930s concept of a building as an "architectural monument." In the 1920s, architect Ilya Golosov made a name for himself in the area of constructivism. The bids he submitted for the Palace of the Soviets and the People's Commissariat projects were highly original. Golosov's distinguishing features are defined as "symbolic romanticism."

6. The Heroes' Arch on Red Square

In 1942 the Soviet authorities announced the competition for a monument dedicated to the heroic defenders of the Battle of Moscow. Leonid Pavlov, designer of the Heroes' Arch, submitted quite a monumental project and suggested siting it right on Red Square. The idea remained on paper.

7. A series of 'high risers'

Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky was one of the architects working on Hotel Ukraina, one of the Stalin's Seven Sisters. Oltarzhevsky immersed himself in architectural theory and high-rise construction methods. He paid particular attention to the manifold techniques of designing and engineering "high risers." However, Oltarzhevsky's project was not implemented.

8. Red Square reconstruction plan

Arkady Mordvinov was one of the leading Stalin's architects, and another author of Hotel Ukraina skyscraper. Among his most ambitious projects was the plan of Red Square reconstruction. 

9. The People's Commissariat of Defense on Arbat Square

The buildings of architect Leonid Rudnev are among the most prominent in Moscow. He led the design team on the project to build the high-rise edifice of Moscow State University (1953). His design project for Arbat Square, which was only partially implemented, reflects the architect's transition from the gloomy splendor of the buildings of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the 1930s to the buoyant pomposity characteristic of the architecture of the 1940s and early 50s. 

10. Zaryadye administrative building - the Eighth Sister

In 1947, the Soviet government issued a decree on the construction of high-rise buildings in Moscow. By the early 1950s, seven high-rise buildings had been built around Moscow. Only the construction of a 32-storey administrative building in Zaryadye area near the Kremlin designed by Dmitry Chechulin, slated as one of the main landmarks of the city center skyline, was not complete.

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