Reconstruction of Moscow

Russian Architecture and Urban Design

Reconstruction of Moscow

In the course of reconstruction during last decade, historic centre of Moscow has been partially replaced by imitation of old architecture. Reconstruction of Moscow and other cities in Russia includes not only selective replacement of old buildings but also refashioning of remaining ones, remodeling of facades, window frames etc. Some buildings have been changed beyond recognition. 

During the Soviet time, students of architecture were taught that buildings from the late 19th - early 20th centuries have little aesthetic value. Pre-revolutionary architecture was demolished and replaced in many places. Parts of the Old City were torn out and split (1). The thoroughfare New Arbat, bordered by high-rise blocks, was broken through the city center. 

Erroneous strategy has been applied also in the field of city planning. The center is overloaded by commercial offices and jammed by cars; the more so as parking places, flyovers and tunnels cannot be constructed easily in the historic center. The newly built Third circular motorway has consolidated the radial structure of Moscow. It is known from the theory of city planning that growing towns with radial structure became congested in the central area (2).  Illustrations


1. Berton, K. Moscow. An Architectural History. London: Studio Vista, 1977.
2. Abercrombie, Sir Patrick. Town and country planning. 6th Edition. London: Routledge, 1998