Moscow moves towards a new urban identity

Agatha Kari


  • FC Krasnodar Stadium - Photo: © Delta Light
  • FC Krasnodar Stadium - Photo: © Delta Light
  • FC Krasnodar Stadium - Photo: © Delta Light
  • FC Krasnodar Stadium - Photo: © Delta Light
  • FC Krasnodar Stadium - Photo: © Delta Light
  • Nike sports facility @ Gorky Park
  • Oko Buildings Architect - Photo © Dmitry Chebanenko, architectural photographer
  • Oko Buildings Architect - Photo © Dmitry Chebanenko, architectural photographer
  • Sberbank Headquarters - Photo © Alexey Zarodov
  • Sberbank Headquarters - Photo © Alexey Zarodov
  • Sberbank Headquarters - Photo © Alexey Zarodov

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11 OTT 2017
Moscow is becoming known as the city of opportunities, thanks to a process of architectural and urban development that has hit top speed in recent years ahead of the World Cup in 2018. The stadiums and sports facilities are just the first step of a significant development plan for the capital. Let’s take a look at the latest stadiums, residential complexes, offices and hotels in Moscow

FC Krasnodar Stadium

Twelve stadiums will host football matches during the World Cup, two of them in Moscow. The first is the 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium, which has been completely renovated and will be the setting for the final. The second is Otkrytie Arena, with around 42,000 seats, located in Tushino in the north of Moscow. Meanwhile, in Gorky Park, Kosmos Architects have won the tender for the new Nike Sports Facility.

In the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, Krasnodar Stadium is an imposing presence, built using the finest materials and featuring a theatrical lightning system and technology unique to the world. The exterior of FC Krasnodar Stadium, by gmp – von Gerkan, Marg and Partners – is reminiscent of an amphitheatre, with partitions created by columns positioned at regular intervals. With 33,000 seats and a total internal surface area of 116,248 square metres, the stadium’s design was overseen by Maxim Rymar architectural studio.

The main focus of the design was internal practicality and the resilience of the materials, in order to ensure that the structure remains as new even when used by a large number of people. The travertine of the external columns is also found in the walls of the halls, which are covered in huge, unrefined blocks. The further you go into the arena, the more detailed the finishes become, such as the imposing columns made up of tiny hexagons, similar to the pattern of a football, which are made using a special technique that allows you to create curved or relief surfaces.

There is a big focus on lighting too. Delta Light solved the problem posed by the lack of natural light in some areas and supplied bespoke equipment to fit the needs of the stadium. Inside, you encounter Arper furniture and green lamps, which contrast with the black and white of the finishes to evoke the FC Krasnodar club colours.

Architect: gmp – von Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Interiors design concept by Maxim Rymar architectural studio
Furniture: Arper
Lighting: Delta Light


Oko Buildings - Massimo Iosa Ghini

The changes occurring as Moscow expands do not merely apply to sports architecture. There is a construction boom underway, with the city seeing several collaborations with Italian industry professionals. For example, the Oko Building complex, by the architect Massimo Iosa Ghini, who focused on the communal areas of the complex, which is dominated by two skyscrapers standing on a six-storey basement. Owned by Capital Group (one of the biggest investment firms in the world) and located in the MIBC Moscow City complex, the residential building encompasses 85 storeys and features a public space and a more exclusive section for residents, with reading areas, an art gallery, living areas and a mail room next to the lifts.

For Oko Office Building, the designers created open spaces delineated by elegant crystal panels with luminous borders. All of the finishes are of a very high standard: the wenge stone walls are processed to create double-curve surfaces and used in both the reception area, where we find the main desk and counter, and the corridors that lead to the lifts. For both buildings, Margraf supplied the quality marble and natural stone. Lighting was supplied by iGuzzini.

Architect: Massimo Iosa Ghini


Sberbank Headquarters

Offices are what really attracts foreign investors nowadays. In addition to Oko Office Building and Adidas Office by ABD architects, the city is now home to the T+T Architects-designed offices of telecommunications company Orange Business Services, as well as the Sberbank Headquarters offices.

The latter – the home of the leading bank in Russia – is the work of Ind Architects, who came up with a design best described as fluid. The key factor for the architects was practicality and the efficiency that can be obtained through carefully planning. All parts of the office are joined by a so-called “ring road”, which links the six subsections. Thanks to this connection, it’s easier for staff to get to a meeting room or talk to their colleagues – an important plus in a 7,000sq m space. There are no large private offices either – managers work at desks alongside their colleagues.

Architect: Ind Architects
Furniture: Statio Project, Russkiy Nestandart
Partitions: Versal group
Floor: Milliken Carpet
Ceiling: Ecophon
Doors: Versal group
Planting: Fitodesign Bureau Fikus