Moscow City Profile

a) Office Locations

Given Moscow's size and urban structure it is reasonable to assume that a disperse location pattern will arise. Already, modern business centers can be found in many parts of the city. Yet, different locations vary with regard to their respective size and development density.

Quasi-natural office locations are, for instance, areas along and within the Garden Ring. However, due to limited land availability, the number of potential developments should be limited. Examples for such locations are amongst others the comparatively densely developed area adjacent to the Kremlin at Mokhovaya opposite the Lenin Museum, the northerly adjoining triangle defined by Tverskaya, Tverskoy bul'var und Bol. Nikitskaya, and the district east of Trubnaya around Bol. Golovinsky and Bol. Sukharevsky, respectively.

South of the river office clusters have been developed at Voodotvodny Canal, for instance along Kadashevskaya as well as surrounding Sadovnicheskaya. Agglomerations are marking both Twin Towers DevelopmentCanal ends at Bol. Yakimanka (west) and Nizh. Krasnokholmskaya (east). Smaller concentrations of office buildings have been built at Bol. Ordynka, and at the junction of Novokudznetskaya / Dubiniskya and Valovaya / Zatsepsky.

Picture 6: Twin towers in the development area "Moscow City" (construction stage, January, 2006)

Another quasi-natural office location is Leningradsky Chaussee (or Leningradskoe Shosse) representing the airport corridor leading from Sheremetjevo to downtown. Up to now developers clearly prefer location within the city center as well as in western districts of Moscow. Coveted in general are riverside locations.

In non-central locations several major office clusters are to be found. The most ambitious project was (and still is) Moscow City – Europe's biggest urban development project. Situated near the city center, this location is directly connected to the local freeway system as well as to the Moscow Metro. Finally the area will comprise up to 800 hectares of mixed use areas on both sides of the Moskva. The core of Moscow City will become home to the capital's government and administration, respectively.

b) Retail Locations

Moscow's western-style retail facilities are concentrating along twelve main axes and corridors respectively. Within the Garden Ring which defines the city center there are three noteworthy retail locations.

Picture 7: The famous GUM department GUMstore (Upper Trade Rows) at Red Square (photographed in January, 2006)

As measured by standards of other major European cities Moscow's stock of retail space in modern shopping centers is still small. In Warsaw, for example, space available per capita was six times higher in early 2007. In the course of the Sunflower-Project which is supported by the city government 24 new centers belonging to three categories are constructed:

Existing centers and large-format stores cover the entire range of location types.

c) Logistics Locations

Moskow's logistics sector is still characterized by a large number of substandard facilities situated in secondary locations. Logistics properties are conspicuously clustered in the comparatively highly industrialized norther sections of the metropolitan area. This is due to the spatial position of major economic centers like Saint Petersburg, Russia's second biggest city, Novgorod, Smolensk, and the Baltic countries.


Moscow boasts a rich architectural heritage characterized by a wide variety of styles comprising indigenous styles, Baroque, Renaissance, Neoclassicism, Historicism, Style Moderne (similar to Art Nouveau), Stalinist Gothic (a kind of gingerbread style) Socialist Realism, and semi-Modernist to mention only a few. Recently, the city's face is significantly transformed by post-modern buildings. The resulting appearance may be called poly-style.One of the Seven Sisters

Picture 8: One of the Seven Sisters (Hotel Ukraina), situated on the south bank of Moskva (shot in January 2006)

Well known buildings are the Kremlin, the Upper Trade Rows (GUM) at Red Square, the onion-domed Saint Basil's Cathedral, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Danilov Monastery, the hyperboloid Shukhov Tower, the Ostankino Tower – still the highest free-standing structure in Eurasia –, and the Seven Sisters. The latter, amongst them Lomonosov University and Hotel Ukraina, are landmark buildings resembling Gothic cathedrals.

For centuries the view of the city was dominated by numerous churches. The cityscape was drastically altered during Soviet times. Many historic buildings were demolished in order to construct wide avenues, magistral streets and roads. Even the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the Kazan Cathedral were demolished, however reconstructed during the 1990s.

Final Remarks

Moscow represents a prime example for time-lapse city development. Metaphorically speaking, Russia's capital has been turned into one of the largest construction sites on earth in terms of the size and number of projects under construction and schemes planned.