Radisson Ukraine Hotel, Moscow

Hotel Ukraina, Moscow - Gennady Grachev

Hotel Ukraina, Moscow – Gennady Grachev

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Radisson Ukraine Hotel, Moscow

Radissson Ukraine Hotel (Hotel Ukraina) is a five-star, luxury hotel in the city centre of Moscow, on a bend of the Moskva River. The hotel is one of the ‘Seven Sisters’, and stands 206 metres (676 ft) tall. It is the tallest hotel in Russia, the tallest hotel in Europe, and the 52nd-tallest hotel in the world.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 02

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 02

Hotel Ukraina was commissioned by Joseph Stalin. It was designed by Arkady Mordvinov and Vyacheslav Oltarzhevsky (the leading Soviet expert on steel-framed high rise construction), and is the second tallest of the neoclassical 1950s skyscrapers. It was the tallest hotel in the world from the time of its construction until 1976.

Domestic architects began to discuss the possibility of building high-rise buildings in Moscow after the 1917 revolution. Very shortly thereafter, there were interesting projects; for example, the skyscraper project of the Supreme Economic Council building on the Lubyanka Square, designed by Vladimir Krinsky in 1923. In the same year, the Vesnin brothers proposed a project for the Palace of Labour, whose high-rise building was a tower 132 meters high.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 05

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 05

The government supported the desires of architects to rebuild the capital of the Soviet Union. In 1940, architect Dmitry Chechulin published a draft of a 24-story public building on the Dorogomilovsky Bend of the Moscow River – the Hotel Ukraine subsequently appeared at this place. The sketches were published in Issues 11–14 of the magazine Construction of Moscow. All the preparatory work on this project progressed very slowly, and with the start of World War II, work was completely frozen.

On January 13, 1947, the Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B), Joseph Stalin, signed the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR ‘On the Construction of High-Rise Buildings in Moscow’. Clause 4 stated that a 26-story building with a hotel and residences was to be built on the Leningradskoye Highway near the Dynamo Stadium. Mordvinov, as a representative of the Committee on Architectural Affairs, submitted the construction plan to the government for approval. Construction work was transferred to the Ministry of Construction of Heavy Industry Enterprises.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 03

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 03

Later the government decided to transfer the construction to the Dorogomilovskaya settlement, which was built up with barracks and wooden houses. This was due to the desire to create a high-rise which would dominate the intersection of the Moskva River embankment and a proposed major highway, Kutuzov Avenue. The designers took into account not only the location of the roads, a pier for the river fleet was also created near the hotel.

Such skyscrapers of the same time were not built in a separate area, they were distributed mainly in the historical centre of the capital. New high-rises should serve as architectural dominants of the capital. Church bell towers and domes performed a similar role in pre-revolutionary Moscow. The chief architect of Moscow, Dmitry Chechulin, also took into account that future skyscrapers could ‘overlap’ with each other.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 04

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 04

Like all skyscrapers built in this period, the first stone of the hotel was solemnly laid on September 7, 1947, on the day of the 800th anniversary of Moscow, but work did not actually begin until 1953. The construction of high-rise buildings in Moscow was complicated by three circumstances. The first problem was weak Moscow soil (sandy loam), for which reason it was necessary to build strong foundations. The second difficulty was that the Soviet experts, except Oltarzhevsky and a few other architects, did not have the relevant expertise. Finally, the country lacked the necessary technical base.

Considering Stalin’s attention to the project, the necessary technologies and mechanisms were developed for high-rise construction from scratch or improved. Especially for the 1950s skyscrapers, an original ‘box foundation’ was developed, which allowed the building to be erected without gigantic reinforced concrete massifs and vertical sedimentary joints. The workers received a concrete pump capable of pumping fresh mortar to a height of 40 meters and UBK tower cranes with a lifting capacity of 15 tons, capable of lifting themselves from floor to floor as the building grows. During the construction of the hotel, these cranes were used in the construction of walls and for the installation of large elements of reinforcement blocks. In addition, with the formwork of the bottom slab of the foundation, the crane pedestals were part of the reinforced concrete structure of the building and subsequently became part of the basement. In Lyubertsy and Kuchin, special factories for the production of reinforced concrete slabs were organized, and the use of a metal frame required the creation of new wall materials: ‘multi-hole’ bricks and hollow ceramic stones. An enterprise was set up in the village of Kudinovo to produce these materials.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 01

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 01

Since the hotel was built later than the other skyscrapers, engineers and ordinary specialists took into account previous experience in order to optimize the workflow. At the construction site, most cargo delivery operations were mechanized from the moment they arrived at the facility until transportation to the workplace. The building was erected in close proximity to the Moskva River, therefore, additional work was needed to drain the soil around the future foundation.

Long before the commissioning of the building, it became known that by order of Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the hotel would be called ‘Ukraine’ and not ‘Dorogomilovskaya’ (the design name is ‘Hotel building in Dorogomilov’) as originally intended. The reason was the desire to make a symbolic gesture in the context of the celebration in 1954 of the 300th anniversary of the reunification of Russia and Ukraine’

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 06

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 06

The grand opening of the hotel on Dorogomilovskaya Embankment took place on May 25, 1957. In early June, the newspaper ‘For the cultural trade’ noted that in the Hotel Ukraine – the largest hotel in Europe – there are 1,026 rooms. The hotel was considered prestigious and was focused primarily as a residence for foreigners.

In 1964, a 10-meter monument to the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko was erected in the square in front of the main façade of the building. Sculptors Mikhail Gritsyuk, Yu. L. Sinkevich, A. S. Fuzhenko and architects A. A. Snitsaryov, Yu. A. Chekanuk worked on the monument.

In the 1930s, a new architectural style was formed in the Soviet Union. Its characteristic features were the massiveness of buildings and the abundance of decorative elements, even on residential buildings. The decoration was eclectic: along with the use of classical orders, modern symbols were used, such as images of sickles, five-pointed stars and generalized images of Soviet workers. According to the richness and character of the architectural composition, this is not only an image of a hotel – it is a monument of the greatness of the architect Oltarzhevsky.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 08

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 08

Including the 73-meter spire the maximum height of the building is 206 meters. The Hotel Ukraine is a U-shaped building. The central building is occupied by the hotel itself, and in the side buildings, with a variable number of floors from 9 to 11, there are 255 apartments with 2–4 room apartments. In addition, there were two five room apartments in the building. The tower of the central building has 34 floors. The hotel differed exclusively expensive decoration. Initially, there were rooms of different sizes: from a single room of 12 m² to three-room suites, each of which had a living room and two bedrooms, with separate bathrooms.

Hotel Ukraine - 1966

Hotel Ukraine – 1966

In addition to the luxurious interiors, the hallmark of the Hotel Ukraine has become a winter garden with a fountain, arranged on the second floor. In the building of the hotel there was a post office, telegraph office, savings bank and several shops – a bookshop, a florist and a theatre. Since the opening of the hotel, there was an enclosed cafe on the upper floors, around which there was an open terrace with a panoramic view of the city. The hotel employed 800 people.

The building had advanced engineering systems. In addition to the ventilation system, there was centralized air conditioning. The air from the street was filtered and moistened, its temperature reaching 15°C. The whole building was equipped with a centralized dust removal system, which was a system of brushes and hoses located in each room and in each apartment. On pipes laid along the building, the dust fell into the vacuum cleaner station installed in the basement. The collected dust was filtered and discharged into the sewage system, and the purified air from the system got into the street. The hotel was additionally equipped with hand-held vacuum cleaners. To ensure the heating of the building in the basement were boilers. Also in the hotel building was a telephone exchange with 10,000 numbers.

Radisson Ukraine Hotel - 07

Radisson Ukraine Hotel – 07

The hotel has 505 rooms, 38 apartments, 5 restaurants, a conference centre, executive floor, banquet hall, library, spa and wellness centre with a 50m indoor swimming pool and a fleet of Moskva River yachts.

There are about 1,200 original paintings by the Russian artists of the first half of the 20th century, and on the first floor the diorama, Moscow – Capital of the USSR in 1:75, scale shows the historical centre of Moscow and the city’s surroundings from Luzjniki to Zemlyanoi Val in the year 1977, when the artwork was created.

Text from Wikipedia. (As it is Wikipedia there is some contradictory information. If I get definite statistics I’ll make revisions.)

You can even buy a Rolls Royce on the ground floor.

How to get there;

The nearest metro station is Kievskaya, west of the city centre on Line 3, the dark blue line, about a ten minute walk.


2/1 Kutuzovsky Prospekt





May 1957


206 m (676 ft)



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Moscow Metro – Komsomolskaya – Line 1

Komsomolskaya - by Ludvig14

Komsomolskaya – by Ludvig14

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Moscow Metro – a Socialist Realist Art Gallery

Moscow Metro – Komsomolskaya – Line 1

Komsomolskaya - Line 1 - 02

Komsomolskaya – Line 1 – 02

Komsomolskaya (Комсомо́льская) is a Moscow Metro station in the Krasnoselsky District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. It is on the Sokolnicheskaya line, between Krasnye Vorota and Krasnoselskaya stations. It is located under Komsomolskaya Square, between the Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky, and Kazansky railway terminals. The station was named for the workers of the Komsomol youth league who helped to construct the first Metro line. It has a transfer at its namesake on the Koltsevaya line.

Komsomolskaya - Line 1 - 01

Komsomolskaya – Line 1 – 01

Komsomolskaya was built using the cut and cover method, with construction beginning on 3 May 1933. Temporary bridges were built over the construction site to avoid disrupting traffic, especially the numerous tram routes in the area. To counteract the high water table, the station was built on 636 piles which were driven into the saturated soil.

Komsomolskaya - Line 1 - 04

Komsomolskaya – Line 1 – 04

Heavy rains in the summer of 1934 threatened the construction site several times, and at one point even the Kazansky terminal was in danger of collapsing. Nevertheless, the concrete structure of the station was completed by August 26 and Komsomolskaya opened on schedule on May 15, 1935.

Komsomolskaya - Line 1 - 05

Komsomolskaya – Line 1 – 05

Due to Komsomolskaya’s location under a major transit hub, the station was built with an unusual upper gallery above the platform to help handle rush crowds. The station has tall pillars faced with pinkish limestone and topped with bronze capitals displaying the emblem of the Komsomol league. The station was designed by Dmitry Chechulin, and a model of it was displayed at the 1937 Paris World’s fair.

Komsomolskaya - Line 1 - 03

Komsomolskaya – Line 1 – 03

The station’s southern entrance vestibule is built into the Kazansky Rail Terminal. The northern vestibule is on the opposite side of the square, between the Leningradsky and Yaroslavsky rail terminals. The latter entrance did not survive in its original form, having been replaced with a massive structure serving both this station and the Koltsevaya line station in 1952. There is a short branch line between Komsomolskaya and Krasnoselskaya stations, that leads to the Severnoe Depot. On 15 October 1934 the first Metro train left this depot for a trial run.

Text from Wikipedia.



Komsomolskaya, radial

Kalanchevskaya – when put into service

Date of opening;

15th May 1935

Construction of the station;

shallow column, three-span

Architect of the underground part;

D. Chechulin

Transition to Komsomolskaya of the Circle Line

Komsomolskaya is the key station of the first phase. Its construction began in May 1933. The station was constructed by open-cut technology midst of an intensive transport junction at complicated hydrogeological conditions. When the construction of the trench began, it was found that there was too much water in local sand. Ground actually flew down from spades and excavator buckets. The task bore a strong resemblance to an attempt to scoop out sea. Then, metal beams were hammered in right up against each other along the perimeter of the future trench, so formed underground paling hardly permeable for water. Then, two deep and long transverse trenches were made near the both ends of the future station. Hence a huge trough was made. The bottom was Jurassic clay, while the walls were metal beams. The quicksand appeared as being entrapped and began to give water back. Some weeks later the construction of the main trench began. Winter made the construction quicker. Water drained from the bottom while froze from above. Builders took out 1200 cubic metres of ground from the trench every day and removed by lorries and cargo trams.

The first train ran from Sokolniki to Komsomolskaya in October 1934, or 18 months after the construction began. The quicksand-control technology is not the only innovation used for the construction of Komsomolskaya. Earlier sleepers in the underground were put on a ballast layer of crushed stones, which holds them. This solution has lots of pluses, but crushed stones accumulate dirt, dust, and garbage, which can be removed only by replacing the whole ballast layer. Dirt in a front palace station? It is absolutely inadmissible. During a week, ordinary builders developed, made agree, and tested the method of putting sleepers into specially made concrete from which they can be removed and replaced. Such concrete was called truck one. Nowadays sleepers at all stations are put into concrete truck while a ballast layer is used in tunnels.

Komsomolskaya was designed based on the calculation of maximum traffic. Its main characteristic features are side galleries above the platforms at a height of more than 4 m. They connect entrance halls at the ends of the station while a bridge connects them at the centre from where staircases run to the lower level of the platform. The architect succeeded building two-storeyed construction convenient for passengers and keep the vast unencumbered interior. Such project has been unique for the Moscow metro for near 70 years.

Despite the size, Komsomolskaya is simple, light, and elegant as all other stations of the first phase. Square columns, decorative columns of the galleries, and walls of the entrance halls are faced with Crimean marble from the Chergun deposit. It is peculiar stone with all shades of yellow and light brown. Here is amber, honey, baked milk, and fumed wood. Its structure is stratifies, or rolling, or fluid, breccia-like. The caps of support columns are decorated with relief bronze-coloured crowns with five-pointed stars with Russian letters ‘KMM’ inside. It is the emblem of the Communist International of Youth whose part was Russian Communist Union of Youth (briefly Komsomol in Russian). In the gratitude for exhausting labour of many thousands of members of Komsonol who built the underground in 1933, Kalanchevskaya Ploshchad was renamed into Komsomolskaya Ploshchad. The station also was renamed into Komsomolskaya, and the emblems of Komsomol adorned the caps of the columns.

A staircase from the lower level of the southern end of the station runs to the southern entrance hall located at the level of galleries. The similar entrance hall is at the opposite, northern end of the station. From there the passageway divided with facet columns leads to four short escalators, which connect the station with the northern ground pavilion.

The side concave wall of the northern entrance hall, on the right and left sides of the passageway, is decorated with a coloured majolica panel ‘Construction of mine of the underground’ (E. Lansere). It shows sketches of the metro building in a chronological order. On the right side, tunnellers crush stones with air hammer and remove it with cars from the pit. On the left side, other people lay tracks and electrical cables, paint and face the station. The colour of the panel ranges from dark brown, nearly black, on the right side through ochre, blue, and yellow to pink on the left side. The faces of all the persons are different. This indicates that they are portraits of first metro builders. It is an interesting fact that most persons are pictured in profile, and some those en face are with eyes dropped. They either write something in notebooks or look at ground. Only two open bright looks are there. A girl on the right side of the panel looks at onlooker and invites them with her hand – ‘Come here to the pit. Let’s build metro together’. The blue eyes of her girl friend on the left side of the panel are not less inviting but with reproach – ‘Look at me. We already built this station, I’m alone here, but you haven’t come’.

Text from Moscow Metro 1935-2005, p58/9






8 metres (26 ft)


15 May 1935

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Moscow Metro – a Socialist Realist Art Gallery

Moscow Metro – Dinamo – Line 2

Dinamo platform - by A. Savin

Dinamo platform – by A. Savin

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Moscow Metro – a Socialist Realist Art Gallery

Moscow Metro – Dinamo – Line 2

Dinamo - gymnastics - ribbon close-up

Dinamo – gymnastics – ribbon close-up

Dinamo (Дина́мо) is a Moscow Metro station on the Zamoskvoretskaya Line. It is located under Leningradsky Avenue, and named after the nearby Dinamo Stadium. The station was opened in 1938 as part of the second stage of the system. The station is situated at the depth of 39.6 metres (130 ft) and follows a tri-vaulted deep-level pylon design. Designed by Ya. Likhtenberg and Yury Revkovsky, the station features a sport-themed decoration with bas-reliefs designed by Ye. Yason-Manzer depicting sportsmen in various practices in the vestibules and the central hall.

Dinamo - tennis

Dinamo – tennis

The pylons, faced with red tagilian marble and onyx have porcelain medallions also showing sportsmen. The walls are faced with onyx, white and grey marble, neatly tiled together. The floor is reveted with black marble, although the platforms were initially covered with asphalt.

Dinamo - rock climbing

Dinamo – rock climbing

The station has two identical vestibules, each on the northern side of the Leningradsky Avenue, and the architect for the vestibules was Dmitry Chechulin.

Dinamo - ice dancing

Dinamo – ice dancing

The station daily passenger traffic is 52,500 although this is an annual average and is subject to heavy changes depending on events taking place at the nearby stadium.

Text from Wikipedia.

Dinamo Station Building

Dinamo Station Building

More images of the vestibule and the outside of Dinamo Metro station can be seen in the second slide show below. 






39.6 metres (130ft)


11 September 1938

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Moscow Metro – a Socialist Realist Art Gallery