Three architectural highlights from Moscow

    Moscow's architecture is characterized by contrasts - magnificent buildings in the Stalinist confectionery style are just as much a part of the architectural image as the industrial prefabricated buildings that were widespread in the 1950s. Moscow City, a new district of the Russian capital currently under construction, on the other hand, is characterized by architecturally sophisticated skyscrapers. 

    School of Management

    Year of opening: 2009

    Architect: David Adjaye

    Striking: Located on the western outskirts of Moscow, on the Skolkovo campus, the School of Management at first glance looks more like a sculpture than a university building. The basic structure of the private university is a flat, completely glazed cylinder on which four cuboids of different sizes, also glazed, sit seemingly at random. British architect David Adjaye designed the unusual structure in reference to the works of Russian painter Kazimir Malevich, who is known for the abstract and geometric forms in his artwork. The design of the outer skin of the complex is particularly striking: The glass facade, which from a distance looks irregular, almost pixelated, is made up of countless parallelograms of different sizes placed at different angles to each other within a single plane, giving the appearance of three-dimensionality. The different colors and materials also reinforce this impression.

    In addition to lecture halls, conference rooms, a library and a canteen with an adjoining cafeteria, the 4,500 square meters of interior space in the attached parallelograms also contain a dormitory for students, a hotel, the administration and a sports area. The building sections can be accessed at ground level by stairs and ramps; the cuboids can be reached either through the interior of the base building or via the park located on the roof of the cylinder.


    Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

    Year of opening: 2015

    Architect: Rem Koolhaas

    Eye-catching: In the midst of Gorky Park, newly opened in 2011, lies the Museum of Contemporary Art, called "Garage" - an architectural highlight at second glance. The foundation walls of the art museum date back to the Soviet excursion pub Vremena Goda from 1968. The floor tiles, brick walls and wall mosaics are still reminiscent of this, in stark contrast to the exterior construction of the museum. This is built of precast concrete elements, which are additionally covered with polycarbonate panels. This restrained facade design is intended to further emphasize the already almost anonymous architecture of the art museum. The contrasts inside the building - from ruin charm to white cube flair - in conjunction with the openness of the building support the changeability of the structure and adapt to the respective needs of the artworks.

    Roman Abramovich, with Russia's best-known art patron, Dariya Zhukova, provides the museum with a large portion of the works on display. Together they have created the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Russia.

    Evolution Tower


    Year of opening: 2014

    Architect: Tony Kettle (RMJM Architects)

    Eye-catching: Moscow City is characterized by extraordinary skyscrapers - but the Evolution Tower clearly stands out here due to its vertical development. Starting from a square ground plan, the 246-meter tower grows in height with a 135-degree clockwise rotation along the vertical axis. Each of the 55 above-ground floors rotates three degrees from the previous floor. Construction began in 2011 on Russia's ninth tallest skyscraper, designed by architect Tony Kettle in collaboration with artist Karen Forbes. The twisting around the vertical axis gives the object its special helix shape, a direct reference to the DNA molecule. The structure also owes its name "Evolution" to this reference. There is also a second interpretation: the sculpture "The Kiss" by the French artist Auguste Rodin inspired the architects to also see two embraced human beings in the building. 

    A year after opening in 2014, the project was named Best Tall Building Europe 2015. For the most part, the all-glass, $500 million complex houses offices and commercial space, with a registry office and ballroom on the top floor.