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The project of the Mnevniki metro station was awarded the Moscow City Prize. The architects who worked on it told what is interesting about this station and why it was liked not only by professionals, but also by ordinary citizens.

The Mnevniki metro station is one of the most interesting and unusual among those built in Moscow in recent years. Bright, light, with a bold color scheme, she not only fell in love with the residents of the capital, but also received recognition from the professional community. The station project was awarded the annual awards of the city of Moscow in the field of architecture and constructionin the nomination “The best architectural and urban planning solution of a transport infrastructure object”.

The architectural bureau of Timur Bashkaev worked on its design. The Moscow City Prize was presented to its head Timur Bashkaev and chief architect Vera Iordanova, as well as Tatyana Arsenyeva, a former employee of the workshop.

The authors of the project told about the uniqueness of the station and how it was originally planned.

Appreciated by both citizens and professionals

Timur Bashkaev: The reviews after the opening of the station were good both in the press and on social networks – we were pleased that people like it. And we are glad that the opinion of the citizens and the opinion of the professionals coincided. This award is quite prestigious, there are only five nominations in it and only one project wins in each category. That is, five projects a year is very few, and therefore prestigious.

Vera Iordanova: We became winners, and it was somewhat unexpected. When we applied, we understood that we had a lot of interesting works in our rivals. There was no need to talk about a guaranteed victory. Therefore, we are glad that our work was appreciated.

Tatyana Arsenyeva: I worked on this project within the framework of the concept at the very beginning. Then it so happened that I left the bureau, and my colleagues continued to work. I can’t say that I expected a victory, but, of course, it’s nice that the project was appreciated so highly. And, probably, it will sound immodest, but the station has qualities worthy of such an assessment.

Another station: what makes Mnevniki unique

Timur Bashkaev: This station is the result of an international competition, which is great in itself. Moskomarchitectureat one time initiated design competitions for some metro stations. And “Mnevniki” is the winner of the second of them.

We set the task to design the station in a slightly different paradigm, different from the existing projects, which are also good, but they are rather a continuation of the tradition of the Moscow metro, which is 15–20 years old. We wanted to do a little in a different way – both in materials and in aesthetics. And we seem to have succeeded.

“Mnevniki” is somewhat different from other stations. Here is a slightly different language – not a palace or high-tech. A slightly different style, a more restrained approach in materials, colors, and details. It seems to me that is why she attracted attention, because she demonstrates a different direction of movement.

Vera Iordanova: Initially, it was planned that a parliamentary center would be built on this site, so they wanted to make the station solemn, keeping the maximum height of the ceilings. It was assumed that the station will be with two onshore platforms made using Spanish technology. This implies large, tall spaces. As a result, it was decided to stay on the classic island platform, but at the same time the idea of ​​large spaces remained. For example, the standard height of the station is about six meters, while at Mnevniki it is nine meters, one and a half times higher.

Tatyana Arsenyeva: This station is minimalistic, it has a bright color scheme, a minimum amount of decor, unnecessary details. This is such a modern, good urban minimalism. The station is quite expressive – sometimes it is compared to avant-garde. But the point is not following the existing style – all architectural solutions were formed in accordance with the functional project and its features. In addition, architectural concrete is the key finishing material, which is absolutely atypical for Moscow. Although it is used in the subways of other countries.

Metro station “Mnevniki” opened April 1st. While she is the end of the Big Circle Line. In the future, it is planned to create a transport hub with residential, public, business and social facilities here.

Tactile station: what are “Mnevniki” made of

Timur Bashkaev: The Metro is quite conservative in terms of finishing materials. Only durable materials are used there. This, of course, is natural stone, granite, marble, metal. For finishing we used concrete of different colors, cast in slabs – it is real, it is not fiber cement. Therefore, the colors and texture at the station are precisely concrete.

Vera Iordanova: Various pre-fabricated panels are now used in the metro – metal-ceramic, photo-aluminum. We wanted the materials to be more tactile. Therefore, we settled on architectural concrete. Touch it – it is like a stone. This is a completely different feeling. In this regard, “Mnevniki” are approaching the stations of the Soviet era, when they used only natural materials: marble, granite.

Tatiana Arsenyeva: We used granite for the flooring. This material is durable, it has the least susceptibility to abrasion. It is problematic to use concrete on the floor – it wears out much faster.

Concrete was chosen as the main finishing material. A little metal and a small amount of wood in elements of small architectural forms – benches and surfaces in service areas – are details that people who are in the subway touch.

It was originally planned that there would be more concrete in the finishing of the station. But due to technological requirements during construction and operation, it was necessary to use slabs that imitate concrete.

Bright station: the main color of “Mnevnikov”

Timur Bashkaev: There is an element of theatricality in Mnevniki. We did this on purpose so that the design of the station was not kept in one key, as it was before. There are background parts here, and there are pronounced spatial accents – they are supported by a bright red color. This is a bit unusual for the Moscow metro.

Vera Iordanova: To some extent, the color scheme was set by the competition concept. Our task was to preserve it, despite the fact that technology and spatial solutions were changing there. That is, we had to keep the original principles, adapt them to the new form.

When a station was planned with two onshore platforms, a red element permeated all levels of the station and connected them. It was difficult to do this in the island version, but we left it as a tribute to that concept. And at the same time, this red element has become the center of the architectural composition, giving it uniqueness.

Tatiana Arsenyeva: Initially, the pillars located in the atriums of the passenger area became the dominant feature of the project. We have combined them into contrasting, highlighted volumes, which have become semantic, functional and emotional accents of the entire space. When the composition of the station changed, the solution chosen in the competition was adapted for the island platform scheme.

After the opening of the station, people began to suspect that the central red element was a reference to the huge Zhivopisny Bridge in the area. The architects say that nothing of the kind was included in the concept. But they find it interesting that such associations have emerged.

The Moscow City Prize for Architecture and Construction was established in 2017. Any projects of capital construction projects that received coordinated architectural and urban planning decisions in the previous year can be nominated for it. The amount of the monetary part of the prize is one million rubles; it is awarded to the author or a group of authors of no more than three people.

Now from the metro: how the Khoroshevo-Mnevniki area is developing

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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