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What surprises do the new stations on the Bolshaya Koltsevaya line have in store?

Avant-garde artists, mosaic fishes, and a modern look

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The Bolshaya Koltsevaya metro line opened in Moscow on March 1. This new line has been the largest underground construction project over the past 40 years. Where the legendary Soviet metro stations are more reminiscent of classical palaces, the newer additions live and breathe modernity. However, all of them have unique designs, and are the creations of renowned architects. Let’s explore the fascinating new stations that have just been unveiled on the Bolshaya Koltsevaya.

Maryina Roshcha

In the initial draft, Maryina Roshcha was supposed to be called Sheremetyevskaya. The architects for the project were vetted in an international contest, in which the Russia-based AI-Architects bureau won the bid. The one-of-a-kind design truly shines in all its details, like the curious, crack-like pattern of the marble floor. The rounded pillars form a harmonious match with the metal orbs that adorn the entrance.

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This station has already won over people who love taking unusual pictures. Its ceiling features a wave-shaped media display that shows a never-ending slideshow of colorful images generated by a neural network. Your photo will turn out especially dramatic if you lie down on the ground right under the display. Overall, the station’s style is futuristic, with no finish on the dark tunnel wall and a lot of light in the central space, interconnected with LED portal arches. The latter design solution was added by Blank Architects, after a popular vote on the Active Citizen portal.

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This is another station co-designed by the people of Moscow. One of the architects, Aleksandr Orlov, previously designed a number of stations: Annino, Savelovskaya, and Volokolamskaya. The aesthetic of Sokolniki pays homage to avant-garde artists and to the very first Moscow metro stations. One of the walls, along with part of the ceiling, has been transformed into a large ornamental panel, which celebrates the pioneers of constructivism and suprematism: Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Tatlin, and El Lisitsky. In some places, the ceiling over the platform is reminiscent of the natural sky.

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The name of the station means “Textile workers”, and its design reflects that: the double-tier ceiling with LED lights evokes images of a weaver’s loom. The pavilions are finished with natural materials in light colors. This is the work of Lenmetrogiprotrans. The same organization designed another station, Pechatniki. And the similarities between the two are really evident: Tekstilshchiki and Pechatniki have the same understated simplicity combined with the intricate play of light. That said, the initial Tekstilshchiki design differed from what can actually be seen today. It made more active use of light. In 2019, the composition was changed in favor of a more subdued look.

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This station was designed by architect Aleksandr Nekrasov. Once part of the Nekrasovskaya line and now a station on Bolshaya Koltsevaya, it boasts an eye-catching gallery of round panoramic windows on the second level. The wall next to the tracks is covered with a 163-meter-long panel by Aleksandr Rukavishnikov, titled The Battle of Heroes. It depicts a stock warrior character meant to symbolize the defenders of Rus’ from the days of yore.



This station’s vestibule has a black-and-white color scheme. The pillars next to the escalators and staircases, just as the benches in the station proper, form the Cyrillic letter П (P): the first initial of the station’s name. The same element is integrated into the design of the entrance hall.

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Nagatinsky Zaton

This is one of the metro’s most long-awaited stations. Before it opened, people living in this part of Moscow had to take a long trolley or bus ride before they reached the nearest metro entrance. Due to the station’s location near the Moskva River, its design has a lot of “aquatic” elements. For example, the walls are adorned with 12 mosaic fishes, made out of cobalt glass with some curious insertions. The lobby with the ticket kiosks also features a small exhibition dedicated to the underwater species living in the wetlands of Nagatinsky Zaton. The creators of the design, from Za Bor Architects, won the bid for working on the station in an open international contest.

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Klenovy Boulevard

This station’s interiors pay homage to the nearby Kolomenskoye Park. Architects from the Archslon bureau used design elements associated with traditional crafts that have historically been common in the area. For example, the lampshades mimic netted ware ceramics. And the domed ceiling over the platform and over the entrance is slightly lopsided, just like the roof over Tsar Alexis’ palace in Kolomenskoye. The perforated ceiling panels recreate the starry sky.

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Kashirskaya and Varshavskaya

Moscow locals are already familiar with these stations. They were, in fact, built all the way back in 1969 and underwent renovations ahead of the opening of the Bolshaya Koltsevaya line. Nonetheless, their historical design has been carefully preserved in the process. Varshavskaya’s walls are finished with blue-tinted ceramic tiles, while its pillars are made out of yellowish marble. The finishings also feature Siberian granite. Kashirskaya now boasts new engineering systems, rails, and platforms.


By Maria Naydyonysheva

Photo: Mosmetro

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