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The new life of old factories: where to go

Modern places of interest located in former industrial zones


The 20th century left Moscow a legacy of various industrial enterprises that had lost their original function and been turned into cultural spaces and art centers. Here are some of the most notable renovated industrial areas of the capital.

Moscow's first art cluster, which set the trend for the creative use of the city's industrial architecture. Hundreds of projects and startups are located on the grounds of the former Manometer factory, and the ornate streets between the industrial buildings leave the impression of a small town. Large educational institutions, galleries, workshops, clubs, and restaurants are all located in Artplay. In summer, the cluster's residents use the courtyard for their events, such as concerts and festivals.

A modern block in an industrial area with a remarkable main building, a cylindrical, automated bread factory from the constructivist era. Today, the building is named 'Marsakov' after the surname of the engineer-inventor, and the spacious structure houses shops of domestic brands, a tattoo studio, and a zero-waste store. The other buildings at Hlebozavod include local clothing brand corners, graffiti stores, a comic book store, and optics shops, as well as many restaurants with outdoor verandahs.

A creative space in the buildings of the crystal and glass factory that often hosts major Moscow festivals. It is home to an accessory shop for dogs, an esoteric goods studio, a textile laboratory with its own products, a vinyl record market, a bicycle store, and a workshop. New bars and street food cafés open regularly.

A confectionery factory occupied a large part of Bolotny Island for a long time, but after it moved, it was replaced by clubs, exhibition halls, bars, and restaurants. Many of Red October's spaces are designed for events: parties and lectures are held in the courtyard of the Strelka Institute, dance parties are held in the clubs RED and Gipsy, business events are held in the October Event Hall complex, and, at the end of the year, a contemporary art center will also open in the power plant building.

The art center is located on the site of an old 18th-century manor house that was converted into a beer brewery and then a winery. Today, the buildings of the factory house dozens of private galleries and studios, small stores, and educational spaces. At Vinzavod, you can visit contemporary art exhibitions, attend a lecture by a famous artist or curator, view the street art in the courtyard, and browse through exhibition catalogs in the bookstore at the main entrance.

ZIL can hardly be called a cluster: the cultural center occupies only one building of the former Cultural House of the automobile plant. Nevertheless, the five floors house a variety of educational projects and creative studios: here they teach music, fine arts, dance, and English. The cultural center is adjoined by a spacious garden, which wraps around the asymmetrical building and hosts large music festivals in summer.

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