Moscow Is Turning A Historic Soviet Factory Into Its Very Own High Line

Moscow Is Turning A Historic Soviet Factory Into Its Very Own High Line

In its heyday, Hammer & Sickle Factory was the lynchpin of industry in Russia — a plant that churned out the country’s steel for an entire century. Now, Moscow is turning the sprawling factory into luxury housing, boutiques, and a High Line-style park. Basically, the Meatpacking District.

Today, Moscow’s Chief Architect, Sergei Kuznetsov, announced the winner of the city’s competition to design the development: Dutch firm MVRDV cinched the bid, with a plan that will turn the site into a booming high-end development housing 19,000 residents and 16,000 workers.

According to the architects, the whole plan is to respect the heritage of the site:

Historical structures such as large chimneys and pipes are preserved and other structures are integrated into new buildings. Large factory halls are replaced by urban blocks that follow the footprint of the old factory with additional green courtyards.

The icing on the cake will be an elevated walkway, a la the High Line:

An existing factory transport ring will be repaired and become part of a park that will form a three-dimensional spine for the new neighbourhood. This public urban space will house playgrounds, sports facilities, open air markets and pavilions. Schools and day care centres are connected to this ring park.

The factory, which was built in 1883, was also known as the Moscow Metallurgical Plant. But its workers played a central role in both the Revolution of 1905 — 07 and the October Revolution of 1917, and it was renamed Serp i Molot, or Hammer and Sickle, when the Soviet Union was formed in 1922. It kept churning out steel products well into the later years of the USSR, until it fell into disrepair in the 90s.

According to MVRDV, the development will cost 180 billion Rouble — or $US5 billion dollars. Wonder what the former occupants of Serp i Molot would think of that. [MVRDV]