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Children's world

5/1 Theater Passage
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The "Children's World" was conceived as the largest department store for children in Europe.
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The idea of ​​building Europe's largest department store for children emerged in the early 1950s. A. Dushkin, one of the leading Soviet architects was invited to work on the project. Architects I. Potrubach, G. L'Aquila and engineer L. Glier were Dushkin’s coauthors.

Lubyansky passage area was chosen as the place for the erection of a giant shopping complex, which was formerly occupied. Foundations and vaulted cellars of the passage were incorporated into the new structure.

"Children’s world" department store had 7 floors, mezzanine and 2 underground floors, built above "Dzerzhinskaya" (currently "Lubyanka") subway station of deep foundation. Two tiers of windows hall covered with farms in the level of the fourth floor was in the central part of the building. The inner light courtyard surrounded by buildings to the height of three floors, which were used as services and technical premises were above it.

Facade of the building was lined with ceramic tiles. Decorative items are also made of ceramic, widely used in construction in those years. Giant arch framing a huge stained-glass windows were made of granite. Ground floor walls were tiled with the same granite.

White marble was used for interior decorations: balustrades, cartouches, columns of the central hall, etc. Lighting, ventilation grilles, stair railings designed by individual author and drawings made ​​using iron, bronze and other non-ferrous metals. Carpentry was made ​​of fine woods of oak and ash.

The building with a total area of ​​54 500m ², of which retail space 21 000m ² was built in just a little over three years. The status of Russia's first children's goods store granted to the new Children's World department store provided it with the particular importance.

The store opened its doors and accepted first visitors in 1957. It was privatized in 1992.

The building was granted the status of a cultural heritage site of regional importance (monuments of history and culture) in the early 2006. However, some parts of the building, including its interior, were deprived of conservation status.

"Children’s World" at Lubyanka Square was closed for renovation on July 1st, 2008 and this causes a lot of controversy to this day. The reconstruction work has almost completely destroyed the interior of the store.

As the result of the reconstruction, the area of the department store should grow to 74 thousand m ², according to the management company.

60% of the project area will be used for trade, 20% - for entertainment, 20% - for other needs. Atrium will be raised to the seventh floor and covered with a glass dome.

Reconstruction deadline was planned to 2011, but the timing is shifted several times due to the economic crisis, change of ownership and numerous claims to the project management coming from the Muscovites and public movement "Arhnadzor" (The architectural watch).

Currently the Grand opening the main children's store in Moscow scheduled for December 2014.

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