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Highrise apartment building at Kotelnecheskaya embankment

Kotelnicheskaya embankment, 1/15
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" I live right above panem etcircenses (bread and show)", - joked one of the residents of this house.
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This apartment building on the Kotelnicheskaya embankment is a symbol of a bygone era. Its construction was planned according to a uniform town-planning , which was adopted in 1947. Eight high-rise buildings were to become the dominants of the new architectural appearance of Moscow. The laying of all eight took place on the same day, the day of the 800th anniversary of Moscow. But only seven buildings were built: because of the cancellation of the construction of the Palace of Soviets, the last, the eighth, building in Zaryadye was not built.

In fact, the construction of the skyscraper began in 1938, when a nine-story right wing of the future building  started to raise as a separate building by architects D.N. Chechulin and A.K. Rostkowsky. However, in the years 1948-1952 it was included in the new ensemble with a partial change of front facade.

The house is located at the confluence of the Moscow River and Jauza. It is built in such a way as to be the starting point for all the streets, going to the river. The building height of 176 meters closes the perspective of the Moscow River from the Kremlin to the east.

The distinctive silhouette of the building is full of decorative turrets and terminations. There are groups of sculptures and monuments on the main building. Granite finished top allows us to see a clear separation of the building in volumes with the central 32 floor corpus. Due to the step structure of the building smoothly and harmoniously joins the complex landscape. The design of the building is a striking example of the Soviet classicism, organic synthesis of architecture and sculpture.

The building was conceived as a city within a city: featuring post office, grocery store, dry cleaner, a bakery and even a movie theater. The construction was carried out by prisoners resided in the newly-built apartments during the construction period. Rumor said that they left "built by prisoners" marks on the glass of windows.

Note that this is the first of the high-rise buildings that was put into operation. In the house there were about 700 apartments, they surrendered immediately turnkey with white furniture in the kitchen, imported plumbing fixtures and bronze lamps. Get an apartment in this house - the ultimate dream of many people in the Soviet era! One wing was intended for the military, and the other was placed under the settling of the creative elite. The main architect of the building, Dmitri Nikolaevich Chechulin, also received the apartment in the house. He lived there until his death.
The house was a home to many celebrities - representatives of the Soviet intellectuals, outstanding scientists, military and government officials of the Communist party elite. This is evidenced by the large number of commemorative plaques. Nikita Bogoslovsky, the composer, Alexander Twardowski, the poet Clara Lucko, Nonna Mordjukova and Natalia Sats, famous actresses and many others resided at the building.

The famous resident of this high-rise Faina G. Ranevskaya joked : "I live on right above panem etcircenses (bread and circuses)! " - As lived on the second floor above a bakery and a "Illusion" movie theater. This movie theater, by the way, was the only one featuring movies which haven’t passed a special Soviet art commission. Because of this, it was constantly in danger of closing, but the well-known residents of the home were always saving it.

Today you can plunge into the Soviet era by visiting the G. Ulanova Museum, which opened in 2004. The exposition was unfolded right in her apartment. The original ambiance is retained and everything kept as it used to be during the lifetime of the great Russian ballet dancer.

Unfortunately, It is hard now to find out the exact number of apartments in the building since current tenants join several apartments in one and rework them.  

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