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"Mayakovskaya" metro station
In 1935, the architect S.Kravetz created an experimental project of a deep subway station. The construction began shortly, but the engineers did not take into account the complex geological aspects: the station’s ceiling began to crack. The officials then convened a committee, which included the architect A.Dushkin who modified the project significantly and took over the post of the station’s architect. For the first time in history, the concrete internal supports of a deep station were replaced by metal ones, and so heavy pylons became graceful columns. Sophisticated arched metal elements which greatly increased the integrity of the station were developed and manufactured at the Dirizhablestroy plant by the aircraft engineer A.Putilin.
"Mayakovskaya" Station was opened on September 11th, 1938, as part of the second stage of the Moscow Metro. It is a three-vaulted station with two rows of columns. Each its vault is elliptical in cross-section, as are its arches. In the vaulting of the central nave there are 34 oval niches, which contain lighting fixtures and smalt mosaics. They were made upon the sketches from the ‘Aviation’ series by A.Deineka. Columns and arches are covered with stainless steel. In general, the station – despite being designed in the era of Stalin's Empire style - looks avant-garde enough to be considered an example of Art Deco.
One of the drawbacks of the station’s design is that the mosaics located deep into the ceiling niches and are visible only when the viewer stands directly under them. Therefore, if viewed from afar, the niches are perceived only as lighting elements.
However, the art and design of "Mayakovskaya" Station were praised a year after it was finished: in 1939, the project won a Grand Prix at the World’s Fair in New York. During the war, the station served as a bomb shelter, and Stalin gave a speech here at the Moscow meeting of the Congress of Deputies on September 6th, 1941. The speech was broadcasted over the radio.
Interestingly, originally the station was called Triumphalnaya Ploshchad (‘Triumphalnaya Square’) after the eponymous square located above. However Triumphalnaya Square was renamed to Mayakovskaya Square in 1936. The station was supposed to bear the same name, but in the end, it was shortened to Mayakovskaya.
Many critics have noted the absence of the poet in Deineka’s mosaic works. Originally there were 35 mosaic panels, by the way, but one of them was lost during the installation of a hermetic door several years later. A bust of Vladimir Mayakovsky by sculptor A. Kibalnikova appeared at the end of the station after the War.
The station has two surface lobbies. One of them is built into the Pyotr Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and was opened on September 11th, 1938, together with the station. The second entrance lobby, designed by architects N.Shumakov and G.Mun, was opened in 2005. The vault of the new lobby is adorned with mosaics from the ‘Sky’ series by I.Lubenkova and quotes from Mayakovsky’s poems. The bust of the poet was also moved here.