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Moscow State University’s main building

Leninskye Gory, 1
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The main symbol of Russian education.
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Today it is difficult to imagine Moscow without the majestic silhouette of the main building of Lomonossov Moscow State University. The most large-scale high-rise building in the capital stands at Vorobyevy or Leninskie Gory (Sparrow or Lenin Hills) since 1953. It was the year of completion of the 4-year unprecedented construction project of the University ensemble designed by architects L. Rudnev, S. Chernyshev, P. Abrosimov and A.Hryakov. The chief engineer of the project was V.N.Nasonov.

The complex consists of 30 major and 20 auxiliary buildings, an observatory, a botanical garden, a park, and a sports area. Its total surface area is about 167 hectares.

The main building of Moscow State University, or ‘GZ’ (an abbreviation of glavnoye zdaniye,‘main building’, as it is called by students and teachers) facing the center of Moscow with its broad front. Its clear silhouette is visible from afar. The main building, topped by a spire with a star, reaches the height of 235.7 m. The highest part of the building has 36 floors.

During the construction of Moscow State University a new support system was developed. The developer of the system was an outstanding designer N.V.Nikitin (creator of the Ostankino TV Tower in Moscow). MSU resides on a box-like foundation, "floating" in the soil and provides a uniform draft for the building. Original parts of the steel frame were also developed. The building of the Moscow State University at that time was the tallest building in Europe.

From the main building, the 18- and 9-storey wings of the hostels diverge, forming courtyard-courdoners. Students and post-graduates live in dormitories and in the corner towers are apartments for faculty members.

In the central part of the main body there are two faculties, an assembly hall accommodating 1,300 people, a scientific library and museum. The building is equipped with high-speed elevators, each carrying up to 20 people. The other faculties occupy buildings, located near the main one. Built at the same time with the main building, they make up a single ensemble of the Science Campus.

Giant clock, barometer and thermometer are installed on the towers, contrasting with the light-colored facing of the building. Prefabricated panels were used for the first time in Russia to decorate the structure

The main courtyard with fountains and flower beds is on the south side of the building. A monument to M.V.Lomonosov by sculptor N. Tomsky was installed here in 1953.

Honored Soviet artists and sculptors participated in the decoration of the University ensemble: N.V.Tomsky, S.T. Konenkov, M.K. Anikushin, E.V. Vuchetich, P.D. Korin, I.M. Toidze, and others. The building of Moscow State University on Vorobyevy Gory was and still is a symbol not only of the University itself, but the entire Russian education system as well.

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