Sleeping Districts of Moscow: No Sleep Till Yasenevo

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The industrial housing experiment revolutionized urbanization during the Soviet era. Thousands of new dwellings could now be erected quicker and cheaper than ever before. The first prefab panel slabs built in the Moscow district of Cheryomushki were widely ‘copied and pasted’ into dozens of new micro-districts springing up around the Russian capital between the 1960s and 1980s.

Today, the ‘sleeping districts’ are homes to the vast majority of Muscovites and the monumental cityscapes they form are beyond striking.
Peshka block in with the microrayon name written on top. ©Zupagrafika

Their clones would take different forms and colours, giving each microrayon a tiny bit of their own unique identity. Two circular Bublik houses built for the 1980 Summer Olympics remain landmarks of Ochakovo-Matveyevskoye, while blue and red facades of peshka blocks towering above the South-Western Administrative Okrug will guide your way to Konkovo or Yasenevo.

Walking around the areas of Danilovsky or Alexeyevsky, you will stumble upon a good number of captivating designs
‘The Centipede’ or ‘The House of the Aviators’ in Begovoy district. ©Zupagrafika

Today, the ‘sleeping districts’ are homes to the vast majority of Muscovites and the monumental cityscapes they form are beyond striking. However, it is not only the peripheries that exhibit a modernist approach to post-war housing architecture in Moscow. Walking around the areas of Danilovsky or Alexeyevsky, you will stumble upon a good number of captivating designs, such as the pilotis-supported ‘House on Chicken Legs’ or the mighty ‘Titanic’.

‘Brezhnevka’ from the 1980s in one of Moscow's microrayons. ©Zupagrafika

All the pictures shown in this post were comissioned by Zupagrafika to the Russian photographer Alexander Veryovkin and are part of the book Eastern Blocks.

‘The Titanic’ residential building, in Danilovsky district, was built in 1986. ©Zupagrafika

The images in this post were extracted from the book Eastern Blocks (Zupagrafika, 2019).
Photographs: Alexander Veryovkin for Zupagrafika © 2019

Written by
David Navarro & Martyna Sobecka

© Zupagrafika

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