The historic Moscow Metallurgical Plant played a part in the birth of the Soviet Union, but fell into neglect and disrepair in recent years. Following an architectural competition, Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV has been given the nod to transform the site into a large and upmarket mixed-use development.
Originally known as the Guzhon Plant (Metallic Plant), the factory dates back to 1884 and produced a variety of steel goods during Czarist Russia's strive toward industrialization and modernization. Its workers took an active role in both the Revolution of 1905 and the later, more successful, October Revolution of 1917. It was later renamed to the Serp and Molot (or Hammer and Sickle) factory in honor of the Communist symbol.
MVRDV's redevelopment will involve a complete redesign of the former factory complex – a large area that covers 58 hectares (143 acres) – into an upmarket area that includes homes, offices, schools, a hospital, and parks.
In an effort to preserve some echo of the site's roots, MVRDV also reports that large chimneys and pipes will be retained and used for new buildings, while new blocks shall follow the basic footprint of the old large factory halls. In addition, an elevated pathway that recalls New York's High Line will also be made from an existing factory transportation system.
The project is due for completion in 2021, and is set to cost an estimated 180 billion Ruble (around US$5 billion).