Picture postcard buildings and Europe's best skyscrapers - we have put together a short list of the most attractive residential buildings in the capital and checked out how much it would cost to live in them.
1. Stalin-era high-rise on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment
One of the seven famous Stalinist skyscrapers, this is just a residential building with 700 apartments. But, at one time, the residents here were mainly representatives of the creative intelligentsia.
It was built between 1938 and 1952 as a unique experiment - a Soviet high-rise whose residents didn't have to walk a kilometer to the nearest bakery. It was a "city within a city": A whole infrastructure was located on the ground floor and, moreover, it was also seen as important to have a cinema screen there alongside the grocery stores (reflecting the status of its residents). Incidentally, the Illyuzion cinema there is still functioning and has recently been renovated.
Cost: starting from 150,000 rubles a month (approx. $2,070)
2. The Openwork House
Elena Butko (CC BY-SA 4.0)
This was one of the first panel-built buildings in Moscow and it was put up on Leningradsky Prospekt before the war [of 1941-1945] in 1940. It was nicknamed the 'Openwork' or 'Lacework' House, because of the patterned screens that decorated its kitchen balconies, simultaneously concealing the objects placed on the balconies themselves. This solution anticipated a problem of future mass housing developments, in which cluttered balconies (they were used for "storing unwanted things") would spoil every neat facade.
The Openwork House was built for ordinary Soviet citizens and was soon to be followed by similar buildings all over Moscow. It was assumed that its residents would spend all day at work and then have dinner at the kitchen-restaurant on the ground floor. This is why, for instance, the interior of the building has spacious public corridors, while the apartments themselves are small with tiny kitchens. These plans, however, were interrupted by the war. The building remains the only example of its type and its first residents were members of the military top brass.
Cost: 60,000 rubles a month (approx. $830)
3. Capital Hill Residence
This brainchild of the star of world architecture, Zaha Hadid, was built specially for Russian property tycoon Vladislav Doronin in the exclusive Barvikha settlement west of Moscow. The mansion was supposed to be Doronin's wedding present to American model Naomi Campbell, but, in 2019, it was put up for sale at an "unrealistic" price, according to market experts.
The house, which looks like a Space Shuttle, has a terrace at a height of 22 meters and, in addition to the residential rooms, incorporates a 20-meter swimming pool, its own spa complex, a gym, a Japanese garden and even a nightclub.
Cost: 6.4 billion rubles (approx. $8.8 million)
4. The Isakov Apartment Building
Moreorless (CC BY-SA 4.0)
The Art Nouveau building on Ostozhenka, one of the most expensive streets in Moscow today, was built in 1899 by the banker and owner of a house-building company, Yakov Rekk. He had the idea of adorning the capital with stylish detached houses with all mod cons in the Western European manner.
NVO (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Later, the building was bought by a merchant by the name of Isakov from St. Petersburg. He owned it until the 1917 Revolution. In 1925, the Bolsheviks handed it to a housing association and over 300 people moved in! The building remains residential to this day.
5. The Rossiya Insurance Company Building
The insurance company's apartment building, put up at the beginning of the 20th century, was intended for wealthy clients but it quickly became popular with the creative intelligentsia, and in Soviet times literary, music and art studios were housed there. The studios became the center of Moscow's artistic underground. One of the most expensive contemporary Russian artists, Ilya Kabakov, used to work there. Now, all the real estate in the building is regarded as luxury accommodation. The building stands directly opposite the headquarters of the Lukoil oil company and, according to some reports, the company's president, Vagit Alekperov, has an apartment in the building.
Fireplace in Apartment house 'Russia'
Gerarus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Cost: The average price of an apartment is up to 100 million rubles (approx. $1.5 million)
6. Noble Row
The complex of six townhouses in the French Beaux-Arts style was designed in collaboration with the New York office of Ralph Loren. It is located in the middle of the 'Golden Mile' - the most high-end district of new developments in Moscow - and for a long time, it set all-time records on the capital's luxury residential market.
Each residence is designed as a single-family dwelling. There is a separate grand front entrance and an internal courtyard and, from the terrace, a view opens up towards the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Cost: Approx. $26 million per townhouse
7. House on Mosfilmovskaya
Gennady Grachev (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Although it's referred to as a "house", it is actually a complex of two skyscrapers - a 53-story building (213 meters) and a 34-story one (132 meters). Despite their dimensions, the skyscrapers look light and sleek against the city skyline, for which they were placed among the top five best skyscrapers in the world by Emporis Skyscraper Award judges in 2012.
Cost: From 450,000 rubles a month (approx. $6,230)
8. Moscow City
Dinozaurus (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Apart from offices and a whole series of restaurants and stores, the Moscow City business cluster also contains premium apartments. For instance, Federation Tower is the area's flagship building and also its tallest skyscraper (374 meters, 96 stories). It's also officially the most expensive piece of real estate in Russia.
Cost: The prices of apartments in the development range from several tens of millions of rubles to 2.2 billion rubles (approx. $30.4 million)!
9. Triumph Palace
The building may resemble the famous Stalinist high-rises, but it actually dates from quite a different era - it is a new-build from the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. The architects, moreover, assiduously stuck to the fundamental stylistic features of the city's Stalinist skyscrapers: high vaulting, large open spaces, a spire (which was installed on top of the building with the help of a helicopter), a great deal of marble inside and spacious lobbies. It is home to well-to-do residents - from show business stars to movie and theater directors and businessmen.
Cost: Rent prices start at 180,000 rubles (approx. $2,500)
10. Houses on Gagarin Square
According to one Moscow legend, the buildings at No. 30 Leninsky Prospekt were nicknamed 'The Suicide Houses'. And all because their turrets were adorned with 16 life-size sculptures which from a distance looked like people standing on the edge of the roof.
In actual fact, they are 16 figures of victorious soldiers and girls hailing victory. The houses were erected here in the late 1940s; a major road passes between them and at the time they were something of a monumental gateway into the city.
Cost: From 50,000 rubles (approx. $700)