Station in standby mode
Initially, some liked this project while others didn’t. Today, Moskovsky bus station remains an object of contention, for different reasons
Designed like a circus tent or flying saucer back in 1989, work stalled on the collapse of the USSR, due to lack of funding. However, it was finally completed in 1999, receiving a number of awards: a grand prix at a national contest recognising the best construction of the year; a silver medal at the International Architecture Contest in Moscow; and a diploma from the Ministry for Architecture and Construction.
About a year ago, rumours began to fly that the bus station might be demolished, making way for an office high-rise for Gazprom. The Minister for Architecture and Construction, Nikolai Ladutko, contemplated relocating the station or passing its functions to other transport structures; few passengers used the bus station, which was not well placed.
In early 2013, new information appeared, as Gazprom and Beltransgas met leading architectural companies to choose a designer for their multi-functional complex, being built near Filimonov Street and Nezavisimosti Avenue. The high-rise is to accommodate Gazprom offices, a congress-centre, a hotel, a clinic and a fitness centre, as well as a child development centre and some shops. Beltransgas notes that the designers will make suggestions regarding demolition or preservation of the old bus station.
Minsk’s Chief Architect, Alexander Petrov, tells us, “Beltransgas is conducting an international contest, inviting major American and European architectural companies to take part. Demolition of the bus station is not vital.” Already, Internet forums are seeing much public discussion on the subject but it’s too early to draw conclusions, since the original award-winning site could still find a place in the final plan, being revived with a 21st century purpose.