The Northern River Terminal of Moscow

  • by Olga Smirnova
  • /
  • 2021-03-15 13:00:00
  • /
  • International
  • /
  • 2728 / EN
  • Address 1 - street : Leningradskoe highway, 51 125195 MOSCOW, Russia

  • Number of jobs : 1 000 jobs
  • Starting year of the project : 2018
  • Delivery year of the project : 2020
  • Key words : renovation, cultural heritage, public space

Proposed by :


  • 100 ha

  • 15 798 346 €

The Northern River Terminal, one of the two river terminals in Moscow, was inaugurated after renovation.  

The restoration project developed by the Government of Moscow was aimed at reviving the historical services of the river terminal as a transportation infrastructure and a place of mass attraction for year-around recreation activities. Besides, the palace-terminal can now be used again to shoot movies and hold city events. The museum of the Northern River Terminal will be a site of attraction for everyone interested in the history of the Moscow transport. River navigation on Moscow waters will be launched and closed at the Northern River Terminal from now and on. 

The research and design institute of urban planning MosTransProekt created the project for improvement and landscaping of the embankment of the Northern River Terminal and transport services schemes on the territory of the river terminal.

“The Northern River Terminal is an ambitious reconstruction project of a unique piece of architecture heritage, for which MosTransProekt developed a  framework of embankment renovation with cafes and restaurants, a mock-up of Moscow Canal that instantly drew attention of many children, a lounge zone with swimming pools that will be opened next summer. I am confident that the Northern River Terminal will become a starting point for tourism development with river navigation in Moscow,”- said Alexander Polyakov, Head of the State Institution MosTransProekt. 

unique historical piece of architecture from the 1930-s, the palace of the Northern River Terminal, was restored. During the reconstruction works it was possible to preserve most of the original elements of the building and interior details, and the missing parts were overhauled according to the historical patterns. 

All 17 riverside wharfs of the Northern River Terminal underwent capital repairs. During the works experts leveled the bottom (the depth of the wharfs is now from 2.1 to 3.6 meters), cleaning it from daily and construction waste that impeded river navigation, and changed the fenders from 1937 to modern ones. Electricity supply from the shore was connected to the boats at rest, which allows to stop using diesel engines during moorage thus positively impacting not only the environment of the park, but also the environment of the nearby residential areas. 

 

The Northern River Terminal is located on the shore of the Khimki water storage.

The palace of the river terminal was constructed in 1933-1937 alongside with the Moscow Canal, way before the creation of the Khimki water storage. The authors of the project are Russian architects Alexey Rukhlyadev and Vladimir Krinskyi.

The palace of the river terminal is a piece of architecture heritage of regional significance and is one of the most-known symbols of Moscow that is captured in many famous movies – Volga-Volga, Novaya Moskva, Colleagues, Vertical race, Domestic Circumstances and others.

The main theme of the architectural design of the Northern River Terminal is the depiction of Moscow as the Harbor of the Five Seas. Due to the inauguration of the Moscow Canal in 1930-s river vessels starting from the Northern River Terminal were able to reach five seas: the Azov sea, the Black sea, the Caspian sea, the Baltic sea and the White sea. 

 Evocative lines of the building resemble a huge double-decker vessel. The central part with the main entrance and the steeple are the body of the ship with guest cabins. The open galleries with fountains from the northern and southern sides remind of a ship’s head and a stern. The line of columns is like a fenced deck, while the steeple with the star resembles a mast without a sail. The composition is strictly symmetrical.

The overall space of the three-floor palace is 5.3 km2, the length is 150 meters. The height of the steeple is 27 meters. And majestic stairs descend to the wharfs. 

The restoration works started in August 2018.

The general design contractor is LLC Engineering Geology of Historical Territories, the general contractor for emergency works is LLC GeoSphere, the general contractor for restoration works is LLC Artstroitechnology

400 restoration architectures from around Russia took part in the works, while in total 800 workers participated in the project. The implementation of works were coordinated by the Department of Cultural Heritage of Moscow

Urgent emergency works were conducted in the first place. The greatest concern was caused by the state of the unstable bases and foundations of the terminal, which were reinforced using the injection method. A complex work was carried out to strengthen the supporting structures of the building: columns, walls, floors.

The next stage was comprised of restoration works on revival of historical look and interior planning of the river terminal with maximum preservation of the original elements of the monument:

  • installation of structures and walls, restoration of granite covering of galleries using photographs from archives;
  • restoration and reconstruction of lighting devices (lanterns-lilies on airshafts, floor lamps on the central staircase, round lamps on galleries, chandeliers and sconces in interiors);
  • restoration of the wainscot and repair of metal structures and the spire lifting mechanism;
  • restoration of the roof covering using the historical pattern;
  • restoration of 4 anchors of the tower and the sculptural composition of the spire, restoration and museumification of 4 historical sculptures Yuzhanka, Krasnoarmeets, Severyanin and Krasnoflotets to be installed on the third tier of the tower (exact copies will be placed on the building);
  • reconstruction of balustrades on the rooftop, the first and second floors;
  • restoration of 24 polychrome ceramic medallions on the columns at the main entrance - porcelain tablets with images of the Kremlin, the Kievskaya metro station, an airship and other iconic objects of that time;
  • facing work on the restoration of granite stairs, stair flights and interior spaces;
  • selection and installation of natural white stone on the cornice of the building;
  • restoration of terrazite coating of facades, granite cladding of bases and retaining walls.

 

PDF containing many pictures, and a before/after

Programme

  • Public facilities and infrastructure
  • Public spaces
  • Green spaces

Project progress

  • Operational phase

Procedure type

  • Urban développement permit

Prescriptions and zoning

  • Heritage protection area

Key points

  • Governance
  • Quality of life
  • Economic development
  • Mobility

Approaches used

  • Local charter

Photo credit

The Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development of Moscow

Type of territory

The Northern River Terminal park is a cultural heritage site (a work of landscape architecture and gardening art) of regional significance. It was created in 1936-1938 and designed by engineer Timofey Shafransky. The park's layout is based on an axial composition with a system of perpendicular alleys typical for Soviet gardening art of the 1930-1940s.

Climate zone

[Dwa] Humid Continental Hot Summer, severe, dry winter

Public facilities floor area

5 300 000

Refurbished floor area

100,00 ha

Total investment costs (before tax)

15 798 346 € HT

Amount of the investment taken in charge by the local authorities

15 798 346 € HT

Project holder

    The Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development of Moscow

    City

    The Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development of Moscow is the principal regulatory body, forming and implementing public transport policy.

Project management

    To achieve sustainability goals project was focused primarily on energy saving technologies, modern devices for cleaning, water supply and heating. 

    No more noise, diesel and oil odour, gas emissions, the renovated territory serves the benefit of residents. 

    All historically reconstructed lamps and chandeliers are equipped with energy-saving systems. The internal lightening and external architectural lightening use LED technologies, and are equipped with a day-night unit with photosensors. The River Palace has motion sensors and light timers. 

    Ventilation, heating and water supply systems are automatically controlled by 29 frequency converters. This allows the efficient use of energy-saving technologies.

    The riverside wharfs are equipped with ship power supply systems, allowing the river transport to use electricity while moorage, thus reducing emissions from diesel motors. 

    The water and bottom were cleared of waste, since the Channel of Moscow provides the city with more than 60% of all water consumed. 

Project stakeholders

    The Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development of Moscow

    Other

    Local transport authority

Quality of life / density

It is planned to build a passenger cable car between the Skhodnenskaya and Rechnoy Vokzal metro stations in the coming years.

The cable car with a length of 2.3 km will connect the neighboring districts - Levoberezhny, North and South Tushino, separated by the Khimki water reservoir, reducing travel time for public transport passengers by 5-6 times, from 45 to 7-10 minutes.

According to estimates, the passenger traffic on the cable car will be up to 3K people at rush hour or up to 19K people per day, which will partially unload the northern sections of the Zamoskvoretskaya and Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya metro lines.

Besides, the cable car will improve the Northern River Terminal transport accessibility and become a tourist attraction.

Culture and heritage

The palace of the river terminal is a piece of architecture heritage of regional significance and is one of the most-known symbols of Moscow. The palace of the river terminal was constructed in 1933-1937 alongside with the Moscow Canal, way before the creation of the Khimki water storage. The authors of the project are Russian architects Alexey Rukhlyadev and Vladimir Krinskyi.

The Northern River Terminal park is a cultural heritage site (a work of landscape architecture and gardening art) of regional significance. It was created in 1936-1938 and designed by engineer Timofey Shafransky. The park's layout is based on an axial composition with a system of perpendicular alleys typical for Soviet gardening art of the 1930-1940s.

Social inclusion and safety 

The Northern River park landscape concept provided the return of its historical function - a year-round recreation for all citizens' categories.

Ambient air quality and health

Due to thoughtful planning a favorable environmental situation is created for the restored territory, as well as for nearby residential areas, where demand for real estate has increased.

The Northern River Terminal is an example how a historical building can be restored and adapted for modern use. The architectural project meets all modern criteria and improves not only accessibility and local ecology, but has an impact of the whole city, and most importantly – the community.

SOLUTIONS

    • Promotion of cultural/ historical identity
    • Noise exposure
    • Business development
    • Collaborative transportation
    • Other

Mobility strategy

All 17 riverside wharfs of the Northern River Terminal underwent capital repairs. During the works experts leveled the bottom (the depth of the wharfs is now from 2.1 to 3.6 meters), cleaning it from daily and construction waste that impeded river navigation, and changed the fenders from 1937 to modern ones. Electricity supply from the shore was connected to the boats at rest, which allows to stop using diesel engines during moorage thus positively impacting not only the environment of the park, but also the environment of the nearby residential areas. 

For passenger convenience drop-off zones were fenced, new security check zones fully adapted for low-mobility people were placed. 

Riverside wharfs 7 to 12 are dedicated for water cruise navigation. A river control center was renovated.

After the restoration and adaptation for contemporary usage the Northern River Terminal is able to accommodate 4 vessels at a time, and 24 vessels a day.  As at its best the river terminal capacity will amount to 1.5M passengers a season

Walking and transport routes lie through the square near the river terminal. For embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, taxis, car-sharing and private passenger transport can drive up to the river terminal.

Passenger car parking is organized in parking pockets along the Leningradskoe highway.

Besides, a transportation hub has been created not far from the river terminal to receive tourist buses.

However, to travel to the riverside wharfs, it will be necessary to use a special electric transport. 57 electric passenger vehicles were purchased to service the station and the adjacent park - 43 shuttles for 13 seats, ten luxury electric cars for five seats, three cars for people with disabilities. For the youngest visitors to the Northern River Station park, a children's electric train will operate.

Ten electric trucks were also purchased to service the park. Not only vacationers but also service personnel and police officers will move around the park in electric vehicles.

SOLUTIONS

    The landscaping and renovation project is based on historical drawings. Riverside wharfs were restored to service modern e-vessels, the new innovative for Moscow river transport, which will be launched in 2022: bottom was leveled, electricity supply was linked. The engineering communications were completely changed, and modern fountain engineering systems were installed. New rainwater drainage and engineering communications were applied. We were able to install all modern equipment (e-charges, technical equipment) to the historical building and the surrounding park without distorting its historical appearance. Our task was to bring modernity so that it is not visible, but so that it works and makes the project better and more comfortable.  The Northern River Terminal made its comeback as the Harbor of the Five Seas, connecting regions and countries, improving accessibility and transport convenience for Muscovites and guests. 

Water management

Before starting the landscaping work on the Northern River Terminal territory, there was no storm sewer. In work carried out, the workers laid about 3.5K meters of new rainwater drainage. They have applied all the necessary engineering communications and systems.

The central theme of the embankment and square improvement was the river. Natural materials and colors - white, grey and beige - were used to decorate these areas.

The river theme is complemented by original small architectural forms: pebble-shaped seats and benches on a natural slope near water bodies.

unique historical piece of architecture from the 1930-s, the palace of the Northern River Terminal, was restored. During the reconstruction works it was possible to preserve most of the original elements of the building and interior details, and the missing parts were overhauled according to the historical patterns. 

All 17 riverside wharfs of the Northern River Terminal underwent capital repairs. During the works experts leveled the bottom (the depth of the wharfs is now from 2.1 to 3.6 meters), cleaning it from daily and construction waste that impeded river navigation, and changed the fenders from 1937 to modern ones. Electricity supply from the shore was connected to the boats at rest, which allows to stop using diesel engines during moorage thus positively impacting not only the environment of the park, but also the environment of the nearby residential areas. 

For passenger convenience drop-off zones were fenced, new security check zones fully adapted for low-mobility people were placed. 

Riverside wharfs 7 to 12 are dedicated for water cruise navigation. A river control center was renovated.

After the restoration and adaptation for contemporary usage the Northern River Terminal is able to accommodate 4 vessels at a time, and 24 vessels a day.  As at its best the river terminal capacity will amount to 1.5M passengers a season. 

The main directions for navigation from the terminal are: Saint-Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Astrakhan, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Ples, Cherepovets, Uglitch, Kostroma, Samara, Saratov, Gorodets, Myshkin, Valaam, Tver, Tytaev. Moscow reclaims the title of Harbor of the Five seas. 

For passenger drop-off taxis, car-sharing vehicles and private transport can approach the river terminal. However, to access the wharfs special electric transport will be needed. For servicing the terminal and the park 57 e-vehicles and 10 e-trucks produced in Tula were purchased.

Not only transport services, but also societal function of the Northern River Terminal was revived. It has become a comfortable urban space for year-around recreation. In the terminal guests are offered: restaurants, a viewpoint, historical waiting area and constantly renewed museum of the Moscow transport, a souvenir and book shop, a tourist office. The palace of the terminal is fully accessible for low-mobility people and is equipped with architectural high-lightening of the front. Moreover, at the embankment visitors can find a concession stand with souvenirs, restaurants and cafes. 

By the next navigation season in the southern part of the embankment a new recreation zone with 3 heated swimming pools will be opened. The beach zone will be equipped with sun chairs and umbrellas for sun protection. In the pavilion there will be installed shower cabins, changing rooms with safety deposit boxes, toilets, towel distribution zones, cashiers. Young visitors will have their own padding pool with 0.5 meters depth, and cafes will offer children’s menu. Safety divers will supervise the swimming area. 

The main children attraction site at the Northern River Terminal is a mock-up model of the Moscow Canal – a stream with floodgates and lightening, where kids can launch little origami boats. In addition, children will be able to have a ride on a small electric train. 

Next year in the northern part of the park an outdoor cinema will be opened. At the embankment ticket offices will be selling tickets on recreational cruises. 

For recreation at the embankment traditional benches and pebble-shaped designer chairs will be installed. An amphitheater accommodating 100 people is build for holding public events.  At the same time after the renovation 2.5K people will be able to have walks along 1.4 km embankment. 

In the park of the Northern River Terminal historical fountains and sculptures were recreated and restored. On the main place in front of the palace of the River Terminal a dry dynamically lit fountain is placed. It accords with magnificent view on the central alley and will become a place of mass attraction for children and young people during summer.

For recreation and entertainment of the visitors 11 playgrounds and sport grounds are created where guests can play streetball, board games, ping pong, volleyball and other outdoor activities. During winter there will be a skating ring. 

During the reconstruction works experts were able to restore the main decorative element of the river terminal – the Star, which topped the spire for 80 years. 

The Star was created in 1935 at the factory named after Molotov from stainless steel armature that was connected between each other by spot welding and covered by gold galvanized copper plates. In the middle of the Star the hammer and the sickle were attached. They were made of silver galvanized copper connected by punches. For decoration of the hammer and the sickle semiprecious stones from the Urals were used – amethyst, topaz, alexandrite, rhine crystals, aquamarine. Each semiprecious stone is attached to a separate cell covered with gold. 

During the time golden layer lost its shape because of corrosion which lead to partial destruction of the material. Several stones with its cells and clinches of the junction details of the hammer and the sickle were missed. 

All details and missing parts were reconstructed by historical patterns and rough drawings during the works. The Star was placed on its historical location in August 2020.

The interiors preserved chandeliers and wall bracket lamps dated 1937, covered with gold – more than 500 lightening devices were in poor state. 

The inner courtyard created by the galleries at the gable facades of the Northern River Terminal are decorated with the fountains North and South. 

The fountain North is a round pond made of natural stone, the composition of which is dedicated to the Arctic: seashore colony of birds – divers and wild geese – are standing on the base in a form of polar bears made of marble. The sculpture was created by Lev Kardashev.

The fountain South is a cup of a column capital. Dolphins of a marble base remind of the Crimea and the Black sea. The sculpture was created by Ivan Efimov.

Before the reconstruction works the fountains were in poor state. The sculptures of the divers from the North fountain were lost. Marble and granite elements were scratched in many places. The engineering network was out of order.

During the restoration work, which began in November 2019, the granite cladding of the fountain bowls was completely dismantled. After the repair and strengthening of the monolithic foundations and the replacement of internal communications, the fountains were returned to their original appearance. The fountain bowls were re-cast from historical patterns.

The granite and marble compositions were deeply restored with biological lesions clearing, additional arrangement of the lost elements and stitching of the seams. The materials were made waterproof. 

Reconstruction and restoration of sculptures of dolphins and divers were made.

The engineering communications were completely changed, and modern fountain engineering systems were installed.

A team of 60 people that included architects, sculptors, engineers, technicians, geologists, homologues, historians, etc., were involved in reconstruction of the Start and the fountains, the spire and its mechanism for almost a year. 

A separate project was the vast improvement of the 49 hectares of the embankment, squares, and the park of the Northern River Terminal.

All 17 riverside wharfs on the embankment were repaired, and dredging was carried out to the level of 3.6 m.

Before starting the landscaping work on the Northern River Terminal territory, there was no storm sewer. In work carried out, the workers laid about 3.5K meters of new rainwater drainage. They have applied all the necessary engineering communications and systems.

 

Besides, a transportation hub has been created not far from the river terminal to receive tourist buses.

However, to travel to the riverside wharfs, it will be necessary to use a special electric transport. 57 electric passenger vehicles were purchased to service the station and the adjacent park - 43 shuttles for 13 seats, ten luxury electric cars for five seats, three cars for people with disabilities. For the youngest visitors to the Northern River Station park, a children's electric train will operate.

The Northern River park landscape concept provided the return of its historical function - a year-round recreation for all citizens' categories.

After completing both parks in the Northern River Terminal area, a new high-quality public space was created - a united green area of about 100 hectares.

Contest categories

Sustainable District Grand Prize

Sustainable District Grand Prize

Green Solutions Awards 2020-2021

 Renovation
 Cultural heritage
 Transportation hub
 Urban planning
 district
 Cities
 mobility
 transport

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