Interactive model of Moscow

17 March 2014

At the MIPIM-2014 international exhibition in the PALM pavilion an interactive model of Moscow was exhibited. Today’s model of 9.2×7.2 m reproduces the capital within the boundaries of the Boulevard Ring — 6500 buildings and structures. But this is only the beginning: in 2017, 70 m2 will turn into 945!

Interactive model of Moscow. MIPIM-2014

Another major project of the Russian capital

The finished architectural model will essentially include the territory of Moscow in the beginning of the 20th century: it will incorporate land within the Third Ring Road, as well as the Sparrow Hills area with the Moscow State University high-rise and the ZIL industrial zone.

For comparison: the model of New York (USA) covers an area of ​​867.3 m2, Shanghai (China) — 604 m2. It is possible that the Moscow model will qualify for entry into the Guinness Book of Records as the largest architectural model of a city.

Interactive model of Moscow. MIPIM-2014

“Moscow was not built in a day”

For the international investment exhibition in Cannes this is a typical approach: show several years one and the same project in the process of evolution. So that visitors ( the “core” of which from year to year is also changing very progressively) could compare: then and now. For example, if last year New Moscow was seen rather in terms of the units of the area of annexed territories, then this year there are already actual square meters of site development and jobs units.

The architectural model of Moscow is also a project with aspiration for long-term evolution. Work on it started in the autumn of 2012. And the entire process — from preparing drawings of buildings, creating terrain, cutting plastic models, and coloring houses, to connecting each building on the model to lighting and entering it all into a computer database — this was performed by a team of 80 artists, architects, graphic artists and students of architectural and graphic universities.

For convenience and ease of installation and quick replacement in case of new construction, the models of the buildings are made ​​of light foam plastic. The tracks of urban transport are mounted separately: subway, railway and highways.

After finishing work on the model it will be on display in the urban planning exhibition building in Moscow. In a specially designed hall without pillars (and with balconies!) the 1,000 m2 “Moscow in miniature” will be accessible to any visitor.


The architectural model of Moscow in 1:400 scale is impressive not only in the span. Its main distinguishing feature is the amazing detailing and definition. All models of buildings are placed on a real urban subbase: every hill or low land in the city is 100% reflected in the model.

Modern engraving-milling machines allowed Moscow craftsmen to achieve such detailed facade features that wall surfaces, window frames, trim, and cornices can be seen on the buildings.

Even mosaics and bas-reliefs on the facades of historic buildings have been recreated! For example, the model of the Bolshoi Theater is decorated by a miniature quadriga made ​​in strict accordance with the original.

Moscow craftsmen have achieved amazing results in reproducing the Moscow River — the water surface appears as if dimpled. A special adhesive composition is applied in strokes to plexiglass that once hardened creates the full perception of a water surface.

Interactive model of Moscow. MIPIM-2014

It shines — and no nails!

The model is equipped with an interactive lighting system inside the buildings. It can be controlled by selecting objects in accordance with different scenarios — from the administrative division of the city to the typology of objects (residential buildings, office buildings, cultural sites, transportation facilities, etc.). There is even the ability to highlight buildings, tunnels and roads by address!

Even greater expressiveness was achieved in the miniature architectural lighting, which was used in the decoration of subway exits, temple complexes, bridges, and iconic structures such as the Moscow Kremlin.

To provide lighting effects for the exhibited 70 m2 model, it took more than 7 km of wires, 17,000 connections and 62,000 LEDs.

Interactive model of Moscow. MIPIM-2014

Show Schedule

It is more than just lighting effects: MIPIM- 2014 participants can see and hear (!) ticking clock chimes installed on the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin. They show exact Moscow time, chiming each hour. Exactly at 12:00 (Moscow time) sound the famous chimes of Moscow bells and the melodious ring of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior bells. Speakers are built into the models of the Spasskaya Tower and the cathedral and with startling accuracy the striking of the hours and melodious bell chimes are reproduced.

By the way, the first “appreciative audience” of the new architectural model became none other than Vladimir Putin. He so far is the only “resident” of mini-Moscow: standing on a balcony in the Kremlin and looking through binoculars. There can be no mistake: the figure of the President is made with the same accuracy as all other elements of the model.

Interactive model of Moscow. MIPIM-2014

For whom and why it is needed

In a Stroycomplex portal interview with “Mosstroyinform” director Oleg Didenko explained this in detail.

First, it is a question of image and prestige.

Secondly, there was a time when the old wood version of the model with an area of ​​144 m2 was used in urban decisions and a kind of landscape and visual analysis was carried out: 3D-modeling replaced the model.

And thirdly, the model should be of interest to “Muscovites and visitors.”

Interactive model of Moscow. MIPIM-2014

“It is impossible to know Moscow only from the windows of bus tours or by visiting several iconic places in the city. It is necessary to represent the scale of the city, examine the territory, to appreciate the layout of buildings. This model will undoubtedly attract the attention of tourists, as do the models of Singapore, London, Tokyo,” Didenko affirmed.

Furthermore, the expert announced in addition to the model the creation of an interactive map of Moscow including new territories in the scale of 1:4000. It will be possible to calmly pace up and down on the 178 m2 glass light box lit from the bottom. In addition, the scheme of the administrative division of the city, highways, subway, etc. will be projected on top of the map.

View the video of the new architectural model of Moscow


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