Moscow’s Monorail transport system. Revitalisation.

Location: Moscow, Russia
Partners in charge: Oleg Shapiro, Dmitry Likin
Project curator: Irina Golovitskaya
Lead architect: Anastasia Izmakova
Interns: Yanina Smagina, Zhanna Galut, Fedor Naumov, Konstantin Andreev, Tatiana Chernomashentseva, Daria Golubeva, Sofia Estrina, Ekaterina Anikina
Consultants: Maxim Lyubavin (KB23), Konstantin Palivoda (KB23), Ilya Petrasov (JSC VDNKh), Denis Romodin (Presnya Museum), Alexandra Boyarskaya (Nike), Dmitry Stepchkov (GUP MosgortransNIIproekt), Vladimir Muravyev (Monorail Transportation System), Vadim Kokhtev (JSC Alfa-Bank)

The Moscow monorail transportation system was opened for passengers in 2004, it connects several districts in the North-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow. Now the monorail trains run once every half an hour. In the future, the system is planned to be closed due to unprofitability, partial duplication by a tramway branch and failure to fulfill transportation tasks. It is an unresolved question as to what will happen to the recently created infrastructure.


To propose a new use for existing infrastructure.


A new 4.7 km long pedestrian and running track appears on the monorail supports which pass through several districts of the city. Additional functions appear on each section of the track depending on the needs of the neighborhood: these include greenhouses, cafes, and even a swimming pool.

Urban context:
Russian State Agrarian University, Ostankino TV Tower, VDNKh, Cosmos Hotel, Museum of Cosmonautics, Worker and Kolkhoz Woman Monument and various parks are all located in the close vicinity to Moscow Monorail.


Monorail connects transportationally isolated and closely positioned areas with one linear trail for pedestrian and sports-related activities. Functional zoning separates it into sections that accurately meet the demands of particular environments.




Agrarian University is located very close to the Monorail section stretching from Timiryazevskaya to Milashenkova St. rail stations. This section is most likely to be visited by the University’s students and staff, so it starts with a public winter garden.








Dream garden with its fruit-bearing trees and an open-air amphitheater is located in the section between TV Center rail station and Novomoskovskaya Street. It offers panoramic views of Ostankino mansion, nearby pond and a church building. This area also harbors an infinity pool, a sporting pool with adjacent changing rooms, showers, saunas and fitness centre and a beachfront with wooden promenade.








Section between Novomoskovskaya St. and VDNKh rail stations is designed as a family friendly area with various playgrounds suitable for kids of all ages, a cafe and a “green tunnel”.








“Green tunnel” leads to an intercepting section and a cultural section that occupy the area between VDNKh and Sergey Eisenstein St. rail stations. We call the respective section intercepting, because that’s where Monorail enters the spatial competition with one of the main tourist attractions – VDNKh, and there’s a certain need to distribute the flows of visitors.


Here we have an experimental winter garden informed by the historic context of VDNKh. Winter garden leads to a hanging garden with swings, hammocks, light art installations and a food court.




This section connects professional sporting grounds with cultural institutions. It houses a medical aid center, a coaching room, freerunning and parkour tracks.






Monorail Depot accommodates an independent theater and Moscow Transit Museum, which is currently awaiting suitable premises. The Museum will bring alive the history and evolution of transport heritage through a site-specific monorail train car exhibit.






Monorail project implies functional enhancement of obsolete infrastructure making it a safe, convenient and attractive pedestrian zone. A comfortable elevated multi-use public trail links together multiple areas, parks and landmarks to become a new attraction point in the capital.