The main building of Moscow State University – tallest of the Stalin skyscrapers

The main building of Moscow State University is the central building of the university complex of Moscow State University on Sparrow Hills (Moscow). The tallest of the seven built Stalin skyscrapers. Height – 183.2 meters (with a spire – 240 meters), the number of storeys of the central building – 36. The height of the base above sea level is 194 m. Until the 1990s, the building was the tallest in Europe.

It was built in 1949-1953 according to the design of architects Boris Iofan (later he was removed from the post of chief architect), Lev Rudnev, Sergey Chernyshev, Pavel Abrosimov, Alexander Khryakov and engineer Vsevolod Nasonov. The workshop of Vera Mukhina worked on the sculptural decoration of the facades.

Boris Iofan proposed a spatial composition of the building in the form of five volumes with a high-rise central part of the building and four symmetrically located, lower side volumes topped with turrets – pinnacles.

The architectural style of Iofan is characterized by the interpretation of a monumental building as a pedestal for sculptures, therefore, initially the architect intended to install the sculpture of Mikhail Lomonosov on top of the high-rise part of the building. As a result, most likely, at the direction of Stalin, the building was completed with a spire with a five-pointed star, as on other skyscrapers.

University complex

The territory of the university is divided into sectors. In the main sector “A” are located the Geological (3-8 floors), Mechanics and Mathematics (12-16 floors) and Geography faculties (17-22 floors). This part of the building houses the administration (9-10 floors) and the scientific library; from the 24th to the 31st floors are occupied by the Museum of Geosciences. There is also an assembly hall for 1500 people, the Palace of Culture with a hall with 640 seats and a “rotunda”.

The decoration of the assembly hall is a huge mosaic panel by the artist Pavel Korin, the solemnity and monumentality of which reflects the architectural style of the building. The main theme of the panel is the “victorious banners”, representing the emblems and banners of sciences.

The 11th and 23rd floors are designated for technical needs.

The side sectors are reserved for the residential area. In buildings “I”, “K”, “L”, “M” there are apartments for the teaching staff, in zones “B”, “C” students live, and in zones “G”, “D”, “E” , “Zh” there are block-type dormitories for graduate students. In total, they have 5,754 dormitory rooms for undergraduate and graduate students and 184 apartments.

Like other high-rise buildings of administrative and residential type, the Main Building of Moscow State University was conceived as a house with a closed utility infrastructure. This means that the building was supposed to be an independent system with all the necessary institutions: a palace of culture, a library, a post office, a telegraph office, canteens, shops, a clinic, a sports center.

Sectors “B” and “C” are located in the 19th building of the main building. From the 2nd to the 18th floors, rooms for students and graduate students are occupied, the total number of people living in them can reach 2000 people. Almost all floors are equipped with kitchens with gas stoves. In addition, the building has a basement and technical floors.


The Moscow State University complex on Sparrow Hills occupies a plot of 167.43 hectares, only 5.4% (9.1 hectares) of which is occupied by buildings. Most of the territory is reserved for the green zone.

Parks, squares, boulevards and other green areas of the campus are about 60 hectares.

The project of the garden and park ensemble was developed by a group of architects led by Milica Prokhorova, Mikhail Korzhev and V. N. Kolpakova. During 1951-1954, more than 50 thousand trees and 400 thousand shrubs were planted on this territory. About 40 types of green spaces were brought to Moscow from the Tula, Ryazan, Bryansk and Ivanovo regions.

Among the tree species are lindens, maples, larches, chestnuts, oaks, birches, and firs; among the types of shrubs are lilac, hawthorn, wild rose, yellow acacia, barberry, currant, and many others. Highways and driveways were equipped with “protective greenery” that prevented the town from noise and dust.

The Botanical Garden of Moscow State University is the oldest botanical scientific institution in Russia and was organized on the basis of the Moscow Apothecary Garden of 1706. When planning the university campus on Sparrow Hills, a separate area of ​​30 hectares was allocated for a new agrobotanical garden.

On October 6, 1950, the rector of the university, academician Nesmeyanov, signed an order to organize a new territory for the garden, and the old one was transformed into a branch.


119991, Russian Federation, Moscow, Leninskiye Gory, 1. Nearest metro Universitet.

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