London, like many major cities, has an abundance of derelict, disused buildings standing vacant and serving only as a reminder of times gone by. In a time where the shortage and affordability of housing is a hot topic, it seems not only wasteful, but a great shame to leave these pieces of London’s historic fabric in ruin. Many people have taken to regenerating old warehouses and other industrial structures into homes and one of our favourite Grand Design builds is proof of just how spectacular the outcome can be, albeit an expensive endeavour.
In Moscow there is an abundance of abandoned Soviet buildings that remain since the fall of the Soviet Union, but due to the country’s privatisation programme in the 90s, also remain obsolete. Originally built with the communist ideology that they would be buildings for the people, they have since been shut off from the public, frequented only by security guards.
However one group of skateboarders have been taking to the historic Moscow city skyline, to claim back the buildings for themselves. With only the wealthy able to access these buildings the skateboarders have been walking the Metro tunnels, climbing roofs and scaling buildings by night to demonstrate their own style of freedom.
Ok an improvised skate park may not address the issue of housing or be an appropriate remedy for every disused building. But rather than let these reminders of Russia’s chequer past go to waste, at least they are for a few brief hours, used by the people they were intended for.
These pictures show the VDNKh Moscow Pavilion. A modernist exhibition centre opened in 1939, it is a prime example of Soviet modernism in Moscow. You can find the full gallery here