INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MOSCOW’S BAGEL HOUSE
In the early 1970s, Russian architect Evgeny Stamo and engineer Alexander Markelov came up with plans for an unusual house in the capital city Moscow. The house was to be shaped like a ring, about 150m across, enclosing a large inner courtyard with playgrounds and green spaces.
The building was to have over 900 apartments, and all the necessary services and facilities, including shops, a pharmacy, a laundry room, a studio, post office and so on. When completed in 1972, the authorities were so impressed that plans for more such houses across Moscow were drawn up.
At that time, the Summer Olympic Games of 1980, which was to be hosted by the Soviet Union, was approaching and the city decided to build five similar ring-shaped houses to symbolise the event.
However, by the time the second ring house went up in 1979, on Dovzhenko street, the project was already shelved. The Soviet Union was on the brink of an economic collapse, and the buildings, it was realised, were too expensive to maintain.
Besides, the proposed locations of the buildings were spaced too far apart to provide any meaningful association with the five Olympic rings. Even if it did, a pedestrian could never see the rings from the street level or appreciate the composition.
Today, both buildings are still used as apartments. Each building has nine floors and over 20 entrances. Some say that finding the right entrance and locating the correct apartment is extremely difficult. Locals affectionately call them ‘bagel house’.