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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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This is probably my favourite of all the Vystony Zdaniyes because of its imposing facade.  This tall 27-storey building 172m high on Smolenskkaya Square is the most official of all the tall buildings.  It is the residence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of External Economic Links and the Ministry of Trade of the Russian Federation.

Concluding the perspective of the view from Borodino Bridge (see picture) it forms a square where, in the 70's, an architectural project saw the construction of two identical towers that enhance the monumental bulk of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.  These towers are both hotels - Belgrade and Golden Ring (previously they had been imaginatively named Belgrade 1 & 2).

The restrained decor of the building and its uniform composition disitnguish it from the other Vysotny Zdaniyes.  

Initially he plan was to construct a rectangular tower but, through Stalin's direct intervention in the project, a different structure emerged.

A characterstic detail of the building, in contrast to its ochre walls, is the white entrance (covered by white limestone) that is formed from a sculptured (bas-relief) surround and metal trellis doors.  On the left and right of the grand entrance are huge obelisks made from dark grey stone.

On the upper part of the protruding wing is engraved the date that the building was, on the whole, completed.  On the main facade114 meters up is the emblem of the USSR made from reinforced concrete covering an area of 144 square meters.

The facade is covered by light ceramic blocks and has a plinth of red granite. There are approximately 200 rooms and offices inside covering an area of 65,000 meters square.  Overall there are 28 lifts in the building including 18 express lifts.

The walls of the entrance hall are covered in light marble contrasting with the black polished granite covering the floor.  The stained glass window frames around the entrance and the trellis doors are made from brass and brass-coated aluminium.  

The main reception hall is adorned with imitation marble columns, light marbled walls, a frieze of cut marble and a marble floor with a tapestry rug.  Artificial marble has been widely used in the decoration of much of the interior.  

The wooden parts of the interior have been prepared from polished walnut with the exception of the furniture and trimming that are made from Karelian birch.

In the construction of the Ministry building alternative methods were employed.  A metal carcass was erected creating the basic outline of the building then, descending from the top floor, a concrete casing was formed on each floor.  

Before the construction commenced, a small settlement was built near Moscow for those involved in the construction of the Vystotny Zdaniyes.  The settlement was named Sonstsevo and it is one of the suburbs of Moscow located just beyond the Moscow highway to the south west of the city.