Magmatic rocks in Moscow Metro decoration.

Pogrebs N.A.

Russia state geological prospecting university (RSGPU), Moskow, Russia.


Stations of Moscow metro are unique in their architecture. The greatest architects made their project plans and took part in construction during 1930th-1950th. Standard designs of the first stations were still used at the end of XX and beginning of XXI centuries. Facing stones from different regions of Soviet Union and foreign countries were used in the decoration of metro stations.

Magmatic rocks are the firmest and most proof against abrasion, so they are employed for floor and stair slabs. Their utilization for lower parts of walls, pylons and pillars, pedestals and decoration of external metro pavilions is quite seldom.

Floors of metro stations are made from 4-6 different kinds of rocks forming a geometric design. The chess-board, rag-like and striped patterns and tile combinations are the most popular. Fine floral, meander- and wave-like ornaments could be seen on some stations, now and then in combination with marble. Unmethodical pattern of rock slabs was used extremely rare.

Ukraine was the main supplier untill 1970th. Granitoids of various color, structure and texture were quarried on Ukrainian shield. They are: bright-red coarse-grained granitoids from Kapustinskoe, medium-grained from Emelianovskoe, red and brown medium-grained from Tokovskoe, red gneiss-like from Novodanilovskoe, fine-grained red and light-rose from Leznikovskoe. Grey medium-grained came from Yantsevskoe field, dark-gray ones from Zhezhelevskoe, and dark-gray with big rose phenocrists of feldspar from Korninskoe.

Some addition of black labradorite from Golovinskoe, Turchinskoe and Siniy Kamen and gabbro-diorites from Slipchitskoe was used also.

Since 1970th a mine workings of Baltic shields (Karelian isthmus) facing stones: rose and gray trachytoid rapakivi from Vozrozhdenie and gray coarse-grained granits from Kuznechnoe) began. Red medium grained gneiss-like granits came from Siuskiunsaari and black gabbro-diabases came from Roprucheiskoe.

New sorts of granites: light-gray fine-grained ones from Bashkortostan (Mansurovskoe), rose and lilac medium-grained ones from Kazakhstan (Zheltau and Kurtinskoe) appeared in metro decoration in 1980th 1990th. Various granites from different foreign countries appeared also.

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