Hotel Metropol Moscow

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Hotel Metropol Moscow
Moscow Hotel Metropol asv2018-08.jpg
Southern facade, 2018
Hotel Metropol Moscow is located in Central Moscow
Hotel Metropol Moscow
General information
Architectural styleArt nouveau
Town or cityMoscow
Construction started1899
ClientPetersburg Insurance, Savva Mamontov
Technical details
Structural systemReinforced concrete
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam Walcot, Lev Kekushev, Vladimir Shukhov

The Hotel Metropol Moscow[1] (Russian: Метропо́ль, IPA: [mʲɪtrɐˈpolʲ]) is a historic hotel in the center of Moscow, Russia, built in 1899–1907 in Art Nouveau style. It is notable as the largest extant Moscow hotel built before the Russian Revolution of 1917, and for the unique collaboration of architects (William Walcot, Lev Kekushev, Vladimir Shukhov) and artists (Mikhail Vrubel, Alexander Golovin, Nikolai Andreev).

Since 2012, the hotel has been owned by Alexander Klyachin, who also is proprietor of the Moscow-based Azimut Hotels chain.[2][3]


In 1898, Savva Mamontov and Petersburg Insurance consolidated a large lot of land around the former Chelyshev Hotel. Mamontov, manager and sponsor of Private Opera, intended to redevelop the area into a large cultural center built around an opera hall. In 1898, the professional jury of an open contest awarded the job to Lev Kekushev; however, Mamontov intervened and assigned it to English architect William Walcot, who proposed a refined Art Nouveau draft codenamed A Lady's Head (implying the female head ornament repeating in keystones over arched windows). Mamontov eventually hired Kekushev as a construction manager. Soon, Savva Mamontov was jailed for fraud and the project was taken over by Petersburg Insurance, omitting the original plans for opera hall.[citation needed]

In 1901, the topped-out shell burnt down and had to be rebuilt from scratch in reinforced concrete. Kekushev and Walcot hired a constellation of first-rate artists, notably Mikhail Vrubel for the Princess of Dreams mosaic panel, Alexander Golovin for smaller ceramic panels and sculptor Nikolay Andreyev for plaster friezes. The hotel was completed in 1907. However, it is nowhere near Walcot's original design (Brumfiels, fig.56, compare to actual, fig.59-60).

A notable feature of Metropol is "its lack of any reference to the orders of architecture ... a structural mass shaped without reference to illusionistic systems of support" (Brumfield). The rectangular bulk of Metropol is self-sufficient; it needs no supporting columns. Instead, "Texture and material played a dominant expressive role, exemplified at the Metropole by the progression from an arcade with stone facing on the ground floor to inset windows without decorative frames on the upper floors" (Brumfield).

In 1918, the hotel was nationalized by Bolshevik administration, renamed Second House of Soviets and housed living quarters and offices of growing Soviet bureaucracy. Eventually, in 1930s it was converted to its original hotel function and went through a major restoration in 1986-1991 by Finnish companies as part of Soviet-Finnish bilateral trade.[4]

Today, Metropol has 365 rooms, and each is different in shape or decoration.[citation needed][when?]


The Canadian businessman Aggie Kukulowicz was at one point in time a hotel resident, while he brokered hockey's 1972 Summit Series between the Red Machine team and the first Team Canada.[5]

The hotel is the setting of Amor Towles's 2016 novel, A Gentleman in Moscow.[6]



  1. ^ Also Metropole.
  2. ^ "Russia's historic Hotel Metropol that was seized by Vladimir Lenin put up for sale". Telegraph Media Group Limited. 30 August 2012.
  3. ^ Yulia Petrova; Svetlana Danilova; Anton Filatov (10 July 2010). "Alexander Klyachin will build a hotel for Hyatt". Vedomosti (in Russian). Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  4. ^ YIT - Vuosikertomus 1996 - page 40 (in Finnish)
  5. ^ Mandel, Charles (2008-10-07). "The "Henry Kissinger of hockey" smoothed the way for Summit Series". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  6. ^ Staff, Motley Fool (2018-08-17). "Authors in August: Talking About Storycraft With Novelist Amor Towle". The Motley Fool.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°45′30″N 37°37′17″E / 55.75833°N 37.62139°E / 55.75833; 37.62139