The Moscow Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects.
The Mayakovskaya station, opened in 1938 and adorned by a total of 34 oval niches featuring ceiling mosaics by A.Deineka, is considered to be one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world. It is also one of the world’s best-known and most-photographed metro stations and a symbol of the Metro system. The Art Deco design features graceful pillars faced with stainless steel and pink rhodonite.
The architect of the station was A.N. Dushkin.
Because of its great depth (33 m), the station served a variety of roles during World War II including air raid shelter, anti-aircraft battery command post, and the site of an assembly held in 1941 in honor of the 24th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
It is a fine example of pre-World War II Stalinist architecture: both the name of the station and its design is a reference to futurism and its prominent Soviet exponent Vladimir Mayakovsky (there is also a bust of the poet at the station).
In 1939, the Mayakovskaya metro project won a Grand Prix at the World’s Fair in New York.
Some examples of the ceiling mosaics by A.A. Deineka titled “24-Hour Soviet Sky.” (all photos by Y.Zvezdkin):