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Prospects of integrated development of underground space

Integrated development of underground space is a natural process of modern urban development. The shortage of land in Metropolitan areas encourages urban planners around the world to find a way for the development of territories. The reorganization of the depressed areas – industrial and obsolete housing blocks – the most obvious in this sense the decision. Not less associated with high-rise, as well as underground construction.

Global urban studies the potential uses of the underground spaces with great success. In Russia, an avid fan of such ideas, for example, was the former mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov. However, the new Metropolitan government, as you know, chose a different strategy of development of the city based on the accession of new lands.

We go for examples

The share of underground facilities in the developed countries reaches a quarter of the total area of commissioned facilities. The unequivocal leader in this indicator is Canada, the cities which have a huge dungeon mastered, employed as infrastructure facilities and various public areas. For example, in Montreal created a total of around 12 million square meters of underground facilities in Toronto – at least 6 million sq. m. European metropolises – Helsinki, Munich, Paris and others also have their own underground extrapolation.

First of all, naturally, under ground go mainline (road and rail) that facilitates surface transport situation and makes better use of vacant ground space. So, in Boston built in the middle of the last century overpass “Central artery” for long time which divides the town into parts, in the early 90’s was tucked away in a tunnel (Big Dig). In parallel, they built a series of underground structures, including the tunnel to the airport. Underground road project “Madrid Rio” in the Spanish capital provides interconnection between remote and urban regions. In Paris the tunnel “Duplex A86” unites the Northern and the southern road network of the city. In the Netherlands underground system LRT “Ranstad rail” that connects the Hague with populous suburbs, as well as Rotterdam. There are, of course, examples of large-scale underground structures and in Asia. For example, in Kuala Lumpur at the world’s longest multi-purpose tunnel in the Tokyo underground is a huge flood reservoir.

In Russia for large-scale and truly integrated underground construction environment yet. There is almost complete absence of the necessary regulatory framework, outdated system of urban rationing, lack of information about the existing underground structures, and most importantly – a complete leveling of a role of underground urban planning in contemporary urban policy. “And what about the famous Moscow metro?”, – you ask… Alas, instiled us since childhood, the idea of its uniqueness, density of lines and stations to subways in European capitals, Moscow is very far away.

The reason of this lag in exploration dungeons, of course, that this type of construction is quite costly. The cost increases proportionally to the depth. Going underground even one floor increases the cost of the project by 10% on average. If you dug, say, on three levels, additional costs can reach 40%. The order cost depends on the hydrogeological conditions of the site, as well as the volume and parameters of existing communications. Additional costs will require and the necessary equipment underground facilities for special engineering systems (fire, ventilation, etc.). In the end, material costs will work out at least twice above, than at the surface. Not to mention the time – the process of passing administrative procedures of the construction is considerably complicated.

So while on the underground construction in Russia basically just said. The share of investment in total construction market on average does not exceed 1% per year. The only splash of activation in this area was observed only in Moscow during the construction of the Third ring road and the shopping center “Okhotny Ryad” – during these years this indicator reached 8%.

Implemented examples of more or less large-scale development of underground spaces has also become a Central core “Moscow-city” and reconstruction of the Bolshoi theatre. Other major underground projects announced at the beginning of “zero”, as they say, kicked the bucket. Here we can recall and has already begun the shopping center “Tverskaya Zastava” and shopping center “Paveletskaya” and remaining only on paper multifunctional complexes under Marsh and Lubyanskaya squares.

We went the other way

The fact that the new Moscow authorities, as we know, chose the extensive road improvements of the metropolis: crowded, not enough site – attach a couple of hundred thousand hectares. With regard to the development of underground spaces, the new development strategy of the city there is not even such words.

In early October of this year the city hall has set up a cross one on the underground construction project. Sergei Sobyanin signed a decree banning work at Pushkin square. These plans were part of the project “Big Leningradka” (agreed upon during Luzhkov), included the organization of traffic of traffic on Tverskaya street and Leningradsky prospect.

According to initial plans under the square was supposed to create a road tunnel, a four-storey underground shopping Mall, the archaeological Museum and Parking. The project was estimated at $400 million. The work was to end in 2007, but never began. In 2010, new Moscow authorities refused the idea to build under the area of the multifunctional centre, but left the project two transport tunnel and the Parking, but in the end these plans to come true was not meant to be.

Build to live

The most ardent apologists of underground construction insist that the earth can and should be removed literally everything: hotels, museums, exhibition centres, Universities, administrative buildings, trade, public catering and consumer services, sports facilities, medical direction, and of course, engineering, Parking, storage, etc.

However, some city planners with this approach strongly disagree. For example, the legend of the world of urbanism, head of the Gehl Architects Jan Gehl sure what to put in dungeons people is a crime. There, according to the expert, must leave only the technical “stuffing” of the metropolis communication, warehouse and transport streams. In his report on the prospects and ways of development of Moscow, published in the summer of this year, he gave a number of recommendations aimed primarily at the creation in the Russian capital network of pedestrian traffic, ensuring free access of citizens to water and Park facilities and the transformation of territories, which are now “seized cars”, attractive public areas.

Actually, this problem is typical not only for Moscow. In Petersburg, for example, the increase in the number of cars has led to the fact that the world-famous promenades of the city are perceived and used solely as a transport artery. “The efforts of local authorities aimed only at increasing the capacity of existing highways, – comments General Director of “Association of underground builders” Sergey Alpatov. – Massively implemented road projects narrow space for people. Lost the uniqueness of the city, and the man is cut off from the essential elements of the environment St. Petersburg – Neva river, canals, the Gulf of Finland”.

While in the West the slogan “the City for people, not for cars” is becoming more popular. Urban policies in developed countries aimed at regaining the territory, “taken away” machines. And, as a rule, it is due to the use of the potential of underground spaces.

The Russian architects noted that modern urban views is also not strange. So once the seven stars of domestic architectural ideas – Yury Grigorian, Andrey Savin, Maxim Kurennoy, Vladimir Plotkin, Alexander Skokan and Sergey Choban under the leadership of Sergey Skuratov five years ago created a project in which modern ideas of Jan Gehl fully implemented.

Residential district “Garden Quarters” of the company “INTEKO” is about 11 hectares in the Metropolitan area Khamovniki. The total floorspace of the complex is about 450 thousand sq. m. Approximately one-third of them will be underground. The basic idea of the concept of “Garden Quarters” – no vehicles on site. All trails and some Parking lots will be located underground. There will find its place unloading areas of trade and service establishments, and spacious pantries.

Due to the fact that all the technical content of the area, including vehicles and communications, will be removed from the surface area, it will be a place not only for residential houses, kindergartens, schools and numerous commercial buildings but also for large public spaces and even an artificial pond. And more than half the territory of the complex is a Park area. Agree, such approach to the exploration of urban space is really worthy of replication.

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