Moscow metro. Mayakovskaya station. 1938
The station became a masterpiece of Art Deco and won the Grand Prix prize in New York in 1939 for the best design.
The history of the construction of the station wasn’t smooth . The first architect was Sergey Kravets. During the preparatory work, the soil under Mayakovskaya Square seemed firm enough for construction. But the ambitious project to build a deep-laid station wasn’t completed at once as it was planned.When the main hall of Mayakovskaya metro station was almost done, cracks went along the walls. And in an emergency, the project had to be revised. Architect Dushkin offered his solution of the problem. In his opinion, it was necessary to reduce the height of the vaults, leaving the same style. For this, Dushkin invited aircraft designer Putilin to make a special steel constructions to support the arches. This was a huge progress of that time. Using stain steel, it became possible to keep the structure stable and to save the feeling of the air and elegance of the station at the same time.
The design of the ceilings, Dushkin in-trusted to the famous Soviet artist Dayneka. Using his sketches, 35 mosaics were made and united by the common theme “24 hours in the Land of the Soviets”. Circle of bulbs illumine the mosaics, but the main hall is lit by reflected light which is much softer.
The mosaic itself was made by the famous master Vladimir Frolov. He was born in St. Petersburg in 1874. He’s a hereditary mosaic master. Vladimir Frolov made mosaics for three Moscow metro stations: Mayakovskaya, Avtozavodskaya and Novokuznetskaya.
During the war 1941-45 Mayakovskaya station was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers , as a birth home where 150 children were born during the war. Also , it was used as a bomb shelter. When war started it became a place of important political meetings and speeches.