Avtozavodskaya

Nikolai Galkin/TASS
Avtozavodskaya (formerly Zavod imeni Stalina) was built during the Great Patriotic War. Alexey Dushkin won the design tender in 1940. In her book of memoirs, his wife recalls that Dushkin had a Bach fugue playing while working on the project. It is easy to believe that the sublime simplicity of the stations architecture could have been inspired by something equally sublime. Similarly to Kropotkinskaya Metro station, the rows of columns support a white undecorated vault, but the columns, decorated with oroktoi marble from Altai, are thinner and taller than usual, making the whole structure look a little ethereal. Dushkin would write later: "I love this station because it was created sort of in the same breath. Clearly defined are both its constructive essence and, as is the case with Russian churches, the purity of form at work."

The architect's idea was to have the station illuminated by flat fixtures arranged along the central vault. Those fixtures have since been replaced with standard fluorescent lights, which make the ceiling look flat. But the original geometrical black and gray granite ornament of the floor is still there. This was the first Metro station ever where granite flooring was used. The asphalt paving of the other stations of the first echelon would also be replaced with granite later. The decorations must not be overlooked, most notably, the mosaic panel series Soviet People in the Years of the Great Patriotic War by Vladimir Frolov, who used the sketches of contemporary artists, and the four bas-reliefs sculpted by Ivan Efimov: People of the North, People of the Caucasus, Pilots and Engineers, Metal Workers and Engineers. It also makes sense to go upstairs to the ground lobby to see the huge mosaic panel on marble, depicting a parade in Red Square, where tanks and folk epic warriors take part side by side.