When the reinforced concrete frame without the façades was erected in the early 2010s, the building gave rise to many negative comments. Most of them concerned the inadmissibility of constructing ‘yet another Stalinist skyscraper’ in the city centre (the first investor, Donstroy, built a pseudo-Stalinist skyscraper in the city in 2002). However, when the building finally began to acquire substance by 2015, the glass planes and vertical aluminium ridges became visible, and it became clear that Oruzheyniy was not a retro imitation, nor an ultramodern manifesto, but a kind of ‘alternative history’ of Moscow architecture. “We tried to preserve the traditions, while coming up with a contemporary look,” says the architect. They used two types of finishes: for the three bottom storeys it is stone and white granite, and on the upper storeys an aluminium facing.
Reynaers was involved in the construction of the fully glazed façade and Plekhanov is very pleased with the collaboration. “This is very laborious work due to the complex shape of the pylons. And the metal repeats all of these forms and even the division of the stone facing along the length, height and width. Each pylon also has a top – an Art Deco inspired light, like a beacon.” The building has great significance for Moscow’s urban landscape. The overall volume is traditional for Moscow in terms of its massiveness and monumentality. The building has almost no horizontal components. All of its materiality is in the metal ridges and pylons, which emphasise the upward drive and visually break down the mass.