Anyone who loves Moscow and wants to better understand and get to know its beauty should get acquainted with the modern masterpiece of architecture of our capital – Zhivopisny Bridge.

This unique architectural structure of the early 21st century has become an adornment of the northwestern part of Moscow, connecting two protected natural zones – Krylatskoye and Serebryany Bor.

The text was written with the support of Sputnik8. On their website, you can buy tickets for boat trips along the Moskva River online and without extra charges.

History of the design and construction of the bridge

The construction of a bridge in this part of Moscow was initially difficult, since any construction is prohibited in the protected areas of the Krylatsky Hills and Serebryany Bor. In addition, the bridge was not supposed to interfere with the passage of ships along the Moskva River.

The solution to this problem was the project of the bridge, proposed by a group of engineers from the Omsk NPO Mostovik, headed by Valery Kurepin and architect Nikolai Shumakov.

Design features

Since the construction of a conventional bridge was not possible due to environmental restrictions, it was decided to erect a cable-stayed bridge of a very unusual design.

The foundation of the bridge rests on piles 20-40 meters long, supported by limestone reinforced with cement.

Cementing was carried out to fill possible karst voids in the soil in order to increase the safety and stability of the bridge.

To avoid the bridge turning into a huge uncontrollable swing, special German-made oil shock absorbers are installed at its base, which effectively dampen the swinging of the structure.

Another unique feature of the bridge is its location relative to the riverbed. Unlike the usual structures of bridges that connect the banks of the river along the shortest straight line, the Zhivopisny Bridge is located at an acute angle to the riverbed, and in some places runs almost parallel to the bank. This design does not interfere with the passage of ships along the Moskva River.

Arch

A unique engineering find of its kind is the arch-pylon. Its construction was carried out immediately from both banks of the river – from the side of the Krylatsky hills and Serebryany Bor. The work required a truly jeweler’s precision: the maximum deviation should not exceed 3 mm! At the same time, no additional supports were used, the assembly was carried out in a hinged way.

The dimensions of the arch itself are impressive: its span is 182 meters, and its height is 105 meters.

From the arch to the bridge span, 72 cables are stretched, made of special high-strength ropes and placed inside polyethylene pipes, which were specially made to order in France.

The complex of arches and cables is painted in an unusual red color: under different lighting conditions, it is seen as scarlet or coral.

From a distance, the arch with shrouds seems to be a huge graceful red fan, but coming closer, one cannot refrain from admiration for the power hidden in this lace grace.

Span

The cable-stayed span of the bridge is also impressive in its dimensions: its length is 409.5 meters, and its height above the water is 30 meters, which is comparable to the height of a 9-storey building.

The width of the bridge is 37 meters. It includes 8 lanes for car traffic (4 lanes in each direction of traffic) and one and a half meter sidewalks for pedestrians on both sides.

There are also pedestrian galleries on the outer sides of the bridge, but they are currently closed for passage.

The total length of the bridge is 1460 meters.

Both sides of the bridge are equipped with noise barriers, which, however, are not installed in the cable-stayed part of the span.

Observation deck

Another unusual structural detail of the Zhivopisny Bridge is a suspended capsule under the arch. People call it either “lentils” or “flying saucer” or compare it with the cap of the former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

The capsule really has an alien appearance – it is a sparkling ellipsoid of impressive size: 34 meters long, 23 meters wide and 13 meters high. The structure has a concrete frame, completely glazed from the outside. To protect against snow accumulation and ice formation in winter, the capsule is equipped with an electric heating system.

In the rays of the sun, the capsule sparkles like a giant faceted diamond.

Since the creation of the bridge, the capsule was planned to be used as an observation deck, as a restaurant, and even as a registry office. But none of these projects were implemented due to technical difficulties. Therefore, at the moment, the capsule is perceived as an architectural decoration of the bridge.

But it is not so. In addition to the aesthetic function, the capsule has another important purpose – to increase the safety and stability of the entire bridge structure. The sparkling capsule weighing about 1000 tons suspended under the arch vault significantly reduces the windage of the entire structure and thereby increases its stability.

Interesting facts about the unusual bridge

  1. Zhivopisny Bridge is the world’s largest cable-stayed structure with one pylon.
  2. All materials and components used in the construction of the bridge, with the exception of oil shock absorbers and polyethylene pipes for cables, were produced in Russia.
  3. The assembly of the capsule was carried out on the roadway. Then, with the help of special jacks, the capsule was lifted under the arch.
  4. The uniqueness of the Zhivopisny Bridge construction was appreciated at the international level: in 2017, the author of the project, Nikolai Shumakov, became the first Russian architect to receive the Auguste Perret Prize. It is awarded for excellence in the construction of reinforced concrete structures using the latest technology.
  5. The name of the bridge – “Picturesque” – is not associated with its bright external appearance, but is given by the name of the street located nearby. In common parlance, the bridge is often called “red” or “the bridge in Serebryany Bor”.
  6. The bridge offers amazingly beautiful views of the Krylatsky hills and Serebryany Bor.

How to get to the Zhivopisny bridge

This pearl of modern architecture is located in the northwestern district of Moscow and is part of Marshal Zhukov Avenue. You can get here in different ways.

By public transport

  • from the metro station “Oktyabrskoe pole” – walk along Narodnogo Opolcheniya street to the bus stop # 253. Minibus number 253k also stops here. Drive to Marshal Zhukov Avenue, then walk a little.
  • from the metro station “Horoshevo” can be reached by buses No. 390, No. T86, as well as by trolleybuses No. 20, 20K, 21, 65. All types of transport follow directly to the bridge, and you will have to walk about 80 m;
  • from the metro stations “Polezhaevskaya”, “Beregovaya”, “Belorusskaya”.
  • from “Polezhaevskaya” – by trolleybus No. 21;
  • from “Beregovaya” and “Belorusskaya” – by trolleybuses and minibuses № 21, 35, 86. Go to the stop “Serebryany Bor”.

By car

When driving from the city center, drive along Marshal Zhukov Avenue in the direction of the Moscow Ring Road.

River walks under the Zhivopisny bridge

For those wishing to admire the beauty of Serebryany Bor and view the Zhivopisny Bridge from an unusual angle, there is the Around the World river route.

During a river cruise on a motor ship, you will completely round the island of Serebryany Bor and pass under the Zhivopisny bridge.

Motor ships depart daily during the navigation period from the “Troitse-Lykovo” and “Serebryany Bor-2” berths.