The Making of a Landmark: Moscow Hotel's Architecture Was Designed to be Different

Moscow, Russia
If you visited Russia’s capital in the 1930s, chances are you’d have checked into the legendary Hotel Moskva (Russian for “Hotel Moscow”). But the hotel’s distinctively asymmetrical design - which has been replicated for the new Four Seasons Hotel Moscow - almost never came to be. That is, until Soviet leader Joseph Stalin got involved. As the story goes, architect Alexei Shchusev submitted two options for the 15-storey building, both on the same sheet of paper. Stalin put his signature in the middle of the page, so it was unclear which design he endorsed. Rather than question the leader, Shchusev moved ahead with both: classical columns on a central portico flanked by two asymmetrical wings. This distinctive landmark, immortalized on the label of Stolichnaya vodka, has been recreated by Four Seasons - now, you can take a tour of this architectural wonder.