© istock/KonstantinGushcha
© istock/KonstantinGushcha

Arma: Moscow's former gas plant turned into a creative quarter

2 minutes to read

Arma is probably one of the most picturesque spaces in the center of Moscow. When it comes to taking stylish photos in front of a brick wall, Arma is the first on the list. Formerly, it was a territory of the Moscow gas plant, which provided energy for illuminating the city. But recently things have changed, and Moscow's former gas plant was turned into a creative quarter, a true heaven for gentrification lovers. Now, it's a stylish business quarter with offices, showrooms, cafes, restaurants, and everything in between.

History of Arma

© istock/wastesoul
© istock/wastesoul

The gas plant, previously based on Arma territory, was built in 1865 by English entrepreneurs commissioned by Moscow authorities. Its first and foremost goal was to provide the gaslight to more than three thousand lanterns all over the city. The Moscow gas plant worked like this until the middle of the last century. When a new gas pipeline was inaugurated, the plant started producing gas equipment. In 2002, the plant was stopped, and many of its buildings were leased by different businesses. Step by step, Arma became a place strongly connected to art-life.

Artsy territory behind the Kursky rail terminal

© istock/KonstantinGushcha
© istock/KonstantinGushcha

Together with Vinzavod and Artplay, Arma forms an art cluster located behind the Kursky rail terminal. Previously, this area was known as somehow not pretty, since it was full of former plants and factories built there. Frankly, Arma is my favorite place because it can be easily reached from the metro station via a tunnel, and it’s the most aesthetically developed space in this part of Moscow. You will notice four former gas-holders, which are, for sure the most visible buildings there.  

Starting from 2003, Arma began being ‘inhabited’ by different fashion brands which opened their showrooms there, as well as some artists who held some events at Arma. Just add clubs, restaurants, bars, and shops, and you’ll have totally renovated creative area with industrial zest. Nowadays, Arma looks like a city inside another city, a little island with an artsy atmosphere close to the railway. It’s somehow romantic to hear from afar typical railway sounds.

Things to do at Arma

© istock/KonstantinGushcha
© istock/KonstantinGushcha

Being a busy quarter where business people work at their offices during the workweek, and students visit to have their coffee and snack at the lowest price lives, Arma lives totally different life at weekends. It transforms into a silent space where people walk, sit on benches, relax and have their coffee -  a perfect peaceful area to hang on. But beware of the weekend night! If you want to visit one of the eateries at Arma, be prepared to see many people, and make sure you have a reservation.

Today, being Moscow's former gas plant turned into a creative quarter, Arma is like a magnet for people who seek for unusual places to hang on, having their best shots in front of stylish brick walls, or enjoying some food of totally different origin. Besides, the neighborhood where Arma is located, close to Yauza River and reviving some memories of old-fashioned industrial Moscow, looks like a perfect choice for a good stroll.

Arma, Moscow
Arma, Moscow
Nizhniy Susalnyy pereulok, 5 стр 9, Moskva, Russia, 105064

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The author

Maria Selezneva

Maria Selezneva

Hi, I am Maria, or Masha, as Russian speaking people call me. I’m your local guide for must-sees as well as off-the-beaten-track places in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I’ll show you my favourite destinations in both cities, where you can feel the true spirit of local traditions.

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