Leonid Monosov | Construction as a Profession and Vocation

Leonid Monosov

“They knew how to build in the old days!” We all have said this phrase out loud or thought about it at least once in our lives while admiring the delicate outlines of old buildings. This is the thought that comes to the minds of many travelers in Moscow when they see the majestic snow-white beauty of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This unique architectural landmark was restored, or rather rebuilt, in 1999, which, in historical terms, was not so long ago. However, if you take a look at the replicated cathedral, you will not be able to distinguish it from the buildings that were created two centuries ago.

In the 19th century, the construction of the original Cathedral of Christ the Savior took more than 30 years. In the 21st century, Russian architects and the builders from Mospromstroy JSC were faced with a very difficult task; using modern technologies, they had to recreate the building to make it look as close to the original as possible. They took a creative approach and used reinforced concrete to build the walls of the new cathedral. In terms of strength, the material was as good as once-traditional white-stone masonry, and the marble finish successfully camouflaged all modern-looking details. Roof covering (with the exception of the domes) was made of titanium nitride that shined as bright as gold. The walls were decorated with bronze high reliefs.

Leonid Monosov, who was the deputy CEO of Mospromstroy JSC while this large-scale project was underway, is still proud of the work that was done. Thanks to the use of modern equipment and technologies, the construction took less than 6 years.

From Foreman to Senior Manager

Leonid Monosov was born in 1958. His family lived in the Belarusian city of Mazyr. When the boy was 5 years old, his mother died and his widowed father decided to move to Moscow.

After arriving in the capital, the Monosovs settled in the Sokolniki area. Leonid started first grade at School No. 315, which was colloquially known as “the school with an observatory.” This educational institution had a long and bright history. Its educators started implementing innovative teaching methods back in the 1920s, and the observatory was a reminder of those times. In the 1960s, one of the school’s teachers was J. B. Weizman, a mathematician who famously created his own methods of teaching the exact sciences. The school taught mathematics in depth and regularly held science competitions.

Leonid Monosov was interested in the exact sciences from childhood. His secondary education had a focus on physics and mathematics. This made it much easier for him to enter the construction program at the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering. Leonid Monosov is still grateful to his father for his help in choosing the profession. During that time, Moscow saw a surge in the construction of residential and cultural buildings, so civil engineers were in great demand.

Leonid Monosov was a good student and successfully defended his final thesis. Thanks to a high average grade, he was appointed to a job at Glavmospromstroy, which was considered the best construction company not only in the capital, but also in the whole country.

Monosov’s professional biography began in 1980. The young specialist started as a foreman and made 150 rubles a month, which was a very decent salary at the time. According to Soviet law, young graduates had an obligation to work where they were placed for at least 3 years, and then they got the right to change jobs. However, Leonid Monosov stayed at Glavmospromstroy not for 3, but for 19 years.

Glavmospromstroy was a huge organization with a staff of more than 72 thousand people. The best technology in the country, highly skilled employees, the opportunity to participate in large-scale projects — all this could not but appeal to a young man who had a strong sense of vocation about working in construction.

Apart from great professional skills, Leonid Monosov also had obvious organizational skills and leadership qualities. Over time, he began to take on more and more responsibilities in the company. By the time Glavmospromstroy was transformed into Mospromstroy JSC in 1990, Leonid Monosov was the head of one of its biggest departments.

In the 1990s, due to the changes in its socio-political and economic systems, the country found itself short of spaces for new shops, banks, and restaurants. The central part of Moscow was in urgent need of reconstruction. It was important to perform the task in such a way that historical buildings would become more comfortable and functional without losing their original beauty. Mospromstroy JSC participated in numerous reconstruction projects in the capital, the most difficult and important of them being the restoration of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The revival of the historic building began in 1994, and by the end of 1999, the cathedral was ready for handover.

Residential Development and Conservation of Architectural Heritage

Leonid Monosov considers construction to be the driving force of a country’s economy. He always adds that, no matter where he worked, he was a builder first and then a businessman.

The 21st century brought new standards to the residential construction industry. When purchasing housing, buyers were now interested not only in the quality of construction, but also in recreational areas, parking spaces, and the proximity of schools, hospitals, and transport interchanges.

In 1999, Monosov took the helm at a big company called Moskapstroy. At the time, it had more than 20 subsidiaries, which allowed it to perform all kinds of construction work, from planning and handing over buildings and structures to creating communal spaces and developing infrastructures. A serious competitive advantage of the company was that it provided engineering services and could come up with creative solutions even for the most challenging projects. In the first decade of the 21st century, Moskapstroy built around 2.4 m² of residential real estate per year. Monosov deserves a lot of credit for the fact that all the property built by Moskapstroy fully complied with the strictest state regulations.

He believes that what matters most for a builder is not his profits, but the ways he can contribute to society with his work. Nevertheless, Moskapstroy’s profits increased by 20% under his management. The company started to avoid taking loans. The executive considered it safer to use either money from investors or the profits that the company had already received.

Moskapstroy had all the funds necessary to work on the most difficult projects. Sometimes contracts were so challenging that Moskapstroy was the only participant to submit competitive bids. Other contractors opted out of bidding because they simply could not perform at the required level.

One of the most famous Moskapstroy’s projects was the reconstruction of the Manege in Moscow. In 2004, a significant part of the complex burned down and its interiors were destroyed. The task of restoring the Manege was somewhat reminiscent of the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The goal was to restore the historic building while increasing its functionality.

The Manege was not just another historic building, it was also a legend in a sense. In 1817, when it was first opened, its architecture was considered highly innovative. The roof truss designed by A. Betancourt is still recognized as an outstanding architectural solution and was added to the UNESCO heritage list.

The company’s specialists used Betancourt’s original drawings and also applied new technologies to increase the strength of the structure. Betancourt’s truss was made of larch, very strong and durable wood that does not warp or rot when exposed to moisture. But during the reconstruction of 2004, it was decided to replace solid wood with laminated veneer lumber. In Betancourt’s time, such material simply did not exist. In terms of properties, laminated veneer lumber was in no way inferior to larch. The material was durable and did not warp over time. To increase shear strength, the elements of the top chord were enhanced with diagonal reinforcement. The gaps between the struts and the horizontal parts of the frame were filled with polymer concrete.

In 2005, the renovated Manege was handed over to the client. The appearance of the exhibition complex was preserved in its original form, but the infrastructure was modernized to fit today’s standards. The building was equipped with elevators and glass railings. Today, visitors can also find restaurants and a conference room in the Manege (all of which was not there before).

Construction: Vocation and Destiny

Moskapstroy completed many large-scale projects. For example, the company developed the Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill, new pavilions in the Moscow Zoo, and the Vnukovo-2 terminal. Moskapstroy was responsible for the construction of the Moscow International Medical Cluster on the territory of the Skolkovo Innovation Center, the third branch of the Children’s City Clinical Hospital No. 39, and other medical institutions. The company also reconstructed the Karamyshevskaya Embankment and restored the Moscow Pushkin Drama Theater.

Leonid Monosov takes pride in the fact that it was Moskapstroy that executed the challenging infrastructure project of the Third Ring Road. Out of the 35.1 km of the beltway, 19 were overpasses and 5 were tunnels. The main challenge during the construction was to preserve the surrounding historic buildings to the greatest extent possible. The Third Ring Road was designed to cross the Moscow River in 4 places. The last stage of the project was completed in 2003, when the company finished the deep Lefortovo Tunnel. The 3.2 km long tunnel runs under the Yauza River and Lefortovo Park.

The beltway plan involved the construction of a deep tunnel in difficult urban conditions. At the time, this technology was completely new to Russia; the necessary equipment had to be purchased in Germany. Many construction companies that had no experience with such methods even tried to discredit the project and offered simpler solutions. However, if any alternative option had been chosen, the original appearance of the city would have to be changed. To preserve the landmarks, Moskapstroy used large-diameter shield tunneling technology and built the tunnel at a 30-meter depth.

The Lefortovo Tunnel is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It has lighting, ventilation, fire safety, drainage, smoke removal, video surveillance, and communication systems. It also contains equipment to measure gas contamination levels. Moreover, there is another tunnel located under the main one. In case of fire, drivers can enter the lower tunnel through the emergency exits that are installed every 100 meters in the main tunnel.


In 2008, when the economic crisis broke out and negatively affected household incomes, the demand for residential real estate dropped. Residential property sales made up a significant part of Moskapstroy’s revenue — so, to prevent the company from going bankrupt, Leonid Monosov decided to rent out real estate. It turned out to be a successful undertaking and the company stayed afloat.

This experience helped Monosov when he decided to concentrate on his own business projects in 2022. All of them were related to construction. Leonid Monosov became the vice president of Moskapstroy-TN, a company that provides comprehensive engineering services, from analyzing the market situation and selecting construction sites to managing property after the handover. The company offers real estate development services and invests in construction projects.

Moskapstroy-TN manages several large real estate complexes, including the Solutions and Na Ordynke business centers, the Neglinnaya and Pavshino shopping centers, and the Topolya residential complex. In the foreseeable future, the company plans to build a residential complex near the Bitsevsky forest. The site is located on the territory of the former Mayak warehouses. There are two metro stations and the Bitsevsky forest in the area, with its historic estates, eco-trails, and great conditions for skiing. Experts see a lot of potential in this development project and find it worthy of investor attention.


Leonid Monosov has two children — Andrey (born in 1981) and Alina (born in 1990).

Andrey Monosov

Andrey Monosov was born in Moscow and attended the same School No. 315 as his father. His father’s example also determined his choice of profession. In 2003, Andrey Monosov graduated from the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, except he chose to major in economics.

Despite the fact that Leonid Monosov had reached a top position in a large company by that time, his son decided to build his career on his own. He got a job as an entry-level employee in a construction company and after some time moved up the career ladder. Today, Andrey works in the construction business. He and his wife are raising a son and daughter.

Alina Monosova

Alina Monosova was born in 1990. She started first grade at School No. 315. But it soon became clear that, unlike her father and brother, the girl had more interest in the humanities subjects. So, after one year, Alina was transferred to the Premier School, and then, in fourth grade, she started to attend the Moscow Economic School.

After graduating from school, Alina entered MGIMO to major in business administration and international business. For some time, she worked in the commercial management department of Channel One. After that, she continued her education at Regent’s University London.

After returning home, she worked as the head of the marketing department in a construction company for 10 years. Then she realized that she liked to help people and guide them on the path to personal development. After quitting her job, she got into psychology and received a diploma in coaching.

For a while, she was engaged in a project that was created to help people find coaches and psychologists. Nowadays, she manages a Telegram channel dedicated to fashion and style.

Sam Curran

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