Norilsk builders hoped to surpass American Nome

Norilsk builders hoped to surpass American Nome

November 29, 2022

The first years of the Norilsk settlement construction were the most difficult and therefore innovative: the question was where to build, how to build and even what to build.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. For example, the city of Nome in Alaska was taken as a landmark, in those years it was the most comfortable settlement in the Arctic.

When in 1938 Stalin was meeting a group of the Norilsk combine workers, he expressed the wish that our city should be better than Nome. The city in Alaska consisted of two-story houses, and only one and a half thousand inhabitants lived in it.

Norilsk decided to go further. In 1943, the commission of the USSR Architecture Academy, considering the project for the city development, came to the conclusion: “… it is correct for the Arctic conditions to accept multi-storey buildings – three or four floors”.

The houses were planned to be built from high-strength gypsum, to protect apartments from the wind it was supposed to hang shutters from the inside, for comfort – to arrange winter gardens. And for snow protection, install four-meter panel fences on the streets. The estimated number of inhabitants was 37 thousand people.

In the History Spot photo project’s previous publication, we told that Dolgoye lake was not only a city beach, but also a landing site and the main water source.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

November 29, 2022

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