Norilsk hospital campus lived hard life

Norilsk hospital campus lived hard life

April 02, 2024

For some reason, the construction of medical institutions was not easy for Norilsk.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. It took more than 15 years for city planners and doctors to create a hospital campus in Norilsk; they fought for the construction of the hospital in Oganer for a quarter of a century. But the understanding that the city needs a large unified medical complex has always been there.

The hospital campus became the first real medical complex in Norilsk. It began to be designed in the early 1950s. The bed capacity norms of those years were taken into account, plus another 10 percent was added for the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic. In total, for the first stage of construction in Norilsk, with a population of 80 thousand people, a hospital town with 880 beds was designed: 11 beds for every thousand residents.

According to the original design, the complex consisted of eight buildings: surgical, administrative, obstetric, tuberculosis, children’s somatic, therapeutic, economic and infectious diseases. Two more buildings were supposed to go beyond the boundaries of the current hospital campus: they wanted to build a skin and venereal disease building on the site of the current youth center, and a clinic was supposed to be located on the site of the current residential building No. 27 on B. Hmelnitsky street.

The hospital campus was planned wisely, taking into account even the topography and wind rose. The infectious diseases building, for example, was placed so that the prevailing south wind would not fan the infection, and the lowering of the soil would prevent sewage from penetrating into the quarter. Construction of the complex began in the mid-1950s, but the last building – the maternity hospital – was completed only 13 years later. The entire hospital campus has never been completed. The reason was that the construction coincided with the Hroushchev’s policy towards architecture in the country as a whole and a change in the main workforce in Norilsk. Prisoners with extensive experience working on construction sites were released, and they were replaced by young Komsomol volunteers who still had to be trained. These two factors led to the fact that the construction of the hospital campus was delayed and the project had to be reworked, adapting it to new realities. Due to the fact that the buildings were handed over one by one, they differ from each other both structurally and architecturally. The buildings on Pavlov and Kirov streets are more decorated: triangular pediments, decorative elements on the facades. Buildings built later look simpler.

On the surgical building, of all the frills, there is only a slightly protruding five-bay portico and small projections in the corners. The design is also different.

The head physician of the city hospital, Yevgeny Klimov, recalled: “When the first floor of the surgical building was built, the notorious Hroushchev’s (the Soviet Union head at that time) decree was issued to reduce the height standards of premises. The Norilsk combine’s director Drozdov suspended construction and gave the order to reduce the height of the remaining three floors. Chief surgeon Victor Kuznetsov wrote a letter to Drozdov. Useless. He wrote to the regional party committee, the Central Committee – no results. That’s when Kuznetsov wrote to the Pravda newspaper: “Recently, construction in the city of Norilsk has taken an ugly form. Beautiful five-story houses are built with floors so low that the ceilings press down, the corridors are so narrow that it is impossible to carry a person on a stretcher, and on the stairs of a five-story building it is difficult for two people to pass each other. If this is unacceptable for housing, then for a surgical building such low floors are completely unacceptable. We ask for your help”. But Kuznetsov never got help from anyone. The second, third and fourth floors of the surgical building were completed with low ceilings”.

The maternity hospital was the last to be built in the hospital campus; it opened only in 1968. Doctors and patients moved there from two small buildings built in the 1940s, which were located on the corner of Kirov and 50 Let Octyabrya streets. All Norilsk residents who were born within 50 years after 1968 were born within the walls of the campus’s maternity hospital. Well, maybe, with a few exceptions: in the early 1980s, the maternity hospital was moved to new schools for a year, and its building was renovated and sanitized. In 1983, the maternity hospital was expanded by adding a five-story wing, very different in style. In 2018, it moved to the new perinatal center. This year, the old building has been given for a new integrated center of social services.

The hospital campus also suffered from permafrost subsidence. Its utility block with a laundry room, a disinfection chamber and storage rooms was originally built in the shape of the letter “T”, but not all of it has survived to this day. Its larger half – the sagging “leg” – was “amputated”, and the rest of the building now houses the Architecture Department, the Construction Department and other organizations.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we showed how the most “postcard” views of Norilsk have changed.

Follow us on TelegramVKontakte.

Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

April 02, 2024

All rights reserved ©️ THIS IS TAIMYR online media, 2020-2023

If quoting in whole or in part, a reference to the This is Taimyr is required. The editors are not responsible for the information contained in advertisements. The editors do not provide reference information. Registered by the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media. The mass media registration number is ЭЛ No. ФС 77 - 79414 dated 02.11.2020, valid. Distributed in Russian Federation and foreign countries.

Founder: Severny Gorod Media Company LLC, 663300, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Norilsk, Komsomolskaya st., 33a.

Chief editor: Natalia N. Popova

This site uses cookies and services to collect technical visitor data (IP address data, etc.) to ensure performance and improve the service quality. By continuing to use our site, you automatically agree to the use of these technologies: