Norilsk local project used to build one house

Norilsk local project used to build one house

March 23, 2023

In the 50s of the last century, the Norilsk construction industry, as well as the whole country, moved away from author's architecture to standard projects.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYRThey were ill-suited for the Far North, and local architects offered their own options.

This was the experimental Epstein House – named after the project author – built in 1957 on Octyabrskaya street. By the way, the engineer Hierohim Epstein later became one of 11 Lenin Prize laureates, after whom the Laureate street was named, for the method of building on permafrost.

But the idea of his experiment in housing construction was in a compact and convenient layout of apartments for residents. He proposed to replace the wall between the kitchen and the room with built-in bookcases, wardrobes, crockery.

These transforming partitions turned into folding tables and a window between the rooms, which made it possible to abandon bulky furniture in favor of built-in furniture and not clutter up small areas of apartments.

In addition, it was proposed to leave one apartment in the house for children, organizing a kindergarten there, and using it as a club room in the evening.

Epstein also proposed to solve the roof in the form of a greenhouse, making more thorough waterproofing, bringing soil to the racks, glazing, equipping it with fluorescent lamps. This proposal met with stubborn resistance from the designers, who never made the working drawings of the roof.

However, apartments with transformer partitions were nevertheless made according to his project. Epstein himself lived in one of them; it became a model of comfort and cleanliness.

 Although the experiment was successful and the Epstein House came out even cheaper than the standard ones, it remained a single experiment. The greenhouse on the roof was never realized, the construction parts plant could not put transformer partitions on stream, and the preschool department killed the idea of the personal kindergarten.

In the 1970s, the Epstein House was completely redesigned – it became a pre-trial detention center.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that agronomists tried to grow corn in the Arctic during the Hrushchev era.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

March 23, 2023

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