Norilsk residents designed their city themselves

Norilsk residents designed their city themselves

February 24, 2022

On May 4, 1938, the design department of Norilstroy was created, later - a design office, after that - the Norilskproject Institute.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. This was one of the first orders of the combine new head Avraamy Zavenyagin:

“Despite the duration of the design work at the Norilsk combine, the state of design does not allow the construction of main workshops… I order: all design, as well as topographic and geodetic work and engineering geology, be concentrated in the project office of Norilstroy with the subordination of the department directly to me”.

Prior to that, the combine design was carried out by the Soyuznikelolovoproekt (eng.: Nickel and Stannary Union Project Institute (SNOP) – remotely, from Leningrad. Its experts proposed to carry out in Norilsk only ore mining and its rough processing, while the smelting of pure metal should have been carried out on the mainland. Sometimes their proposals were completely impossible to implement in the Arctic conditions.

Therefore, Zavenyagin took under his responsibility one of the most important resolutions in the city history: to reject the SNOP design decisions, to start designing from scratch and on the spot, to conduct it in parallel with the combine construction, moreover, focusing on a full cycle with the finished metals production.

Since that day, Nornickel projects have been developed here, in Norilsk. And for the construction of the city – as well. On May 31, 1945, an architectural and construction sector of civil and cultural facilities was created under the design department. The city chief architect Vitold Nepokoichitsky became its boss.

In 1951, the design department was reorganized into the design office of the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine with the functions of the general designer, and in 1969 the design office was transformed into the Norilsk Design Institute (the Norilskproject Institute).

In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we talked about how important construction projects in Norilsk often became gifts to the ‘leader of the revolution’.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

February 24, 2022

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