#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In 1943, a commission from the Academy of Architecture of the USSR, considering the project for the development of Norilsk, came to the conclusion: “to recognize the method of multi-storey buildings in three or four floors to be correct for the conditions of the Arctic Circle”. However, just four years later, in 1947, in the technical information bulletin, the optimal number of storeys in the city was quite different – 10–12 floors.
The thing is the specialists calculated and summed up the high cost of building roads and streets in the Arctic, setting engineering networks – water supply, heating, sewerage, and also took into account the factors of endless snow removal and wind load on residential areas. And they realized that the city should be compact. This meant growing not in breadth, but upward.
Norilsk began to grow quite rapidly. The first two-story building appeared in 1935 on Gornaya street, in 1940 on Zavodskaya, they were three-story ones. In 1942, they were joined by DITR (House of Engineering and Technical Workers) – not only the highest, but also the most beautiful building in Norilsk at that time. However, multi-storey construction ran into serious difficulties. First of all – in the bearing capacity of soils. Therefore, the houses of the new city were erected not in 10-12 floors, but in four or five.
The main dominant feature of the new Norilsk was the buildings of Octyabrskaya square with a five-story base and seven-story towers.
In 1952, the new building of the mining and metallurgical technical school (future institute) competed with them in height: in its central part it was six-story, plus a functional attic and a basement. Its elevator was probably the very first one in Norilsk.
In 1970, two skyscrapers appeared in Norilsk. On September 30, the state commission accepted the first nine-story building at 62 Nansen street, and the first twelve-story building at 1 Krasnoyarskaya street, with the Morzyanka store on the ground floor.
In 1994, the tallest building in Bolshoy Norilsk was built in the City part called Oganer the record of which has not been broken even now – the city hospital. In some sources, it is indicated as 14-storey, in others – 15-storey building. Because the number of storeys is usually counted without taking into account the technical floors, where people are not constantly located. But the Oganer hospital has such impressive technical floors, where the complex elevator and engineering facilities are serviced, that they are often taken into account as well. The height of the hospital building is almost 56 meters. No houses higher than this one has been built in the city so far.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive