It was both the main entrance, symbolically separating the Norilsk settlement’s residential area from the industrial site, and the checkpoint, where workers and specialists were checked for passes.
The entrance arch and the fence to it was designed by the prisoner Gevorg Kochar, in the past a prominent Armenian architect, one of the Soviet Architects Union organizers.
In addition to it, Kochar was the author of residential and public buildings in Norilsk, such as baths on Bogdan Hmelnitsky street.
It is difficult to say now whether such a pompous construction was a social order, so that the Norilsk Combine’s power was already visible at the entrance, or the fact is that the imprisoned architect put his whole soul into even such an insignificant-looking object. However, the fact is that the arch separated the Norilsk residential area from the industrial site for more than 20 years.
The arch decorated the entrance to the industrial zone until the end of the 1960s. Now in its place is the entrance to the Mechanical plant territory.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we talked about how Finnish specialists settled in Norilsk in the mid-1970s.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive