White partridges organically entered Norilsk architecture

White partridges organically entered Norilsk architecture

November 28, 2023

Every Norilsk resident probably remembers the squirrels, ducks, wolves and swans stucco moldings on the bas-reliefs of the Stalinist houses’ facades in the historical part of the city.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The production of gypsum stucco moldings and concrete castings for Norilsk architecture was put on stream in the mid-1940s. Sculptural elements were intended for houses under construction – both for decorating facades and interiors. The ideological context of our bas-reliefs is interesting. Architects, when developing them, tried to find new meanings, combining, for example, Soviet symbols and northern motifs. This is how architect Vitold Nepokoychitsky recalled that creative search.

“The work on the facades of two buildings on Sevastopolskaya street, repeated in a mirror image, was carried out by me together with the ‘facade master’ Lydia Minenko. As a result of creative efforts, we were able to relatively quickly find a compositional solution that satisfied our requirements. Serious difficulties arose only at the completion of the project, when it was necessary to turn the previously sketched decorative completion of the columns and pilasters into a working drawing.

According to our plan, this detail was conceived as a bas-relief arranged vertically, ending with a low capital. It was this bas-relief that turned out to be a kind of stumbling block for me. I couldn’t decide what and how it should be depicted. I categorically rejected the fruit and berry theme of a restaurant type, as well as all sorts of acanthus intricacies. The attributes of military valor seemed to me incompatible with the architecture of a residential building. Abstract compositional structures were perceived by me as capitulation to difficulties. Some kind of impulse was needed to get creative thought moving in the right direction.

Our city project library was extremely poor. I knew that the technical library of the Engineering Workers’ House also did not have any interesting literature on architecture, but still I decided to rummage through its collections again. During this operation, I noticed an outwardly unattractive brochure under the name Sassanid Metal, which meant nothing to me. I mechanically opened it at some random page and, amazed, began feverishly tossing sheet after sheet.

Superbly modeled bas-relief images of stern rulers, strange animals and plants flashed before me, as if in a kaleidoscope. I immediately understood that I saw something from which I could get the solution I need. I’m taking this magical book home. Again and again I turned over the pages, reached the end and started flipping through again.

Gradually, not yet entirely clear features of the future composition appeared in my mind. Of course, there would be no exotic plants or strange inhabitants of the impenetrable jungle. But what about our trusting snow-white partridges and numerous representatives of waterfowl? And couldn’t the branches of our larch compete with the acanthus, which had long been disgusting? Thinking this way, I sketched one sketch after another, until the vague idea turned into a large-scale drawing, soon, with my most active participation, turned into a life-size bas-relief made of Volhov clay, and then into a concrete casting – the great -great-great-granddaughter of Sassanid metal.

In subsequent years, we widely used stucco details with a northern theme to decorate city facades. They organically entered the architecture of Octyabrskaya square, the Southern line, residential buildings built on the corners of Sevastopolskaya street at its merger with Leninsky prospekt and other buildings in the city”.

In the History Spot photo project’s previous publication, we told you that Norilsk could have been built in a completely different place.

Follow us on TelegramVKontakte.

Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

November 28, 2023

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: