The Wooden Grandeur of Gagster House, Arkhangelsk, Russia
A unique wooden structure, dubbed “chicken coop,” “gangster house,” and even “Count Dracula’s palace,” once dominated the skyline in Arkhangelsk. This city of northern Russia housed this extraordinary building, known as Gagster House, evidence to ambition, innovation; a passion for wood. Its creator Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin, was an industrious businessman and entrepreneur.
The heart of Arkhangelsk nearly secured its place in the Guinness Book of World Records because it stood so tall: unprecedentedly high-rise for a timber construction measuring over 13 stories, a truly remarkable feat indeed! Ultimately, the remarkable tale concluded in tragedy: the building that had once held the world’s imagination collapsed.
In 1991, a year pivotal and unforgettable due to the Soviet Union’s collapse, Nikolai Sutyagin, once an employee of a state-run construction company, swiftly adapted into Arkhangelsk’s economic changes transforming himself from mere worker to successful businessman. His entrepreneurial spirit birthed twelve companies across various industries: construction; wood manufacturing; even tailoring was among his ventures. Sutyagin, bolstered by his expanding network of international partners and local authorities, stood poised to construct a residence that would reflect the stature he had recently acquired.
Opting for wood, a choice dictated not only by its ecological abundance in the region but also by its malleability and versatility: an ideal material for crafting his small empire, our ambitious entrepreneur embarked on a unique journey. His global travels lit within him an inspired ambition; he sought to capture, in architecture, the essence of capitalist countries that had left indelible marks on him. It was thus enamored with Gothic cathedrals from Germany to pagoda towers found across Japan which led Sutyagin down this path towards transformation; ultimately resulting in what is now known as The Gagster House: truly one-of-a-kind structure born out of passion mixed with ingenuity.
The gradual development of the building sparked a burgeoning international interest in Gagster House: throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, this fantastical wooden structure captivated popularity, drawing droves of tourists to Arkhangelsk who eagerly included it within their tours. At the peak of its fame, an impressive award was offered; nomination for entry into The Guinness Book Of World Records as The World’s Tallest Wooden Building.
Gagster House, however, experienced a meteoric rise followed by an abrupt fall. The court delivered a ruling in 2008: the architectural icon of Arkhangelsk from the 1990s had no legal or logical foundation. Ultimately, standing at an imposing height of 44 meters (144 feet), authorities decided to dismantle the skyscraper down to its fourth floor. Until 2012, when a fire symbolically concluded this captivating chapter of Arkhangelsk’s history by consuming the remaining structure, Sutyagin’s dream persisted in on-site remnants.
Gagster House exemplified the allure and durability of wooden architecture in every aspect. The house, though inherently simple, captivated effectively – an ode to Russian craftsmen’s remarkable artistry and wood’s enduring beauty.
Now residing only in memory, the once-iconic Gagster House is a testament to Arkhangelsk’s unique historical period marked by architectural ingenuity and passion for wood. Its story, a narrative of rise followed by a fall, is an important reminder: even remarkably constructed buildings can be transient, yet they contribute enduring stories to a city’s legacy.
Further Information On The Wooden Gagster House In Arkhangelsk, Russia
Date Construction started: 1992
Date Opened: 2000s
Architect: Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin
Cost of building: N/A
Architectural style: Wooden house
Size or floor area: N/A
Height: 44 meters
Function or purpose: Residential dweling
Phone number: N/A
Opening hours: N/A