nikolai sutyagin

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The World’s Tallest Wooden House

The Sutyagin House was a wooden house in Arkhangelsk, Russia.

The 13-story residence of crime lord Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin was reported to be the world’s, or at least Russia’s, tallest wooden house. Constructed by Mr. Sutyagin and his family over 15 years (starting in 1992), without formal plans or a building permit, the structure deteriorated while Mr. Sutyagin spent a number of years in prison for racketeering.  In 2008 it was condemned as a fire hazard and completely torn down by 2009.

This bizarre 13 floor building belonged to a Russian gangster, Nikolai Sutyagin, who went to prison on racketeering charges in 1998 before he could complete his dream home. When he was released, he was penniless and lived for several years in a few poorly heated rooms at the bottom of his crumbling wooden mansion with his wife. On how the design turned out like it did, Nikolai Sutyagin says, “First I added three floors but then the house looked ungainly, like a mushroom,” he said. “So I added another and it still didn’t look right so I kept going. What you see today is a happy accident.” Unfortunately, you can no longer see the house today as it has been demolished. Made entirely of logs and planks of wood without using a single nail (an old Russian building technique), neighbours complained it was a fire hazard and after being under continued threat of demolition from city authorities, it was finally torn down in 2009.