In the city of Arkhangelsk, Russia, we find the ruins of the world’s tallest-ever wooden building, dating to the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries. In 1992 the work, originally intended as a 2-storey house created by Nikolai Sutyagin, began to take shape. Sutyagin worked in the timber business in Arkhangelsk, and his immense wealth led to his dealings with the Russian mafia. As a result, Sutyagin has gained a reputation as a gangster. He served time in prison, with some versions of events maintaining his conviction was for breach of building permits for his 2-storey structure, however it’s not clear whether the building was finished before or after he was released.
The biggest wooden building
Sutyagin wanted his home to stand out, and despite buildings of over 2-storeys being banned in Arkhangelsk, he continued to add more floors with the excuse that the house looked incomplete. In the end he created an eccentric log mansion featuring 13 floors, with a dome topping off the 44-metre elevation.
Once freed from prison, Sutyagin and his wife lived a frugal existence on the ground floor (his wealth having been wrested from him while in jail). Amongst rotten wooden boards, he invited visitors to survey his ruined palace, the tower having long-since collapsed.
Many neighbours think it extravagant and amusing, while others are fearful of the fire danger and negative effect the ruins bring to the neighbourhood. However the structure still stands, swaying to and fro in the wind, and can be visited in Arkhangelsk, in the European part of northern Russia.