Wednesday, Jun. 09, 2010

Sutyagin House, Archangel, Russia

The city of Archangel in Russia's far northwest is an ice-encrusted port that is home to Arctic fishermen, lumberjacks and people like Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin, a Russian businessman and convicted arms racketeer. Sutyagin, once the wealthiest man in the city, started construction of his house in 1992 and kept at it for fifteen years. "First I added three floors but then the house looked ungainly, like a mushroom," explained Sutyagin to the Daily Telegraph in 2007. "So I added another and it still didn't look right so I kept going." His efforts yielded this 13-floor phantasmagorical pile, considered by some to be the tallest wooden structure in the world. It even housed a five-story bathhouse where Sutyagin entertained his associates and girlfriends. But Sutyagin's fortunes would dip following a four-year prison term and, in 2008, his home was condemned as a fire hazard by the city government. It was slowly demolished the following year.