image via Inhabitat
Built in the northern Russian city of Archangelsk, this enormous wooden tower was originally going to be a simple two-storey house. For one reason or another, over the course of 15 years owner Nikolai Sutyagin continued to add level after level until it reached a height 144 feet. In 2008 authorities finally stepped in -– he had no building permit for a structure like this -– and declared it needed to be removed as a fire hazard.
The wild structure of this building is very compelling, the shapes all seem familiar, but are extended to absurd dimensions. And the way that the pieces aren’t perfectly finished -- the way that the central tower bends perilously one way and then the other, for example – certainly emphasizes the impression that not all is well in such a place.
And why not have the same wildness on the interior of the building as well? Not just that level one joins to level two joins to level three, but a three dimensional labyrinth. In a typical “dungeon” going deeper means moving to the next stage of the adventure; perhaps in this building the levels are not layered one on top of the other, but one within another like a Matryoshka doll.
As to why someone would build something like this, at the end of the Atlas Obscura entry there is a mention that he may have built it for his betrothed. Personally, I was taken with the idea that it wasn’t built by anyone per se, but that the house itself was somehow responsible. Even better, put those two ideas together – someone built a magical house for their beloved so that they can always have a house around them, one that can repair itself and perhaps grow to accommodate their needs; but something is wrong and from a simple cottage it grew into this rambling tower. Perhaps, deep inside, that original cottage is still there?