Federal subject of Russia
Area: 3.083.523 km2
Minimal officially recorded temperature -71.2°C
The architecture of any place is always in the tight relation with the geography and climate. These two factors give the main direction to the development of the shapes, palette and all the other specifics of architecture together with religion and politics. Yakutia is the coldest inhabited place in the world. Washed by the Arctic Ocean, covered by the ice during 9-10 months of year this federal subject of Russia with the area of 3,083,523 square kilometers is even larger than Argentina.
The architecture in the region has an influence of radically different sources, starting from different indigenous populations’ cultural specifics and finishing with soviet style. There are not many new buildings in this part of the world and mostly they are not different from the buildings designed in soviet period. Some of them, mostly located in the capital Yakutsk, trying to insert some new waves of style even look a bit ridiculous.
Nevertheless, the diamond capital of Russia – Mirny, part of Yakutia, is one of the unique towns with its city planning. The town has been developing since 1950s around the diamond mine, some of the buildings are located almost at the edge of the huge void in the earth. The city panorama looks quite surrealistic. Nowadays, Russian company owns the natural resources of the mine producing 99% of diamonds in Russia and more than a quarter in the world.
The cause for dying of local cities is also the extremely tough climate here. One of such victims is Kadikchan, which has been built during the World War II and developed by the help of the coal-mine. It has been officially announced, that the town is depopulated in 2010. The abandoned buildings slowly lose their bright tones, specific for the local architecture.
The climate rules in this part of the world and controls most of the processes as well. Though, despite the destruction caused by the lowest temperatures, the nature creates its own monuments. Such is the Lena’s stone forest formed with pillars of 220m height. It’s included into UNESCO world heritage list. Here the site contains a wealth of fossil remains of numerous species, some of them even unique.
The human beings create the artificial living environment during the thousands of years, developing and modifying it step by step. They utilize and cover the unbelievably weird areas of the earth. Here, in order to preserve the habitat environment, the architecture must be in absolute accordance with the functional and visual requirements.
Author: Tata Alkhazashvili