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Bizarre Buildings Around the World: Wooden Gagster House (Archangelsk, Russia)

Updated on June 1, 2011

I have often marveled at architecture and admired how it can be combined with engineering to achieve works of art on a grand scale. Standing at the foot of a 500 ft. building is a tad different than browsing around your local art gallery, when you are in the presence of a great work of art in the classical sense it can be all consuming but for me there is just something different when you feel the smallness of yourself as compared to one of these massive structures that truly are art as well.

This building is called the Wooden Gagster House located in (Archangelsk, Russia). This house is considered the world’s largest wooden house. When you look upon it seems to dominate the skyline above the city. It is constructed of thirteen different floors and about one hundred and forty feet high. If you want a comparison then the closest would be about the half the size of the famous tower in London.

The house now is currently in disrepair and the city that it sits in has a small grudge against it. They believe it is an eyesore and is up for demolition in the coming months or years depending on what they would like to do.

The house also has an eerie reputation from when it was first built. The house originally started to be built in the early nineteen ninety’s by a convict that had just moved to the area. He originally started the house and had it planned for only a couple of stories to be built. The house was just going to be a couple of stories larger than the closet neighbor. He was not trying to be the Guinness record holder it just kind of turned out that way according to Sutyagin the builder of the house.

He decided after taking multiple trips abroad that there were additional things that he would like to do to his home. The roof for example was one portion he was not totally happy with. So he started to expand and change it so he could use the roof line more effectively. This as you can see by the pictures, the roof turned out to be a little abnormal.

"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."

In additional to the house he made other buildings on the property all the same way. There is a isolated bath house on the northwest along with servants quarters on the south side. The property extends for many acres all around. But alas his dream of the perfect architectural design he had ever built was not to be fulfilled in early 1998 four years after he started building he was sent to prison for money fraud. He went as a million and the debtors he held stole his money and his goods. So when he got out there was nothing left so he abandoned the property so as it sits today.

It is still one of the great architectural feats ever created in a home so humble. Today he still takes tourist on tours of the amazingly criss cross platforms that circulate the house. So if you are ever in the area check it out I’m sure you will be as truly amazed as I am on the simplicity yet complicated structure that makes up the Wooden Gagster House.


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  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    What a fascinating hub and very strange, if eye-catching, house. The story of the convict building this kind of reminds me of the Sara Winchester story and the weird house that she kept adding bits onto over the years. A really enjoyable hub. Loved it.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

    Very interesting and informative hub about a most unusual building.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

    Hi, fascinating building, I would love to have seen it if it had been finished! It would have been huge!

  • shanaya profile image

    shanaya 6 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

    Dear Sir Kad! I just Love your HUB. The way you write and Describe Things its just Outstanding.:)

    Keep up the good work:)



  • RedElf profile image

    RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

    Fascinating subject. Too bad he couldn't finish his magnum opus - who knows how it would have turned out :D:D