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Delight: changeful as a Ruskinian Church, wild as the strangest gothick fantasy from Hollywood, this extraordinarily exuberant timber building towers over the grim texture of Archangel.

This very strange erection is in the White Sea port city of Archangel, whacked up in a moment of post-Gorbachevian ebullience. In some ways, it sums up the present state of Russia: wonderfully ambitious, but lacking common sense. Thank goodness for such daring. The whole twelve-storey structure is made of wood and is intended to be flats with shops at the base. Finnish correspondent, Jan Soderlund, says that ownership. builder and architect cannot be found (though it has been developed privately). Apparently, the chief of the local fire-brigade (clearly quite rightly in today's cultural climate) has said that the upper floors must not be inhabited.
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Author:Miles, Henry
Publication:The Architectural Review
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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