Ural Federal University

While approaching the miraculous building with a column terrace decorating the central entrance, forcefully pushing the massive, wooden door open and
finding oneself in the spacious lobby with marble floors, one can’t help but feel
a sense of excitement. That probably is the natural way for a student to feel, entering the residential building of the University for the first time, although the building’s architect Aleksandr Taff never had anything like that in mind. The grandiose
“palace” in late neoclassic style, forming a dazzling assembly frame of Parizhskoy
Kommuny Square along with the Opera Theatre, conceived of it as the headquarters for the Sverdlovskugol (Sverdlovsk Coal) Trust. The erection of the Soviet
“office space” began in 1951 but was halted literally two years later. One
of the stories told as the reason for this was that the coal reserves found in Ural
were so measly that the trust figuratively burnt out.
Construction was renewed only after the facility was transferred to the Central
Ural National Economy Council. By that time, the famous resolution “On Excesses
in Architecture” had already been brought into light. Automatically, the facades
of the building became “boring” as well, not measuring up to the gables, bas-reliefs, and signs. However, what displeased the author most about the project
was the replacement of the light plaster with dark: “The building will seem dark
grey, rigid, and gloomy instead of coming across as light, colourful, and joyous,”
the architect said. But all in vane...
In 1964, the National Economy Council was dissolved. The State University
moved into the building and, following that, the professors and students took
a long time to recover from the regional committee’s generosity.

Photo: bav-eot.livejournal.com
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