The Russian Ministry of Agriculture sports a particularly interesting building in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan in the Russian federation, fronted by a massive wrought-iron tree!
Built for the Ministry of Agriculture by Russian construction firm Antica, the building’s style gives a nod to the opulent era of Imperial Russian architecture, and the end result (standing opposite of the Kazan Kremlin, itself stunning building by all accounts) is an impressive, imposing and beautiful structure to behold.
The main focal point of the building is without a doubt the magnificent, giant (20 meter high) wrought-iron Tree, intended to symbolize fertility and prosperity, and taking up the central part of the building.
Antica gives some more background into the design choices and implementation on their own site:
“The design idea of the building of the Ministry was to create harmonious look of the building with existing buildings and views of Kazan Kremlin. Kazan Kremlin is the historical gem of Kazan. In our opinion the best solution for the location at the foot of the Kremlin is to use the architecture in the style of the past ages. That is why we have decided to design the building in the classicism style – in the spirit of Belle Epoque, which was the leading style in the second half of the XIX century – the golden age of the architecture. In order to eliminate the competition between the building and Kazan Kremlin, it was decided to limit the height to four storeys and place it lengthway. The building is integrated into the slope of 15 meter hill and exceeds its height only by one storey. These solutions provided maximum lowering of the building in comparison to Kremlin hill.
The idea of the building itself is to create the Building of the Ministry that would look extremely monumental. That is why in the development of the facades we used original architectural orders (Corinthian, Ionic, Dorian), and strict compliance to the tractate of Viniola about five orders in the architecture.
The center of the composition of the building of the Ministry is the Tree (height-20 meters) implemented into the deep arch. This tree symbolizes fertility and prosperity. Agriculture is the industry of cultivating live nature. Big tree inserted into large strict arch symbolizes the beauty of the nature which is cultivated by humans. The second important detail of the building is its central cupola. It is made in a form of spiral twisted sphere with openings. The cupola has classical silhouette due to the fact that it is a part of the classical building, but at the same time the openings and the spiral structure add a hint of the eastern architecture.
Kazan is the city where eastern culture meets western culture. And that is why in our project we wanted to create the harmonious mix of these two cultures in our project.
In accordance to the design and architectural concept, the building has three separate entrances:
– for the staff of Ministry
– for the staff of Agricultural Sector
– for the administration of the Ministry.
Central part of the building features halls and exedras, right and left parts are two autonomous parts of the building connected to each other by corridors. Consequently, one wing (first three levels) belongs to Agricultural Sector, and the second wing belongs to the staff of the Ministry. That is why the facade on Fedoseevskaya st. has two main entrances. The entry for the administration of the Ministry is located on level 4 from the side of Nagornaya st, and all this level belongs to the administration of the Ministry.
The design was affected by the fact that the building hits the slope of the hill with its southern side. This have caused the deficiency of the insulated area. In order to resolve this issue, we have arranged three atriums in the roofing for the illumination of hall, office and parking areas. Due to the close location of the ground waters we did not create the basement floor, but the parking was created on the ground floor of the building.”
Related Link: Ministry of Agriculture Kazan Iron Tree Building