VDNKh landmark: Kazakhstan pavilion gets back its historical spire

VDNKh landmark: Kazakhstan pavilion gets back its historical spire
Climbing welders mounted the structure weighing about 1.5 tonnes at a height of 30 metres with the help of a tower crane.

One of the VDNKh landmarks, a spire crowned with a five-pointed star and decorated with a banner featuring floral patterns and ears of grain, has returned to the dome of Pavilion 11, Kazakhstan, Sergei Sobyanin said on his Twitter page.

We are restoring the distinctive and ornamental Kazakhstan pavilion at #VDNKh. Before the 1960s, its dome was decorated with a gilded spire. Then it was dismantled, and now we have brought it back. Come and see it. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

The building, recognised as a cultural site of federal importance, dates back to 1949-1954. It was meant to display economic and cultural achievements of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. Now experts are restoring its original architectural look.

According to Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov, mounting the restored spire is a significant stage of this difficult and painstaking work.

“Originally the spire was installed in 1954, but unfortunately it was soon dismantled. Thanks to the restorers’ efforts 50 years later, Muscovites can again admire the spire in its historical place, the restored dome of the pavilion,” he said.

Raising the spire weighing about 1.5 tonnes at a height of 30 metres was a difficult challenge. The structure was lifted with the help of a tower crane, and climbing welders did the mounting.

The nine-metre-high spire is an octagon. Its base and decorative elements are made of stainless steel. There is also a three-metre-high lightning rod.

The first step in restoring the spire was manufacturing its base at a steel plant. After that, restorers added the decorative elements. The work took several months according to the design documents.

While restoring the Kazakhstan pavilion, experts removed non-authentic elements, and cleaned and restored the elements of historical bas-reliefs discovered on the façade of the building. The restorers continue reproducing the statues of Kazakh poet Jambyl Jabayev and Hero of Socialist Labour Chiganak Bersiyev. Earlier, the restored statues of a collective-farm woman and a steel founder made by Khaz-Bulat Askar Sarydzha were mounted on the pavilion.


From 1937 until today

The wooden Kazakhstan pavilion was built at VDNKh in 1937. After World War II, it was decided to replace the pavilion with another building. In 1949, the design was developed by architects Petrov and Kupriyanov from the AcademProject design bureau with Kazakh architect Toleu Basenov. The new building was completed in 1954.

At the beginning of 1964, the pavilion housed the Metallurgy display, and in 1966-1967, it was reconstructed based on the design of architect Kobetsky and engineer Anisko. The building became taller due to an extension. In the 1990s, it was the site of cafes, shops and offices. Reconstruction work began in August 2017.