Tomsk Polytechnic University, the 2nd building, 2013
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev
This TPU building (the Chemical building) is the second one in the modern numbering of TPU buildings. It was also built the second – soon after the construction of the Main building. However, between the Main and the second buildings there is another one – the first building, named the Mining building. It is located on the intersection of the Kirova Prospect and the Sovetskaya Street. It is so despite the fact that the Mining building was constructed two years later than the Chemical one. The main building thus has no number.
How the Department of Chemistry was mixed
The Chemical Department in the Tomsk Institute of Technology (this is the historical name of the TPU) was established by the leading geologist Vladimir Obruchev. At that time he was already working at the TIT – he contributed to the design of the Mining Building, which was constructed in 1905, two years later after the Chemical Building. Obruchev directed the arrangement of curriculums, field works and laboratory practicums. Later on, he became the first dean of the TIT Chemical Department.
Together with the first TIT principal Efim Zubashev, Obruchev in the first years after department’s creation was able to lure known scientists Nikolay Kizhner and Nikolay Chizhevsky to work at the university.
The Chemical Building was designed by the architect Robert Marfeld; he also designed the Main and the third buildings.
It is one of the biggest buildings of the ensemble. The floor space of the building totals to 4200 meters squared – it is larger than half the football field Trud. The ceiling height equals to 4 meters.
The Chem-building facades faced two streets – the Sadovaya and the Bulvarnaya Streets (nowadays they are called the Lenina and the Kirova Prospekts respectively). It was designed to be T-shaped with attached wings at the sides. Initially these wings were residential (for professors and lecturers). The building has a basement for laboratories and other office premises.
The second TPU building in the beginning of XX century
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
The second building could get off the ground
The place for the construction of the Chemical building was ill chosen. The thing is, it was located almost on the precipice (nowadays it is the slope to the roadway of the Lenina Prospekt) and its brink was really close to the edge of the building. Any rain shower threatened to erode the ground and eventually to damage the foundation and the whole building.
It was necessary to take an immediate action and to shore the foundation. Vladimir Obruchev suggested making a mound along the façade and strengthening it with trees. This is how there appeared a sidewalk one may still see.
In 1903 the building become fully operational. However, chemical engineers had already been trained since 1901; two years later, they moved to their own building.
The Chemical Department nowadays
trains experts in metallurgical engineering, organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry. Since its creation, there has been trained more than 15000 engineers in different fields of chemical engineering. Now the department has 810 full-time students and 835 distant students.
Memorial of glory
Next to the second academic building there is a monument in honor of the polytechnics fallen during the Great Patriotic War. Every year here come veterans and university workers to honor memory of the fallen heroes. The decision to establish the monument was made in 1965, the 20-th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War victory. That year there erected a stone with a tablet. It announced that at the place the monument would be established.
There was announced a competition for designing the monument; an artist G. N. Zavyalov and architects L.K. Akulov and R. A. Batyrev were the winners and the unveiling took place on 9 May 1970.