Ruined Russian gangster's towering log cabin

This record-breaking, 13-storey log cabin was hand-built by a ruined Russian gangster as a summer place in Arkhangelsk. The towering fire-hazard is all that remains from his life of crime, and the city is threatening to tear it down on the basis that it threatens to take the whole suburb with it if it goes up in smoke.

While in prison, he claims his rivals destroyed his equipment, stole his money and threw his five cars into the Dvina river – a similar fate to that which befell many of Russia's rich in the chaotic years of the 1990s.

"When I went to prison I was a millionaire," he said. "Now I'm penniless." Sutyagin, 60, lives in four poorly heated rooms at the bottom of his wooden skyscraper with his 32-year-old wife Lena.

What is left of his fantasy is slowly decaying around him. Even so, it remains a remarkable architectural feat – especially given the fact that Sutyagin built much of it himself – that defies easy description.

A whimsical jumble of planking, from a distance it bears a resemblance to a Japanese pagoda, but draw closer and it seems more like a mix between a Brobdignagian tree house and the lair of a wicked fairytale character.


(via Neatorama)

Update: Jeff sez, "This reminded me of Olympia bank robber Scott Scurlock who had built a treehouse with his ill-gotten funds." (gallery of treehouses)