Nikolay Nikitin: biography, creativity, career, personal life

Childhood and youth

The Nikitin family has long lived in the Siberian city of Tobolsk in the Tyumen region. The father of the future architect Vasily Vasilyevich Nikitin was a man active and enterprising: in the early 1900s he went to Chita, where he worked for several years as a typesetter in a printing house; in 1905 he participated in the revolutionary movement, was arrested and sent back to Tobolsk. Together with him arrived his young wife Olga Nikolaevna Nikitina (Borozdina). Vasily Vasilyevich found a job in another specialty: became a secretary and a writer in the Tobolsk Governorate Court. On December 2 (15 in old style), 1907 Nikitinykh had a son Nikolay, and two years old later, Valentina’s daughter came to light.

But the head of the family did not sit in place: in 1911, together with the whole family, he moved to the town of Ishim and opened the private law practice. Olga Nikolaevna, who used to work as a retoucher and helped her father – photographer, opened her own photo studio. In addition, she paid attention to children, engaged in grammar, reading, arithmetic and drawing with them, so when 8-year-old Kolya came to attend the parochial school in 1915, he was already able to fluency. read and write. Two years later, the boy graduated with honors from two classes of that school, and he was immediately admitted to the men’s gymnasium. But Nikolay studied in it a short time — finished only 1st grade: the prosperous life of the family was broken by the civil war. The Reds were advancing, and in autumn 1919 together with Kolchak Nikitina’s units left for the city of Novo-Nikolayevsk (Novosibirsk).

Hard times have come: work couldn’t be found, it was necessary to live in raw cellars of a beggar and the criminal area “nakhalovka”. Nikolay had to take on economic hassles: to drag water from the river, to stab wood, and even to cook molasses on the stove, which he also folded from old brick. The youngster was strongly complicated and very strong physically – could, for example, swim over Ob. But one day misfortune happened to him: in the summer of 1924, Nicholas was picking berries in a taiga, and he was bitten by a viper, on which he stepped barefoot. For six months, he was in hospital, it was even about amputating his leg, but then everything was done. Another six months Nikitin moved on crutches, then learned to walk on his own, but the limp remained for life.

Secondary and higher education

In Novo-Nikolayevsk Nikitin graduated with honors from Timiryazev Sovschool №12. His favorite subject was mathematics, and he wanted to enter a university on mehmat. However, when he came to enter Tomsk at the Siberian Institute of Technology named after Dzerzhinsky, free places were only at the Faculty of Engineering and Construction, whose student in 1925 and became Nikolay Nikitin. He studied in the architectural department, and here he used the drawing skills he gained as a child. It was here, under the leadership of the outstanding civil engineer, professor Nikolay Ivanovich Molotylov, the student Nikolay Nikitin first became interested, and then literally “fell ill” with reinforced concrete constructions, the design of buildings and structures made of this material.$ Talent and infatuation of the young man did not go unnoticed: he was appointed head of the design bureau, cooperating with Kuznetsk Iron and Steel Works and developing for him Method of calculation of reinforced concrete typical structures.

Career and creativity

In 1930 Nikolay Vasilyevich received a diploma from the Siberian Institute of Technology (now Tomsk Polytechnic University) about higher education and went to Novosibirsk, where Nikitin designed city buildings as an architect and then participated with Moscow architects in the construction of the Novosibirsk city station, made amendments and improvements to the project, in particular – developed arched reinforced concrete floors, on which it will later become famous specialist.


the same period Yuri Kondratyuk (Alexander Ignatievich Shargei) lived and worked in Novosibirsk, an outstanding engineer, $ builder, as well as author of the calculation of the optimal trajectory of space flight to the moon. Nikitin and Kondratyuk met and became real friends and like-minded people. In 1932 Kondratyuk applied for a competition of wind farm projects in Crimea, on Mount Ai-Petri, and invited Nikitin to cooperate. Nikitin developed a unique reinforced concrete structure, resembling a plane with two motors, standing on the wing: it is a 150-meter rotating under the influence of the wind pole on which reinforced wind wheels each with a diameter of 80 meters. Such a power plant would be able to provide electricity to a large part of the Crimean peninsula. Kondratyuk and Nikitin’s project won the competition, construction began, but unfortunately was not finished due to political reasons. However, those calculations which Nikolay Nikolaevich made on this building, later came in handy to him during the construction of Ostankino TV tower: erection of high-rise reinforced concrete structures by the method sliding formwork, influence of wind load, etc.

In 1937 Nikolai Vasilyevich was invited to Moscow to work in project workshop — was preparing a grand project of construction of the Palace of Soviets on the site of the destroyed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Since the building was supposed to be of impressive height — 420 meters with a statue of Lenin upstairs, Nikitin, as a specialist in high-rise reinforced concrete structures and wind load on them, performed calculations foundation and frame. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, construction was stopped, and then closed at all.

Great Patriotic War

Sick foot did not allow Nikolay Nikitin to leave to the front. And he worked with a workaholic obsession in Moscow: he developed projects for rapid erection of industrial and military plants and factories, which were evacuated en masse to the rear. From 1942 Nikitin started working in Moscow’s Promstroyproekt.

The war brought a lot of grief to all people, she and Nikitina did not go around. In 1942, his friend and associate Yuri Kondratyuk died at the front, who had left to fight as a volunteer. In the same year Nikitin’s father Vasily Vasilyevich (in 1989 rehabilitated) was repressed and shot.

Nikolay Vasilyevich


created his main architectural masterpieces after the war. In 1949, the construction of the building of the Moscow State University, one of the famous Moscow “high-rises”, began. The initial conditions were quite difficult: unstable soil, wind load, etc. Nikitin proposed such technical solutions that allowed the building to be built “for centuries” resistant to all sorts external and internal influences and loads.$

Another grand structure, in the construction of which Nikolay Nikitin took part, was the monument “Motherland Mother calling!” is a monument to the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad in Volgograd. Together with sculptor Evgeny Viktorovich Vuchetich Nikitin designed the most complex multi-chamber reinforced concrete structure, hollow inside, 85 meters high. At the time of construction in 1959, this statue was the tallest in the world.

During these years Nikitin worked as the Chief Designer of the Research Institute for Experimental Design. He was also engaged in such projects as Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, a skyscraper with a height of 4 kilometers for Japanese customers (not implemented), developed industrial types of residential new buildings, etc. In 1966 Nikolay Vasilyevich received the degree of Doctor of Technical Sciences.

Ostankino TV Tower

Ostankino is the main creation of design engineer Nikolai Vasilyevich Nikitin. He conceived the project in 1958, and on September 27, 1960, construction was started. This is an incredibly daring project of a 540-metre-high tower supported from inside by steel cables.

Disputes over the strength of the structure were fought for a long time, Nikitin was constantly plagued by claims, criticisms, objections and bans . But one way or another, on November 5, 1967 the building of the Ostankino TV tower was put into operation, and for more than half a century it serves people. Even a fire in August 2000 failed to destroy the structure created by Nikitin: the tower withstood a colossal temperature load, was repaired and again earned full strength. Chief designer Nikitin in 1970 was awarded the Lenin Prize, as well as the title of Honored Builder of the RSFSR.

Nervous overvoltage during the construction of the Ostankino tower did not pass without a trace for its creator. In addition, childhood leg trauma began to progress — on the site of old scarring formed an ulcer, which rapidly grew. Another year before completion of construction of Ostankino Tower Nikitin underwent surgery on amputation of a leg, but it was not possible to defeat the disease. On March 3, 1973 Nikolai Vasilyevich Nikitin did not start. He was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, next to the grave of the famous S.P. Korolyov. On the monument on the tomb of a prominent person is attached a sign with a concise inscription: “Engineer Nikolay Vasilyevich Nikitin”.

Personal life

Nikolay Nikolaevich Nikitin was married, his wife was named Ekaterina Mikhailovna, it is known that she suffered mental illness and often treated in psychiatric clinics, she died in 1978. Nikitinykh’s spouses had a son named after his father Nicholas. As a child he was a painful boy — neurodermitis and other skin diseases forced parents to carry their son to mud and hydrogen sulphur resorts in Pyatigorsk or Crimea. His father read a lot to Little Colais — the works of Stevenson, Jules Verne, wrote for him the magazine “Young Technician” and “Technique — Youth”. Nikitin Jr. studied perfectly, graduated with a silver medal from Landau School, then received higher education at the Moscow Energy Institute, defended the candidate and started working on the doctoral dissertation. But all this was interrupted by the death of Nikolay Nikolaevich at the age of 40 from cancer. His widow Natalia Evgenyevna and son Igor — grandson of Nikolai Vasilyevich Nikitin — reside in Moscow.

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