This is how Yakutsk is described by people who, for the most part, visit it for the first time. And the thing is that houses have to be built on piles in places where not ordinary earth lies underfoot, but permafrost.
Permanently frozen soil (of course, it would be better to write cryolithic zone, because there is nothing permanent under the sun) was formed thousands of years ago. In Yakutia, it occupies almost all of its territory. Also here in the Vilyui River basin lies its deepest limit — 1,370 meters.
Digging wells is useless in Yakutia. Even in summer, during the period of maximum soil defrosting, in August, you can dig a maximum of two meters with an ordinary shovel, after which you stumble into frozen soil. Therefore, root cellars and ice houses are very popular here. A man-made ice rooms (in Yakut buluus) is such basements, dug to a depth of three, four meters and having several rows of doors for better thermal insulation and covered with a large layer of earth, also for thermal insulation. In buluus, in winter and in summer, the temperature is stable at -8, -10 degrees Celsius, which is very convenient for storing meat and water.
Why are houses built on stilts here? Previously, large buildings were not built in the North, but with the development of Siberia during the Soviet regime, the time has come for major construction projects. It was then that the authorities wondered how to ensure that the permafrost layer did not melt under the houses. After all, the fact is that if a large building is erected on an ordinary foundation, as is done everywhere, then the permafrost, which is under the building, will melt with time, becoming a marsh, which will not have the best effect on the foundation, walls and people. It was then that one prominent hydraulic engineer, former prisoner of the Gulag, Mikhail Kim, who stayed in to live and work in Yakutia after the time of hard-labor camp, suggested a brilliant and simple idea - to build houses on stilts
Thanks to piles, the house itself does not touch the ground, but, as it were, stands on its feet, thereby not melting the permafrost. For this idea, Mikhail Kim was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1966, this was one of the main awards in the Soviet Union, that year only 11 people received it in the field of technology. Since then, houses in all the northern regions of the Soviet Union, and then Russia, have been built on pile foundations.