‘Living, working, building for people’: first part of book about construction projects of TAIF Group published

The limited edition of the two-volume “Civil Engineering of TAIF Group of Companies” promises to become a bibliographic rarity. The work on the book has been carried out since 2014. Part one.

‘Living, working, building for people’: first part of book about construction projects of TAIF Group published
Photo: Roman Khasaev/realnoevremya.ru

“We have conceived a series of two books, which contain the most significant objects for the republic and the country erected by TAIF Group. The first book, consisting of two volumes, is entirely devoted to civil engineering. The second one is also in two volumes, now under development. It will feature industrial construction facilities," Albert Shigabutdinov, the director general of TAIF JSC, reports in the preface to the publication. How large the contribution of the Group of Companies to the construction industry of Tatarstan and Russia is and why the first two-volume book has already received the unofficial name “Encyclopedia of Construction” — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Life is good where it is good to live!

The title of one of the chapters of the two-volume book devoted to the civil construction of TAIF Group of Companies perfectly characterises the Group's desire to create the most comfortable conditions for the life of Tatarstan citizens. Comfortable in every sense: to make it convenient to work, modern administrative and office centres are being built, taking into account all current world trends, so that one can relax after a hard day, beautiful public spaces, sports and socio-cultural facilities are being created, and people live in comfortable apartments.

More than 10 billion US dollars has been invested by TAIF JSC and the companies included in the Group in the implementation of social projects that are not related to production activities over the years of its activity. Over 7 billion dollars — on a gratuitous basis — that is, as a gift to all Tatarstan citizens, in order to live well and comfortably in the republic.

Albert Shigabutdinov: “TAIF Group has always seen its task in creating a comfortable urban environment, in improving the lives of all citizens.” Photo: Roman Khasaev/realnoevremya.ru

“TAIF Group has never worked just for business. All its projects were closely connected with the fate of workers — tens of thousands of Tatarstan citizens working at enterprises. Therefore, the leadership of TAIF Group has always consciously borne social responsibility. Even at the initial stage of the company's work, it was decided that a significant part of the profits would always be directed to social support for the families of employees, to create comfortable living and recreation conditions, to provide education and maintain the health of their children. It's been like this all these years. But, in addition to the targeted support of employees, TAIF Group saw its task in creating a comfortable urban environment, in improving the lives of all citizens," Albert Shigabutdinov stressed more than once. And the powerful company headed by him and its many thousands of employees confirm the correctness of their leader's words with real deeds.

Volume One: administrative buildings and housing

It is at the workplace and in a cozy apartment, surrounded by family, that each of us spends the most time.

Number of civilian facilities built by TAIF Group reaches hundreds over the years of its activities or with its participation. Photo: Roman Khasaev/realnoevremya.ru

It is no coincidence that in his introductory word, anticipating the first volume of the publication on civil construction of TAIF, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov put these two areas of the Group's construction activities in one row: “Along with a great contribution to the economy, the group supports another important area — civil construction. For 30 years of work, TAIF Group has built office and administrative buildings in the capital of Tatarstan, built residential complexes in Kazan and Nizhnekamsk within the framework of programmes for the elimination of dilapidated housing and social mortgages," he stressed.

TAIF Group was a pioneer in the construction of administrative buildings of a new generation in Tatarstan. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for realnoevremya.ru

Business management is not an easy task. Especially if we are talking about a global business, and the supply of TAIF Group's products covers almost the whole world. Meetings with partners, negotiations, organisation of meetings and discussion of important issues via videoconference. The head office of the company is its face, its “business card”. And not only of the company itself, but also the republic it represents. TAIF became a pioneer in the development of new approaches and in the construction of administrative buildings in the republic, embodying the boldest and brightest ideas.

When erecting new objects, TAIF Group has always done everything to harmoniously fit them into the existing architectural landscape. Photo: Arseny Favstritsky/realnoevremya.ru

At the beginning of the journey, the company changed several headquarters: it moved from Kirova Street to Gvardeyskaya and Komleva (now Mushtari), but it was obvious that it needed its own building that would fully meet the scale of its activities and the requirements of the time. In 2001, the construction of a complex with a total area of 5,7 thousand square metres began on a quiet historical street in the centre of the capital of Tatarstan. It was a difficult task to locate a large administrative building with minimal impact on the historical development. Therefore, a two-storey volume similar to the surrounding architectural environment was moved to the red line, and the main building grew in the depth of the site. In 2002, the facility, built according to a project of famous architect Vladimir Galuzo, officially speaking, was put into operation. And the growing company was thinking about expanding the workspace. In 2008, the construction of a lean-to began, almost twice the area of the first block. And it was a breakthrough in office construction on the territory of the republic: the building is a kind of ship made of glass and metal, it was conceived to be spacious and, at the same time, visually light and transparent. Architects from Moscow Dmitry Velichkin and Nikolay Golovanov were attracted to the work on the project.

Rapidly growing company needed more space, and the high-tech glass “ship” grew up next to the first building. Photo: Roman Khasaev/realnoevremya.ru

In 2013, at the intersection of Pushkin and Basseynaya Streets, the construction of another office centre with an area of 4,5 thousand square metres began, for the rapidly growing company. Recognisable externally, it continued the architectural solution implemented in the administrative and office buildings at 27 Shchapova Street, while the centre was harmoniously integrated into the urban design (TAIF discussed the project several times with the architectural community of Kazan) and incorporated all the latest technical and technological solutions, including in terms of energy saving. “This building should be presented at the energy efficiency exhibition. We don't have such an office anymore. It is necessary to hold a seminar for designers, invite the Kazan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering," the president of the Republic of Tatarstan, who visited the new TAIF office, stated.

The pinnacle of the construction of modern business complexes was the ultramodern multifunctional business centre at Pushkina Street, 80. It was commissioned in August 2021. Conceived by TAIF for the republic as a place capable of hosting and ensuring the holding of events of the highest world level, the business centre has also become a modern office complex, in which all conditions are created for the effective daily work of the management and employees of both companies belonging to TAIF Group and tenants of space. Fifty thousand high-tech square metres, executed in high-tech style, are neatly inscribed both in the surrounding terrain and in the surrounding architectural landscape.

Ultramodern business centre on Pushkina Street, 80, is capable of hosting events of the highest level. Photo: Roman Khasaev/realnoevremya.ru

“The building in which one works should correspond to the declared projects and ideas, should help to create new and inspire for more ambitious tasks," Deputy Director General of TAIF JSC for Production and Commercial Activities — First Deputy Rustem Sulteev expressed confidence. Then he added: “TAIF boldly implements the brightest ideas, uses the most advanced technologies and modern materials, consistently receiving high results and quality of work.” By the way, the work on the book dedicated to the TAIF business centre is also currently in the active phase of preparation.

Rustem Sulteev: “The building in which one works should inspire them to grand challenges.” Photo: Arseny Favstritsky/realnoevremya.ru

In the capital of the republic, with the participation of TAIF Group of Companies, a new building of the Traffic Police of the Republic of Tatarstan was also built, where the inspection moved from an old and small structure and where it now accepts car owners many times faster and in comfortable conditions. The ten-storey building with a total area of over 20 thousand square metres, by the way, is the first structure in Kazan with suspended facades made of granite, was commissioned in 2005. And the head office of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Tatarstan, built by the holding organisation, an arc-shaped 10-storey main building with low-rise wings spread over two parallel streets, became one of the main architectural accents in the centre of Kazan. They also built administrative buildings on Zinina Street, multi-level parking, and underground parking.

Head office of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Tatarstan, built by the subsidiary of TAIF JSC, has become one of the architectural accents of Kazan. Photo: courtesy of TAIF-ST JSC press service for realnoevremya.ru

“Much of what TAIF Group does — building residential buildings or industrial complexes, setting up the production of new products or engaged in reconstruction — it does among the first, not only in the republic, but often in the country," the first president of the republic, state adviser of Tatarstan, Hero of Labour of Russia, Mintimer Shaimiev, emphasises in the book.

Administrative building of the Traffic Police of the Republic of Tatarstan, erected by TAIF-ST, a subsidiary of TAIF JSC. Photo: courtesy of TAIF-ST JSC press service for realnoevremya.ru

In the construction of housing in Tatarstan and for Tatarstan residents, the role of TAIF is also very great: “In the mid-1990s and early 2000s, TAIF, together with all builders of the republic, played a significant role in preserving the construction complex of Tatarstan," recalls Albert Shigabutdinov.

“With the participation of TAIF, Tatarstan implemented an unprecedented presidential programme for the elimination of dilapidated housing for the post-perestroika Russia. “The decision to end this 'problem of the century' in such a difficult, perestroika, economically unstable time from the outside probably seemed not so much strange as unreal," recalls the first President of Tatarstan, State Adviser of the Republic of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev. At the very beginning of this large-scale campaign, the diversified holding company took over the function of supplying material resources.

1998. Mintimer Shaimiev at a building built by TAIF in Azino-1 microdistrict, Kazan. Photo: Mikhail Kozlovsky/realnoevremya.ru

“During this difficult period, TAIF buys huge batches of metal, reinforced concrete, cement and other building materials for the State Housing Fund. This allowed us to launch the programme. Certainly, the management of TAIF company understood that in material terms it lost more than it gained. Any Western company would not have lifted a finger in this scenario, but in our case, the image of the republic was at stake on the eve of the celebration of the millennium of Kazan, the opportunity to support the residents of the city not with words, but with deeds," Talgat Abdullin, the former executive director of the State Housing Fund under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, says about that time.

Taking a huge loan, the group organised the supply of more than 160 thousand tonnes of cement, over 130 thousand tonnes of metal, pipes, equipment, and actually launched the liquidation of dilapidated housing stock in Tatarstan — a project that was later scaled to the whole country. In 1997, Meta-TAIF, a subsidiary of the Group, commissioned two 12-storey residential apartment buildings in Azino-1. People moved from emergency housing to new, well-maintained apartments. A year later, two more houses were commissioned. Then houses were built on Yamasheva and Chistopolskaya Streets.

New microdistrict built under the social mortgage programme in Nizhnekamsk. Photo: Roman Khasaev/realnoevremya.ru

“Tatarstan occupies a leading position in Russia in terms of the scale of its social programmes, and TAIF always participates in them. They made a significant contribution to the implementation of the Programme for the elimination of dilapidated housing, supported and continued to support the republic in the implementation of the programmes 'Social Mortgage', 'Belekech' and other equally important and in demand," Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services of the Russian Federation Irek Fayzullin noted the merits of TAIF in the development of the construction industry.

Laying the foundation stone of the new building of Salavat Kupere residential comple. Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for realnoevremya.ru

TAIF Group was awarded the “Russian Creators” award for outstanding contribution to the development of the country's construction industry in 2004.

“Building housing or other buildings used for permanent residence of people is not the same as building factories. Civil engineering has many of its own features. After all, it is necessary to think over in detail both the functions of the room and its layout, as well as pay special attention to the form of construction and the type of facades, since these buildings are not only of practical use, but should also have a positive aesthetic effect on people, please them. At the same time, everything in the building should be convenient and thoughtful — common areas, staircases, apartments, and offices. Every person who is here should receive comfortable living and working conditions. This is our task, and we solve it," Rustem Sulteev emphasises.

Rustem Sulteev: “Civil engineering has many of its own features.” Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for realnoevremya.ru

TAIF's projects are closely connected with the destinies of tens of thousands of Tatarstan citizens working at the Group's enterprises. The management of the holding has always set itself large-scale social tasks aimed at improving the living conditions of employees and residents of Tatarstan.

“After the programme of liquidation of dilapidated housing was completed in 2004, another programme was immediately launched — social mortgages. Since the key direction of TAIF Group's social policy is to improve the living conditions of employees of enterprises, the diversified holding annually made voluntary contributions to the implementation of this programme. Besides, the management of TAIF Group, together with the management of enterprises, decided to allocate their employees a target loan of up to 15 years to pay the initial payment for the purchase of housing, while compensating for part of the interest on this loan," Guzelia Safina, the chief adviser to the director general of TAIF JSC for economics and finance, recalled.

Guzelia Safina: “The key direction of TAIF Group's social policy is work to improve the living conditions of employees of enterprises.” Photo: courtesy of TAIF JSC press service for realnoevremya.ru

For example, TAIF-ST company built a house of superior comfort on Patrisa Lumumba Street in Kazan. Later, TAIF built the Kristall residential complex. Factory houses were built for Kazanorgsintez employees on Serova and Vosstaniya streets, houses in the new residential complex Salavat Kupere, entire microdistricts were created in Nizhnekamsk, where employees and specialists of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, TAIF-NK and TGC-16 productions settled.

Subsidiaries of TAIF JSC have built dozens of apartment buildings at the expense and with the participation of the Group. Photo: Arseny Favstritsky/realnoevremya.ru

In total, during the period 2005-2021, the employees of TAIF Group in Kazan and Nizhnekamsk received 6,812 apartments (over 415 thousand square metres) under the programmes of social mortgage, the development of industrial complexes and the additional programme for the sale of housing together with Avers bank.

About the contribution of TAIF Group to the construction of socially significant objects, as well as about what the Group has done to preserve the historical and architectural heritage of the republic — in the continuation of the article.

Sponsored. TAIF JSC

Arseny Favstritsky

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