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Batyrbek Narbaev, 76, was born in Zhetysu, Kaskelen district

Architect, winner of the Russian Federation State Prize in science and technology, member of the Union of Moscow Architects, academician of the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World

On Moscow education

I graduated from the Kazakh school in Almaty in 1958 and entered the construction school. Having worked for two years as a builder, I found out about the enrollment at Moscow, Leningrad, Tashkent, etc. universities. I was good at drawing and decided to be an architect despite having no idea what the job was like. Having passed the exams on drawing, Math, German and Russian, I was enrolled at Moscow Architectural Institute located in the center of Moscow.

Approaching Moscow, they announced: "We are approaching the capital, the hero city of Moscow." I d’ never been to Moscow and was dreaming of founding myself immediately at the Kremlin and Red Square. However, it was a fussy and noisy Kazansky railway station that greeted me. At that moment I had no idea that it was the masterpiece designed by Shchusev, an outstanding architect of the twentieth century.


The government issued a decree on the obligatory work of the first-year students, so I started working as a builder in a construction team. I was working in the afternoon and studying in the evening for two years. In general, I studied at the Moscow Architectural Institute for six years.

On moving to Moscow

I got married, we had a child. I was transferred to Almaty to work in design institutes. My wife, now she’s a candidate of historical sciences and the member of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, received an invitation to continue her studies in Moscow. We were reflecting for a while and finally decided to move to Moscow where the Russian Academy of Sciences gave us an apartment. That's how my architect career started.

On work

I worked as an architect and I did love my job. This responsible job was the business of my life and my professional skills have never been judged. My wife and I stayed at work till night when it was necessary. Our son is a real workaholic too, these days he’s a doctor of historical sciences.

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Having moved to Moscow in 1970, I worked at GIPROGOR, the leading town planning design institute, until 1979. There I designed plans of Dushanbe, Khorog, Kansk, Nazarovo and other cities. Since 1979 I was designing detailed planning projects for a number of central Moscow districts like Leninsky, Kirovsky and Dzerzhinsky at "Mosproyekt" OJSC.

Undoubtedly, my most significant urban development project is the construction of the South-West Administrative District, including residential areas of North and South Butovo

On difficulties

We had no problems at all. We got an apartment, had many acquaintances and no language barriers by that time.

On life

I met my future wife in Moscow. Her dormitory was in the center of Moscow, not far from Red Square. There was a community organizing reunions and assembling Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Ossetians, and Russians from Kazakhstan. There we met and got married in 1966. We’ve been married for more than 50 years.

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In the Soviet era dormitories and apartments, kindergarten and schools were free of charge. Besides, we could go abroad for free and visited Bulgaria, Norway.

People could prepare for exams, walk and have rest at Kremlin for free

On favorite places

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Moscow is a magnificent multinational city. I really love Red Square, it’s the most beautiful place ever with its own Russian national urban planning. I’ve visited many countries, yet I haven’t met such beauty anywhere yet. We used to walk there on holidays and demonstrations. Every Moscow neighborhood is beautiful in its own way. We used to go skiing to the Bitsev forest, now our grandchildren skate there.

I love the South-West district which looks like a different city. Each district has its features, even people are different.

On must-have qualities

I tell my grandchildren to get integrated in Moscow life. You need to be energetic and cannot postpone business for tomorrow, as there will be other things to do. Plans must be fulfilled.

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