Toleu Bassenov (Kulchamanovich) (1909-1976) is the first professional Kazakh architect, honored constructor of the Kazakh SSR, member-correspondent of the Architectural Academy of USSR, one of the first scientists-teachers of architecture, founder of the Kazakh architectural school, first teacher of the Kazakh Union of Architects. He was the organizer of the first architectural faculty in the country.
He was born in Shalkar municipality of Aktobe region. He graduated from Leningrad (now Saint-Petersburg) Institute of Civil Engineers. His labor activity began in construction administration under the Council of Commissars of the Kazakh SSR.
In 1933-1937 he worked in Zhambyl, Almaty and Kyrgyzstan. In 1937-1941 he was the chief architect of Almaty city. In 1944-1954 he was the head of architectural administration under the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR; in 1958-1976 he was the deputy chairman of the State Committee of Construction. He was one of the heads of the Kazakh Union of Architects.
Toleu Bassenov was one of the first architects who developed the first general plan of Almaty city. He is the author, projecting manager and consultant of 25 architectural complexes, many large buildings and constructions built in Kazakhstan, Moscow and other cities of the Soviet Union. One of the largest of them are the Almaty center and Lenin avenue (now Dostyk avenue), building of pavilion of the Kazakh SSR in Moscow, municipal center in Aktobe, first complex of Almaty airport, building of the Kazakh Theater of Opera and Ballet; he also developed architectural plans for A. Imanov monument and a lot of housing complexes. The residents of Almaty city know well Alatau cinema and other buildings the author of which was T. Bassenov.
Another significant contribution of T. Bassenov was the building constructed in 1961 jointly with a group of architects, chair of different specialization under the Kazakh Polytechnic Institute.
He always opened the issue of education of future architects for the country. He made all his efforts for this. His pupils are many famous architects in the country as honored architects of Kazakhstan Rustem Saidalin, Adambek Kapanov and others which participate in development of Astana city.
He also took part in conservation and reconstruction of architectural monuments of Kazakhstan. Since 1997 the best students of the State Academy of Architecture are awarded with Diplomas and stipends of T. Bassenov.
One of Almaty city received his name. The coin with nominal of 50 tenge was issued in the honor of his anniversary. The designer of the coin was his grandson Almat Bassenov.
T. Bassenov was awarded with Order of Labor Red Banner and USSR medals as 'Distinguished Service', 'For Valorous Labor in Great Patriotic War 1941-1945'.
Source: Kazakhstan, National Encyclopedia, Volume 1.