Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Experiment in the architecture of Soviet mass housing, 1955-1990
Author: Erofeev, Nikolay
ISNI:       0000 0005 0291 6335
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores professional practices and procedures within Soviet housing production in 1955-1990. The current history of late socialism suggests a mostly conservative view of Soviet public housing, with an emphasis on private flat construction for millions. The phenomenon of Soviet housing has been most commonly discussed within the framework of social history or ideological projection, yet has seldom been considered as part of architectural history, which by contrast has tended to operate within a narrative of singular monuments and exemplary practitioners, leaving standard ('tipovye') developments largely disregarded. The practice of standardised design is commonly perceived as an undesirable and uncreative activity, which leaves no space for an architect-it is literally considered as the end of architecture. This thesis argues that the architectural story of this understudied 'bureaucratic modernism' represents much more creative and influential development in the history of modern architecture as a whole. This thesis focuses on a particular typology-standardised and industrially produced large-panel 'tower and slab'-which was used to provide over 50 million apartments in the Soviet Union. Looking at the evolution and adaptations of the typology, this thesis introduces complexity to the understanding of practices and procedures involved in standardised production, particularly by analysing the practices of 'experimental design': the design of new building types, carried out by scientific architectural institutes. Within post-war scientifically-oriented rhetoric, experiment emerged as an official category of projects intended to be a model for future examination prior to the start of the production of standard designs. A constant process of experimentation, used to develop new technical solutions or to articulate ambitions to transform society, reveals a hidden diversity beneath the perceived uniformity of Soviet housing. This thesis shows that these experiments, established as a vehicle for innovation, integration, and adaptation of housing, made housing more technically sound and responsive to the findings of sociologists.
Supervisor: Whyte, William ; Healey, Dan Sponsor: Hill Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: history of architecture