Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in by Kimberly Elman Zarecor

By Kimberly Elman Zarecor

Eastern ecu prefabricated housing blocks are frequently vilified because the seen manifestations of every thing that used to be fallacious with nation socialism. for lots of in and out the sector, the uniformity of those constructions turned symbols of the dullness and drudgery of daily life. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity complicates this universal notion. reading the cultural, highbrow, debates surrounding the development of mass housing in early postwar Czechoslovakia, Zarecor indicates that those housing blocks served a vital functionality within the deliberate economic system and mirrored an interwar aesthetic, derived from constructivism and functionalism, that carried ahead into the 1950s.
      With a spotlight on prefabricated and standardized housing outfitted from 1945 to 1960, Zarecor deals large and cutting edge insights into the country’s transition from capitalism to nation socialism. She demonstrates that in this shift, architects and engineers constantly strove to fulfill the desires of Czechs and Slovaks regardless of demanding monetary stipulations, an absence of fabric assets, and production and technological barriers. within the method, architects have been requested to place apart their person inventive aspirations and remodel themselves into technicians and commercial producers.
       Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is the 1st complete heritage of architectural perform and the emergence of prefabricated housing within the jap Bloc. via discussions of person architects and tasks, in addition to development typologies, specialist institutions, and institutional association, it opens an extraordinary window into the cultural and financial lifetime of jap Europe throughout the early postwar period.

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Essential services, including dining and child day care, were provided communally in the building’s common areas, and there were also shared amenities, so residents could fulfill their everyday needs within the building itself. The choice of the collective house type for the Stalin Works project shows the influence of BAPS and its housing commission, formed in 1946. ”115 Unlike the initial plan for thirty-five collective houses, the competition asked for only one collective house that could accommodate eight hundred workers in studio, two-room, and three-room apartments with public amenities and more family houses in Osada, the plans of which were a separate part of the competition.

102 The winning project, by Václav Hilský and Evžen Linhart, was formally evocative of the functionalist architecture of the early 1930s while showing sensitivity to the local climate and terrain (fig. 15). ”104 Zaluží, which has since been overtaken by the factory, was situated in the Bílina valley in the brown-coal basin of the northwest Bohemian borderlands. It was the site of the German synthetic fuel plant, Maltheuren (Sudetenländische Treibstoffwerke AG Maltheuren), built during the war. 105 Seventy percent of the factory was destroyed by the Allies in 1944, and the remaining operations came under Soviet control in May 1945.

He writes, “Most of the Architectural Working Group texts appear to be the work of thinkers lost to technocratism, superficial mechanical materialism and vulgar sociologism, precisely the kind which asserted itself in the thirties in the Soviet humanities. ” However one chooses to characterize their theoretical positions, the members of the Architectural Working Group attempted to implement Teige’s utopian conception of the minimum dwelling in a socialist society in the mid-1930s. Although Teige himself had moved beyond these ideas after the war and did not support the regime that the Architectural Working Group was a part of, the members were faithful to their position that the industrialization of the building industry and the use of scientific methods were the most critical components of socialist architectural practice.

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