Tarptautinė konferencija „Residential Architecture in the Soviet Baltics: Between the Standard and the Individual Design“

Housing1Kovo 15 d., penktadienį, Istorijos fakultete, 211 auditorijoje vyks tarptautinė konferencija apie gyvenamąją architektūrą socialistinio laikotarpio Baltijos respublikose „Residential Architecture in the Soviet Baltics: Between the Standard and the Individual Design“. Konferencija yra LMT finansuojamo VU IF vykdomo projekto „Gyvenamoji architektūra sovietinėje Lietuvoje: tarp masinės ir individualios“ (S-MOD-17-21) dalis. Konferencija atvira klausytojams, pranešimai ir diskusijos vyks anglų kalba.

Konferencijos programa:


Marija Drėmaitė (Vilnius University) 

Diverse typology of residential architecture in Soviet Lithuania 

The talk is based on the comprehensive overview of different forms of housing during the Soviet period in Lithuania (1940‐1990) from the socio-political perspective and history of architecture. It covers topics of mass housing, cooperative apartments, private houses, as well as alternative and experimental designs: concepts and ideas of architects and self-built houses.

Dimitrij Zadorin (architect)

New Soviet Normalisation: Mass Housing in Belarus after 1957

Although adjacent to Lithuania and Latvia, Belarus, unlike Baltic countries, was considered a stronghold of inert adherence to Soviet policies. In the speech, I will explore how the ‘norm’ in mass housing—as defined by the state building regulations and all-union series—was implemented in Belarus, and of what deviation from both the Russian and Baltic cases we can speak. Much attention will be paid to the persistence of Soviet typologies in the Republic after the fall of the Soviet Union in order to highlight continuity of Soviet practices in Belarusian architecture and society as a whole. 

Epp Lankots (Estonian Academy of Arts) 

Cooperative apartment houses in Tallinn – from mass-producible experimental units to custom-built solutions

In the late 1960s a cooperatively built apartment house, often designed to fill in the voids in existing urban structure, emerged as a specific phenomenon in Tallinn. Their apartments with open kitchen, fireplace in the living room and saunas and hobby rooms in the basement introduced a way of life that differed from mass-built housing estates. What has not found proper discussion before is a fact that the designs of cooperative apartment buildings were based on the mass-producible experimental housing units worked out ten years earlier as a result of the research done on different family types and their life in a small-size flat in a khruschevka  in the late 1950s.

Comment: Andres Kurg (Estonian Academy of Arts)

12.30-14.00. Lunch


Mait Väljas (Estonian Museum of Architecture) 

The house that Raine built. Private houses and summer cottages of Raine Karp

The paper looks at the phenomenon of individualist aspirations in a collective society – the construction of private dwellings in Soviet Estonia, where the prefab apartment blocks was the officially preferred model for solving the housing crisis. Concentrating on the private work of architect Raine Karp (b. 1939), it shows how the author of major public buildings also took delight in designing small-scale private projects. Among dozens and dozens of such projects, a special case is Karp’s own house (1968–1975), one of the most well-known houses of 20th century Estonian architecture, which he – besides designing it – more or less built himself.

Līva Garkāje (Riga Technical University) 

Individually Designed Soviet Housing in Riga, Latvia, 1945-1990

Individually designed housing was a phenomenon of post-war housing architecture in the Soviet Union. It was comparatively rare, diverse, experimental in nature, and usually carefully placed in its urban context. This presentation reflects on research that was carried out to define, map, and analyse this typology of 1945-1990 in Riga, Latvia. 

Matas Šiupšinskas (Vilnius University) 

Collective gardens: Beyond the microrayon

The phenomenon of collective gardening was an important part of family life in Soviet Lithuania since it represented an alternative space where a regular man was able to manifest its personal aspirations. Without really understanding collective gardening as part of urban life in the Soviet city it is hard to capture a complete picture of domesticity of the time. Collective gardening created an alternative urban environment, private architecture and also established social patterns and networks that allowed such specific places to exist.

Comment: Marija Drėmaitė (Vilnius University)

16.30-17.00. Coffee break


Viltė Janušauskaitė (Vilnius University) 

“Are they in any danger?”: Lithuanian Mass Housing as Heritage

Some examples of socialist modernist housing were declared as heritage in late 80’s, just few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union and soviet heritage protection system in Lithuania. These objects and their stories is the main focus of my presentation. With no doubt these are the most prominent examples of the ambiguous period of the past and thus most closely associated with the system. On the other hand, they were and most of them still are legally protected. The question is – what this protection meant and means in reality? 

Evelina Ozola (architect, a co-author of the Latvian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture biennale 2018) 

The Self and the Common

After Latvia had regained its independence, one of the first steps towards market economy was the restoration of private property. A state-wide privatisation process transformed tenants of state-owned housing into apartment owners, yet learning how to look after one’s property and balancing individual desires with common interests takes time and requires constant iteration. Over the last decade, more responsibilities have been added to the privilege of ownership: each apartment owner is expected to co–commission a housing renovation project and take part in achieving the climate and energy policy goals of the state. The talk will look at the impact of ownership patterns on recent transformations of Soviet-era mass housing.

Comment: Matas Šiupšinskas (Vilnius University)



MARIJA DRĖMAITĖ is a Professor at Vilnius University, Department of Theory of History and Cultural History. She holds a PhD in History of Architecture (2006). Her research is focused on the 20th century architecture, Socialist Modernism, and industrial heritage. She has published a book Baltic Modernism: Architecture and Housing in Soviet Lithuania (Berlin: Dom publishers, 2017) and is currently leading a research project on Architecture for Housing in Socialist Lithuania.

DIMITRIJ ZADORIN (Minsk, 1983), architect. Since 2009 he has written and taught on Soviet architecture and urban planning, focusing on post-war Modernism and mass housing. He is a co-author of the book Towards the Typology of Soviet Mass Housing (2015) and the author of Minsk Architectural Guide (2018).  

EPP LANKOTS is an architectural historian and senior researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Institute of Art History. Her research interests include architecture and material culture under socialism, historiography of modern architecture. She has written on the social differentiation in Soviet domestic sphere and nomenklatura apartment houses, the mingling of avant-garde and historiographic practices in Estonian architectural historiography during the Soviet period. Her present research centers around leisure spaces and practices under state-socialism. Currently she is working on an exhibition about leisure architecture in 20th century Estonia that will open in the Museum of Estonian Architecture in June 2020 (co-curated with Triin Ojari).

MAIT VÄLJAS is an architectural historian working as researcher-curator at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn. He has curated exhibitions about 20th century and contemporary architecture in Estonia, edited books-catalogues and written criticism.

LĪVA GARKĀJE is an architect and PhD student in Riga Technical University, Faculty of Architecture. Her research topic is Soviet housing in Riga, Latvia. She is working in architecture research and restoration design office "Konvents" Ltd. In 2017 she received State Culture Capital Foundation (SCCF) grant for individually designed Soviet housing in Riga, Latvia mapping and research.

MATAS ŠIUPŠINSKAS has a Bachelor degree in architecture (2009) and Master degree in architectural history and theory (2012) from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2016 he started PhD studies at Vilnius University, Faculty of History, researching the urban phenomenon of collective gardens in Soviet Lithuania. He is the author of several articles in popular and academic magazines. His interests of research are a history of urban planning, mass housing, urban morphology, and Soviet architecture. Together with Epp Lankots, he is a co-author of the article “Collectivist Ideals and Soviet Consumer Spaces: Mikrorayon Centers in Vilnius and Tallinn” in a book Housing Estates in the Baltics (by Springer, forthcoming in 2019).

VILTĖ JANUŠAUSKAITĖ is a conservation architect and PhD student at Vilnius University Faculty of History. Viltė has a master degree in architecture and a degree in cultural history and anthropology (cum laude). She has been researching mass housing phenomena in Vilnius since 2013. 

EVELINA OZOLA is an architect and urban designer from Riga, Latvia. She has worked at MADE arhitekti in Riga and SVESMI in Rotterdam, and is co-founder of Fine Young Urbanists. Evelina frequently contributes to various publications on issues concerning the built environment. She has worked as a lecturer at architecture schools in Latvia and in Sweden, most notably KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Co-curator of Together and Apart, the Latvian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia in 2018. web:

ANDRES KURG is an Associate Professor and a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn. He researchers and publishes worldwide about the post-war socialist architecture.


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