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Towards a Typology of Soviet Mass Housing (box set)

04-08-2016 12:17 PM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: gisela graf communications

An Academic, Playful and Haptic Approach towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Prefabricated Buildings
This insightful study on Soviet serial mass housing from 1955 to 1991 is now available as a box set complete with a Quartets-type card game and miniature plaster model

Soviet mass housing is a unique phenomenon. The construction programme launched in the post-Stalinist era was the largest undertaken in modern architectural history worldwide. At the same time, Soviet mass housing fulfilled a colossal social role, providing millions of families with their own apartments. It thus shaped the culture and everyday life of nearly all Soviet citizens. Nowadays, prefabricated buildings shape the everyday life of more than 170 million people.

Towards a Typology of Soviet Mass Housing. Prefabrication in the USSR 1955 – 1991 by Philipp Meuser and Dimitrij Zadorin is one of the most insightful English-language publications on the standardised mass housing of Soviet modernism. It is now available as a limited collectors' edition as part of a set featuring a Quartets-type card game (Dimitrij Zadorin) and a model of the most widely produced standard design I-464 (Katia Sheina) - a vintage package for true enthusiasts of prefabricated architecture.

In the book, the authors identify the most significant series of industrial mass housing designed and engineered from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. A typology of serial mass housing discusses ten classification parameters, while the catalogue takes a look at the technological history in relation to thirty standardised series which began to take shape in the era between Stalin and glasnost. Since prefabrication is still largely neglected as a theme of research, the time is ripe for a critical appraisal of this ambitious project within the context of twentieth-century architecture. In this volume, the authors detail their research findings for discussion. The Quartets-type card game comprises thirty-six cards, each bearing a picture motif and values such as number of storeys, amount of apartments and year of construction. It can be played as both the classic Quartets card game and as Top Trumps.

The publication is not only aimed at all those who are interested in the history of Soviet architecture. Readers will discover the contradictory yet fascinating world of prefabrication in all its facets. They will learn to understand the history and structures, recognise the wealth of variants and learn more about errors made and scope for potential. The Quartets-type card game offers a playful approach to the phenomenon, while the book provides the scholarly background. The plaster model, meanwhile, renders the whole package tangible using a scale of 1:500.

Philipp Meuser / Dimitrij Zadorin / Katia Sheina
Towards a Typology of Soviet Mass Housing
Prefabrication in the USSR 1955 – 1991
Translated into English by Clarice Knowles
210 × 230 mm, 456 pages
1,000 images, hardcover, in set with quartet game and model
ISBN 978-3-86922-458-9 (English)
EUR 68,00 / CHF 83,00
April 2016. DOM publishers, Berlin

gisela graf communications supports publishers, museums and institutions specialising in architecture, design or art, with professional press and PR work, also on an international level.

Communications — Individual concepts and texts for media relations
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