Mass housing and extensive urbanism in the Baltic Countries and Central/Eastern Europe: A comparative overview

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter provides a comparative overview of the post-war housing programmes of the Central and Eastern European post-war socialist states, arguing that they, like the Baltics, were in some ways distanced from the highly standardised orthodoxies of mainstream Soviet mass housing. With the aim of underlining the extreme diversity of the political/organisational and architectural solutions of mass housing within Central and Eastern Europe, the chapter demonstrates that while public housing was generally dominant in most parts of the region, this concealed wide variations, from the programmes of Poland and East Germany, dominated from the late 50s by large, powerful cooperatives, to the highly decentralised, even anarchic system in Yugoslavia and the prominence of home-ownership in both Hungary and Bulgaria. Architecturally, the conservative policies of street-façade monumental architecture that prevailed in Ceauşescu’s Romania contrasted very strikingly with the idiosyncrasies that sprouted elsewhere, ranging from the sinuous and extraordinarily long ‘falowiec’ (wave-form) blocks of Gdańsk and Poznań to the wildly variegated design solutions of the various ‘blok’ sections of Novi Beograd. The chapter compares these varied patterns closely with those of the Baltics, to demonstrate that the latter were not alone within the socialist bloc in their individuality and intermittently ‘western’ sensibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHousing Estates in the Baltic Countries
Subtitle of host publicationThe Legacy of Central Planning in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
EditorsDaniel Hess, Tiit Tammaru
ISBN (Electronic)9783030233921
ISBN (Print)9783030233914
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameThe Urban Book Series
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


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