Jelena Prokopljević analyses the different housing models developed in the first years of the USSR at the MUHBA

The lecturer from UIC Barcelona School of Architecture took part in the series: “Architecture, interiors and social identity: The working class and the city”

On 3 December, the lecturer from UIC Barcelona School of Architecture took part in the series: “Architecture, interiors and social identity: The working class and the city”, organised by the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA). In her seminar titled “Working-class housing in the USSR 1922-1932: from the house-commune to the socialist city”, the lecturer explained the different working-class housing models developed in the first ten years of the USSR following the revolution and the civil war.  “It was a time of intense research into new housing models, public buildings, amenities and urban design carried out by state institutes and various professional groups”, she explained. 


According to Jelena Prokopljević, that decade’s working-class housing model was shifting from communal living with shared spaces to individual living with communal services, which would soon become the so-called Dom Komuna, a multi-purpose centre that would end up being the organisational nucleus of residential areas in new Soviet cities built towards the end of the 1920s.  “This type of housing was built on the principle of economic and spatial efficiency, in order to offer residents optimal comfort and ensure gender equality, including communal spaces such as kitchens, dining rooms, nurseries and laundry rooms, allowing women to step out of the house and into the professional sphere”, she stated.


Lecturer Jelena Prokopljević’s seminar formed part of the session titled “The theory and practice of existenzminimum”, part of the “Architecture, interiors and social identity: The working class and the city” series. The session sought to offer a parallel insight into the models designed for working-class cities and the references rooted in popular and Mediterranean tradition, which influenced debate during the inter-war period and also resonated thereafter.    

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