Welcome to the Soviet Suburbia! Once an icon of the progressive ideals of the Soviet Union, the dreams of equal opportunities and quality housing for all ended up becoming endless fields of concrete blocks. Although these very ideals have started the much-admired Russian Constructivist movement, the population boom following the Union’s international success has forced the country’s leaders to found a viable, scalable solution to provide every Soviet citizen with an equal quality of living.
Hence were born the Khrushchyovkas: On the contrary to its detached sin- gle-family housing counterparts in America, these panel block apartments were much denser and significantly more effective and cheaper to build. Yet, with an unprecedented need for public housing, this ‘Soviet Panel Apartment Block Experiment’ ended up as mechanic, repetitive and dorm-like functioning bete-noire neighborhoods.
Sixty years later, at a time when accessing public and urban data is easier than ever, what do the emerging technologies and interdisciplinary architectural practices have to offer for reclaiming these long-neglected Sleeping Districts of today? If so, can an algorithm or computers help to rebuild them into the thriving neighborhoods of the future?