Khrushchev turns 60: what will happen to them after end of life

One of the main symbols of the Soviet era — Khrushchev — this year marks 60 years. From 1957 to 1985 the builders built hundreds of thousands of five-story building with a compact layout. House, received in the Union nickname in honor of Nikita Khrushchev, in fact, in the first half of the twentieth century invented by the French architect Le Corbusier, he believed, indicated a ceiling height of 2.48 m as the minimum for human life. But the first Soviet Khrushchev was designed by engineer Vitaly Lagutenko — the grandfather of frontman of the group “Mumiy Troll” Ilya Lagutenko.

They were built mostly of prefabricated panels and, less frequently, from bricks and large blocks, and not above five floors, because it is so high, building codes, people could climb without a lift. Handing out free apartments, so tenants, despite the cramped and less than ideal quality, was overjoyed, because for the first time many have their own area with bathroom and balcony.

Khrushchev was erected by Stakhanov rates, which could not lead to incidents. Not to dig trenches, pipes of heating mains pulled along the ground, and the rooms are sometimes laid doorways. A quarter century later they planned to demolish, build new house. But over time the “25” was changed to “60” and judging by the situation in the country, they will outlive us. And experts say that with proper repairs and upgrades they will stand still for decades.

Apartment in the Khrushchev. Minimum ceiling height — 2,48 m. Photo: Yuri Kuznetsov

Odessa Cheryomushki and the struggle interior designers for every inch

In Odessa Khrushchev appeared in the late 1950s, on Uspenskaya street. They have what is called, “cut-eye” against the backdrop of ancient monuments, but, nevertheless, aroused the envy of their inhabitants.

“It was built for party workers. These houses were considered the elite, because they were extras, but the food is still “tight hips” — says the Odessa Victor Koraysh.

Then the model of new buildings appeared in the area Segedskaya str. and Shevchenko Avenue.

“We lived in barracks at the military unit on Shevchenko Avenue. Our eighth house, it seemed, was on the edge of the world: for us it was a completely empty space with small private houses. Right in front of our Windows — the wasteland around which was a paved path of the parade ground,” recalls his wife Tatiana.

Next to their house and began to receive Khrushchev.

The “built quickly, just a couple of years passed and the house began to settle. About the same time the barracks were repaired and converted into a residential house”, — says Tatiana.

The area is called “beacon hill” after the village on the outskirts of Moscow, where she first began to build Khrushchev. But in the early 1960s, when the building began one after another to appear on vacant lots and strelina field within the boundaries of the current streets Inglesi, Astronauts, Yitzhak Rabin, and Marshal Malinovsky, the name “beacon hill” is moved to this neighborhood and used in the everyday life of inhabitants of Odessa to this day.

Odessa Cheremushki. The neighborhood, built Khrushchev, considered one of the greenest. Photo:

“We moved into one of the first houses on Marshal Malinovsky. At the next building was a field, about a block from us — a tiny pond. We ran there to catch fish”, — says the inhabitant of Odessa Elena Laznev, adding that now, in place of the pond — a huge residential complex.

Remember the old-timers and construction incidents associated with the construction of prefabricated houses in haste: uneven walls and ceilings and even the lack of passages in the interior walls, which then had to break through with sledgehammers.

According to residents, they ennobled house territory. Houses often had, therefore, to create spacious courtyards where the and planted plants, built playgrounds. Due to this, the district of beacon hill is considered one of the greenest in Kiev. In addition, according to the designers, in the center of each quarter, built of identical five-story building, there was a school, a kindergarten and a sports area with football field. So the people who were here first, it may seem that it is — neighborhoods-clones. Another feature of the district is large silvery pipes of heating mains, which are laid on the surface.

REDEVELOPMENT. Now Odessa Khrushchev gradually transformed. In the hallways install new Windows that will keep you warm in the cold, and insulated walls. Many changes have endured Khrushchev and inside, and some design companies even employees on the job taking by how good the project redevelopment apartment in such a house they represent.

“It’s aerobatics family place with all necessary for living appliances in the kitchen,” — said the architect Anatoly Exari.

The last time he engineered design of the apartment in the Khrushchev at the request of a friend. Said, he had to remake the housing almost to the centimeter.

“We combined the kitchen with the living room, removed a few walls and used mutually penetrating walls, that is, those that form niches in both rooms at the same time,” recalls our source.

When he opened his design Studio, the new employees as test tasks proposed to develop the project of the apartment.

Experts advise to always do in the Khrushchev kitchen.

“Then in the kitchen corny will fit in the cooler because to place it and other equipment to five or six “squares” the original kitchen is very difficult,” — says the designer Arina Davydova.

Interior design. To put all the equipment in the kitchen, it is recommended to combine with the room. Photo:

It is taken for redevelopment of apartments in Khrushchev, but immediately warned: this is very expensive and difficult.

“You have to change everything from floor to walls. However, if you change the water pipe, then you will be sure of some neighbor with old pipes, and at the junction of the plastic with your new communications will be leaking water,” warned the designer.

Davydov advised to check all the communications that exist in the apartment.

“I believe that Khrushchev needed to demolish and build a new home because the number of bugs, mosquitoes, flies and other insects here is just huge. The areas where these houses are built very nice, small, cozy, all know each other, but they are located close to the center and it’s advisable to place them under the reconstruction,” — said the designer.

However, how many specialists, so many opinions.

“In fact, Khrushchev is quite strong at home. Especially if you compare with some of the new buildings, where a few years later cracks” — recalls the designer Anna Slyusarenko.

She agreed that the flats are uncomfortable and they should redo it, but in typical Khrushchev finds pluses.

“Usually, it’s typical projects, and customers can feel free to draw ideas from already created interiors and realize their own. Plan all standard, even the layman can implement some of the ideas for the project from the Internet” — told us Slyusarenko.

Designers are reminded that before the self-repair is to find out if the apartment of load-bearing walls, but often the any walls inside the apartment in the Khrushchev you can safely “move”.

Modernization. After renovation the house will stand as much again. Photo: Yuri Kuznetsov

Exchange and the failure of the experiment

Residential districts of Kharkov, also built the model high-rise buildings. First Khrushchev in the 1950s was built on New homes, and later panel and brick five-story building built in Pavlovo the Field and Saltovka. It is difficult to imagine, but fifty years ago, people were willing to pay anything for a new apartment, which resembled a matchbox.

“Because of the boiler room, which was in a house built before the revolution, my grandmother wanted to trade with people who got a two-bedroom housing in the new house. So the whole family moved from a spacious apartment in a building that, despite three rooms were very close. Small kitchen, even to me, then another girl, it seemed very tiny — says Kharkov Irina Morozova. — From the hallway a different story altogether. I remember when two adults came home, one had to wait their turn in the stairwell to undress and remove your shoes”.

To expand the space, harkovchan contrive to enlarge the kitchen, combining the already tiny bathroom.

Kharkov Khrushchev tried to give a second life, but even the recent experiment proved unsuccessful. On the prospect of Marshal Zhukov, the five-story building decided to transform, to complete the balconies, and by constructing the insulated attic floor. But the changes did not go to the benefit of neither the house nor its residents — under the weight of another floor wall Khrushchev began to crack, and the house itself to settle.

“In the case of Khrushchev in any case impossible to increase the floors. On the contrary, the most optimal and usable are of the building. But ten – and dvenadtsatietazhnom must be demolished — says Professor of urban studies at Kharkiv national construction and architecture Valery Guk. — Brick house it is possible to remodel: from flat roofs to pitched done, to remove barriers, expand the node, replace all the plumbing and Windows, to make two apartments one.”

But prefabricated houses of the future, the expert believes, say, rebar in the blocks have outlived their own.

Sixth floor. Because of domnarski house ass cracked at the seams. Photo:

Abroad: the colors and old

In the countries of the former Soviet Union often start a conversation about the demolition of Khrushchev, but ambitious projects remain on paper, a five-story building trying to transform. For example, in the Czech capital — Prague — stimulate residents to improve housing. Once a year they choose the best upgraded prefabricated house, because the Czechs embody the daring ideas, decorating gray walls huge murals.

In Estonia the local apartment Association (similar to our condominium) major repair and a fully insulated panel walls. But in Belarus the first five-story building decided to rebuild another 1989. Architects added the attic, removed the 18 apartments, thus increasing the area of the other apartments. With renewed enthusiasm came from Belarusians for the modernization of Khrushchev in the early 2000s., the Architects stepped up the floors, added an extension to the kitchen, but there was enough money to upgrade only half of the house, and returned to bold project is only in 2016.

Belarus. New facade and the space inside. Photo:

In the Russian Kaliningrad Khrushchev give a second life in preparation for the world football championship 2018. Capital repairing of buildings here insulate facades, install wrought iron railings on the balconies. The “face” of the house deliberately sostarivayut, disguising the same under the house of the Hanseatic style with a distinctive artistic brick walls, lots of brick turrets and spires. However, even such a transformation is not encouraging residents who complain about the demolition of glazed loggias and balconies of the home-made lining.

Kaliningrad. Typical facades are decorated with brickwork. Photo:

On the territory of the former GDR also left entire neighborhoods Khrushchev. After all, for example, in East Berlin, built more than 250 000 apartments. These houses from the Ukrainian differed only in the number of entrances: not four or five but — 11, because of construction stretched into 180 meters. In the early 2000s, the German architects decided to move away from the need to Lodge in the same house as many people as possible and think about the comfort of the tenants. In two cities, Galle and Leinefelde — some houses became objects for experimentation. Long six-storey Khrushchev lost several upper floors and even partitions. So, one of the houses in Leinefelde turned into a few separate four-storey cottages and the other in two separate apartment buildings. In addition, the roofs and the adjoining plots of former Khrushchev now equip terraces and front gardens, and the houses they paint in bright colors.

Germany. The 180-metre building was turned into the Villa. Photo: