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Full-Text Articles in Slavic Languages and Societies

Solidarita Housing Estate In Its European Context, Kimberly E. Zarecor Oct 2017

Solidarita Housing Estate In Its European Context, Kimberly E. Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

Europe just after World War II was a damaged environment. Many of its cities had been devastated and people suffered tremendously across the continent. Millions were dead, millions displaced or sick, and millions more were being forcibly relocated to new territories during waves of expulsions. According to United Nations figures, more than 8.8 million housing units had been destroyed in eighteen European countries during the war; at least another 5.6 million units were uninhabitable. This represented one out of every nine units extant in 1939.2 By 1947, the Cold War was underway as the United States and ...


The Local History Of An International Type: The Structural Panel Building In Czechoslovakia, Kimberly Elman Zarecor Jun 2017

The Local History Of An International Type: The Structural Panel Building In Czechoslovakia, Kimberly Elman Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

Focusing on the state-run system of architectural offices as a mediator between politics and practice, this article considers how the 1948 Communist Party takeover of Czechoslovakia affected architectural practice and the establishment of housing types in the early 1950s. The legacy of a strong local construction industry before 1948 was critical to these developments. At the new Institute of Prefabricated Buildings, created in 1952, architects and engineers continued earlier research on prefabricated construction technologies. Through this work, the Czechoslovak government and its architectural administration soon concluded that its best long-term option for solving the country's housing crisis was the ...


Czech Paneláks Are Disappearing, But The Housing Estates Remain / České Paneláky Miznú, Ale Sídliská Zostávajú, Kimberly Elman Zarecor, Eva Špačková Jun 2017

Czech Paneláks Are Disappearing, But The Housing Estates Remain / České Paneláky Miznú, Ale Sídliská Zostávajú, Kimberly Elman Zarecor, Eva Špačková

Kimberly E. Zarecor

A common lament about the legacy of communism in Europe is the damage that it did to the built environment. Particular ire is directed at the concrete prefabricated housing blocks, known in Czech and Slovak as paneláks (structural panel buildings), groups of which were arranged in housing estates (sídliště in Czech and sídlisko in Slovak) to create the region’s characteristic postwar districts. Paneláks were not only signs of the increased production of new housing, but also indicated the acceleration of urbanization in the region as residents moved from rural areas to towns and cities for work. According to United ...


Book Reviews: Designing Tito's Capital: Urban Planning, Modernism, And Socialism In Belgrade, Kimberly E. Zarecor Jun 2017

Book Reviews: Designing Tito's Capital: Urban Planning, Modernism, And Socialism In Belgrade, Kimberly E. Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

In this history of New Belgrade, historian Brigitte Le Normand writes one of the first comprehensive municipal-level case studies of a postwar socialist urban planning project. The book chronicles the development of a new urban district within the capital city of Belgrade from the first modernist plans for the area just after World War II through several stages of stop-and-go development that finally accelerated in the late 1960s with the construction of both official housing blocks and informal settlements. The text highlights the difficulties encountered by urban planners, residents, and the local government to agree on the project's goals ...


Socialist Neighborhoods After Socialism The Past, Present, And Future Of Postwar Housing In The Czech Republic, Kimberly Elman Zarecor Jun 2017

Socialist Neighborhoods After Socialism The Past, Present, And Future Of Postwar Housing In The Czech Republic, Kimberly Elman Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

The Czech Republic’s socialist-era neighborhoods are largely intact twenty years after the end of Communist Party rule. These buildings will be rehabilitated, but not replaced, because of financial and logistical constraints. In the context of the country’s accession to the European Union in 2004 and the recent global economic crisis, this essay questions what can and should be done in an effort to make these neighborhoods better places to live in the present and the future. It starts with a brief history of postwar housing construction and socialist-era design methodologies, exploring postwar architectural practice and innovations in construction ...


Book Review Of Paulina Bren. The Greengrocer And His Tv: The Culture Of Communism After 1968 Prague Spring, Kimberly Elman Zarecor Sep 2015

Book Review Of Paulina Bren. The Greengrocer And His Tv: The Culture Of Communism After 1968 Prague Spring, Kimberly Elman Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

In this provocative book, Paulina Bren brings to life the “stagnant” decades of “nothingness” (4) that followed the 1968 Prague Spring and the failure of a Communist reform movement in Czechoslovakia. Officially called the period of “normalization,” when life was meant to return to “normal” after the upheaval of the reform period and the resulting invasion of the country by Warsaw Pact troops, scholars have not devoted much attention to topics other than dissidents in the 1970s and 1980s. Bren attributes this gap to the immense challenge of writing a history without notable events or transformative conflicts, although by the ...


The Rainbow Edges: The Legacy Of Communist Mass Housing And The Colorful Future Of Czech Cities, Kimberly E. Zarecor Sep 2014

The Rainbow Edges: The Legacy Of Communist Mass Housing And The Colorful Future Of Czech Cities, Kimberly E. Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

Almost twenty years after the end of Communism in Czechoslovakia, more than 30% of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic still live in structural panel buildings—the anonymous concrete apartment blocks that occupy the edges of teh country's towns and cities. In these fully prefabricated buildings, constructed by the thousands from the mid-1950s until the end of the 1980s, every wall, floor, and ceiling panel is structural. Massive stair towers provide additional stability in the absence of structural skeletons. The first post-Communist president, Vaclav Havel, famously referred to them as 'rabbit warrens' since the interiors are a series of ...


Infrastructural Thinking: Urban Housing In Former Czechoslovakia From The Stalin Era To Eu Accession, Kimberly E. Zarecor Sep 2014

Infrastructural Thinking: Urban Housing In Former Czechoslovakia From The Stalin Era To Eu Accession, Kimberly E. Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

In contemporary conversations about urban housing, the cities of the former Eastern Bloc rarely come to mind as potential models for future development. Images persist of vast, grey, treeless expanses of space occupied by repetitive apartment blocks that dwarf their human inhabitants. This view does capture something about the experience of living in what came to be known as the “socialist city,” yet the cities had many other kinds of spaces—older urban fabric, small apartment blocks, green spaces, village remnants, and neighborhood shopping corridors. Often the existing and the new were integrated into a synthetic whole. The ambitious master ...


Bigness Of Another Sort: The Challenge Of A Mass Housing Inventory In The Czech Republic, Kimberly E. Zarecor Sep 2014

Bigness Of Another Sort: The Challenge Of A Mass Housing Inventory In The Czech Republic, Kimberly E. Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

No abstract provided.


Manufacturing A Socialist Modernity: The Architecture Of Industrialized Housing In Czechoslovakia, 1945–56, Kimberly E. Zarecor Dec 2007

Manufacturing A Socialist Modernity: The Architecture Of Industrialized Housing In Czechoslovakia, 1945–56, Kimberly E. Zarecor

Kimberly E. Zarecor

Although it is difficult to see the crumbling, gray facades of the former Eastern Bloc as great testaments to the potentials of modern architecture, these buildings did reflect a dedication to technological innovation, social equality, and formal clarity unrivaled in the twentieth century. Built in an era that the West has commonly portrayed as one of rupture, isolation, and deprivation, socialist architecture in Eastern Europe was in fact connected to contemporary experiments in the West and to the specific legacies of the region's interwar years. Focusing on the intersection of architects, housing design, and the state apparatus between 1945 ...