Baltic modernism in the context of Soviet architectural awards | Dr Marija Drėmaitė


  • 5.15pm

  • Minto House, Room 4.18
    20-22 Chambers Street
    Edinburgh
    EH1 1JZ

Led by Dr Marija Drėmaitė (Vilnius University)

The focus of the talk is how the Soviet architectural award system of the 1960s-1980s functioned in relation to the industrialisation of housing and planning for new types of residential units such as the microrayon (large housing estate) in urban environments and kolkhoz (collective farm) settlements in rural areas. Despite the importance attached to mass housing declared by the Communist Party in 1955, the Soviet Union’s most prestigious state award, the Lenin Prize, was only ever conferred upon two model sites: the Lazdynai large housing estate in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1974, and the Juknaičiai soviet farm community in south-western Lithuania in 1988. The talk seeks to address several questions: What role did official awards play in the context of Soviet mass housing and new settlement planning ideology? How and why were certain (Baltic) sites selected and awarded? What aspects played a major role in both professional acknowledgment and the fulfilment of ideological requirements? 

About the speaker 

Marija Drėmaitė is an Associate Professor at Vilnius University, Department of Theory of History and Cultural History. She holds a PhD in History of Architecture (2006). Her research is focused on the 20th century architecture, Socialist Modernism, and industrial heritage. She has published a book 'Baltic Modernism: Architecture and Housing in Soviet Lithuania' (Berlin: Dom publishers, 2017) and is currently leading a research project on Architecture for Housing in Socialist Lithuania.