Khrushchyovka (Russian: хрущёвка) is an unofficial name of a type of low-cost, concrete-paneled or brick three- to five-storied apartment building which was developed in the Soviet Union during the early 1960s, during the time its namesake Nikita Khrushchev directed the Soviet government. The apartment buildings also went by the name of “Khruschoba” (Хрущёв+трущоба, Khrushchev-slum).

The houses of Khrushchev’s building (the conversational “Khrushchev”) are Soviet typical series of panel and brick apartment houses massively built in the USSR from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. The name is associated with NS Khrushchev, in the days of his stay as head of the USSR, most of these houses were built. Relate to the architecture of functionalism. Most Khrushchev was erected as temporary housing. However, subsequently, due to the insufficient volume of housing construction, the period of their use has constantly increased. Khrushchev, in comparison with the previously built apartment blocks, had smaller apartments, the architecture of the houses was functional or devoid of the ” architectural excesses ” characteristic of the buildings of earlier years; At the same time, the Khrushchevs in many respects surpassed the multi-apartment wooden two-story houses of typical series, massively built during the Stalin period.

The main purpose is the rapid erection of cheap housing for the purpose of accelerated resettlement of citizens to cities from villages, villages, etc.

The first experimental frame-panel houses were built in 1948 in Moscow on Sokolinaya Hill and Khoroshivskoye Highway under the projects developed by the State Construction Project (with the participation of the Academy of Architecture of the USSR) and the Mosgorproject. The author of the apartment houses project was V.P. Lagutenko. Initially these houses were built with a steel frame in four stories high, but because of the large consumption of metal (more than 16 kg per 1 m³ of the building) soon went to a prefabricated reinforced concrete frame (steel consumption up to 3, 75 kg per 1 m³). Since 1950, in addition to frame-panel houses with associated joints, in Moscow, Leningrad,Kiev, Magnitogorsk and other cities, the construction of frameless panel houses began.

According to, at the very beginning of the 1950s, large blocks of four-story capital houses were built in large industrial centers of the USSR (Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Kuzbass), the designs of which were pre-fabricated at the factory.

The experience was recognized as successful, and the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on May 9, 1950 No. 1911 “On reducing the cost of construction”, the design of the first highly mechanized iron-concrete plant was initiated.

The large-scale transition to new, progressive solutions in the field of construction began with the Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of August 19, 1954 “On the development of the production of prefabricated reinforced concrete structures and components for construction”, which provided for the construction of 402 prefabricated concrete structures and the manufacture of parts for 200 sites of polygon type.

The first Khrushchev was built in a tight time in 1956-1958 around the village of Cheremushki near Moscow (between the modern streets of Grimau, Shvernik, Dmitry Ulyanov and the prospectus of the 60th anniversary of October); sixteen experimental four-story houses had basically four entrances and were arranged according to a carefully thought-out plan of landscaping specialists and landscape architects.

One of the first typical series of panel houses was the series 1-506, which was built in Leningrad from 1956 to 1960. However, these houses were designed according to the “Stalin” standards and were characterized by full-fledged apartments, high ceilings and solid structures.

On July 31, 1957, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a resolution “On the Development of Housing Construction in the USSR,” which laid the foundation for new housing construction.

The construction of Khrushchev continued from 1957 to 1985[ source not specified 456 days ]. The first refinement of Khrushchev’s projects was carried out in 1963-64. The construction of new modifications began after the resignation of Khrushchev in the second half of the 1960s, so these houses are classified as early Brezhnevka. In the improved versions, there were separate bathrooms, isolated rooms in two-bedroom apartments, the number of multi-room apartments increased, and houses of high storeys with elevators and garbage chutes appeared.

The refusal to build Khrushchev in favor of more comfortable housing began in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At this time, new series of residential houses are being designed for construction throughout the USSR: large-panel 111-90, 111-97, 111-121, brick 114-85, 114-86. In the new series, adjoining rooms were dismantled, in separate bathrooms there was a place to install a washing machine, spacious balconies and loggias. The area of the kitchen in comparison with hruschevkami increased up to one and a half times (up to 9 m 2), and vestibules – up to two times. However, the construction of panel series of Khrushchev continued for a long time, as their replacement with modern series required the re-adjustment of the DSC.

In Leningrad, the construction of Khrushchev was stopped in the 1970s, replaced by so-called ” house-ships “.

In Russia, about 290 million square meters of the total area of Khrushchev was built, which is about 10 percent of the country’s total housing stock.

The Khrushchyovka design represented an early attempt at industrialised and prefabricated building, with elements (or panels) made at concrete plants and trucked to sites as needed. Planners regarded elevators as too costly and as too time-consuming to build, and Soviet health/safety standards specified five stories as the maximum height of a building without an elevator. Thus almost all Khrushchyovkas have five stories.

Khrushchyovkas featured combined bathrooms. They had been introduced with Ivan Zholtovsky’s prize-winning Bolshaya Kaluzhskaya building, but Lagutenko continued the space-saving idea, replacing regular-sized bathtubs with 120 cm (4 ft) long “sitting baths”. Completed bathroom cubicles, assembled at a Khoroshevsky plant, were trucked to the site; construction crews would lower them in place and connect the piping.

Some theorists even considered combining toilet-bowl functions with the shower’s sink, but the idea was discarded. Kitchens were small, usually 6 m2 (65 sq ft). This was also common for many non-élite class Stalinist houses, some of which had dedicated dining rooms.

Typical apartments of the K-7 series have a total area of 30 m2 (323 sq ft) (one-room), 44 m2 (474 sq ft) (two-room) and 60 m2 (646 sq ft) (three-room). Later designs further reduced these meager areas. Rooms of K-7 are “isolated”, in the sense that they all connect to a small entrance hall, not to each other. Later designs (П-35, et al.) disposed with this “redundancy”: residents had to pass through the living room to reach the bedroom. These apartments were planned for small families, but in reality it was not unusual for three generations of people to live together in two-room apartments. Some apartments had a “luxurious” storage room. In practice, it often served as another bedroom, without windows or ventilation.

House characteristics
The Khrushchev’s are apartment buildings in the style of functionalism, built according to standard projects. They were panel, brick, rarely large-block. The most famous are the panel hruschevki. They are widely used due to the high speed of erection from prefabricated reinforced concrete panels. Typically, these houses have low thermal insulation of the external walls and poor sound insulation inside the house. Brick houses were most often built in cities that do not have their own house-building plants. For their erection, silicate bricks and reinforced concrete productsfactory production: slabs of floors, balconies, lintels, staircases. The speed of erecting the Khrushchev was very high, because of this, the quality of houses often suffered.

The height of the vast majority of horseshoes is 4 or 5 floors. This is due to the fact that 5 floors – the maximum height of the house, in which the building standards do not require an elevator. Khrushchev could have fewer floors – 2 or 3, more often they were found in rural areas, as well as in small towns. In some series of Khrushchev there is a garbage disposal.

Apartments in Khrushchev’s houses are mostly single and double rooms, three-room ones are rare. Ceiling height – 2,48-2,6 m, in block houses of some series – 2,7 m. Kitchen area – 4,9-7,1 m ² (up to 7,5 m ² in some flats of houses of series II-18). In the most common series of Khrushchev, the bathroom is adjacent to all apartments, the kitchen has an area of 5.5-6 m², two- and three-room apartments have a living room. The Khrushchev apartments are provided with basic communal amenities: central heating, cold water supply, sewerage, natural exhaust ventilation, kitchen stove. The hot water supply could be either central or individual, using gas columns or water heaters with solid fuel.

Panel hruschevki divided into demolished and unbearable. The Khrushchev’s of the demolished series were intended for the temporary solution of the housing problem and were calculated for 25 years, but some of them have not yet been removed from the housing fund. The Khrushchev’s of unspeakable series had a design life of 50 years; Later studies have shown that the resource can be extended to 150 years (with timely overhauls). Brick hruschevki refer to unspeakable series and have a service life of at least 100-150 years. However, individual houses may become unusable much earlier due to poor maintenance or poor construction quality.

Earlier projects of Stalin’s houses were very different in terms of their provision with communal facilities. In stalks of the “nomenclature” type, central heating, cold and hot centralized water supply, a separate bathroom from the toilet were necessarily provided, with a height of more than 5 floors in the building there was an elevator and garbage chutes. At the same time, in the homes of the “working” type, intended for the general public, there was often no bathroom, the bathroom consisted of a washbasin and a toilet, and public baths were used to wash the tenants. For cooking, cookers were used on firewood, in the presence of a bath, hot water was heated in a storage water heater, fuel of which also served as firewood or some kind of solid fuel. In the projects of low-rise Stalinist houses, versions were provided with furnace heating of apartments, there were even house designs without running water and sanitation, with loft-closets. The overlappings in the “workers” and some “nomenklatura” stalinkas were wooden, except for staircases in multi-storey houses and toilets. In combination with the use of stoves, the wooden floors were quite fire hazardous.

Khrushchev’s houses set a new average level of amenities. In Khrushchev, central heating, cold water supply and sewerage are obligatory. Required attribute of the bathroom was a bath (usually sedentary). In most of Khrushchev’s projects, the bathroom is combined with a toilet. The process of gasification of cities allowed to provide kitchens Khrushchev with a gas stove. In the absence of gas supply, a wood-burning stove was installed in the Khrushchev kitchen (“Sushchevsky’s oven”), and in the presence of powerful electrical networks, an electric stove was installed. The hot water supply could be centralized, but was often absent. In this case, the apartments were equipped with gas columns, usually in the kitchen. In the absence of gasification, wood-fired water heaters were used. The ceilings in Khrushchev’s houses are non-combustible, since they are made of reinforced concrete slabs of industrial production. There is no elevator in the Khrushchev blocks, as according to standards the elevator was required in houses of 6 and more floors, and the refuse chute is in some modifications of houses. On the landing there were two or four apartments.

he fight against architectural excesses
The first projects of “Khrushchev” had tiled or slate roofs, but they already had a characteristic layout. As part of the campaign to combat architectural excesses, later buildings received cheaper flat bitumen roofs with a low attic space, usually covered with insulating material and having only ventilation openings to the outside (inaccessible to cats, these spaces became a nesting place for wild pigeons, sparrows, etc.) P.)

In the design of the facades of buildings there are no stucco moldings and other decorative elements typical for the buildings of the previous, Stalin period. Brick Khrushchev in the vast majority are not plastered.

“Khrushchev’s refrigerator”
Quite often, under the kitchen window of the brick “Khrushchev”, which has minimal dimensions, there is a specific built-in wardrobe such as a storage room for storage of food[ source not specified 2576 days ]. The thickness of the outer wall in this cabinet is usually half a brick. In some variants of buildings in this wall there is an external permanently open hole, which serves as a supply air ventilation and is necessary for ensuring the normal functioning of the gas cooker. In the cold period of the year, the cabinet replaced the refrigerator. However, such a refrigerator is also found in the earlier architecture of the ” steel “.

The name “Khrushchev’s refrigerator” is often jokingly transferred to themselves Khrushchev (especially panel), calling them so because of the low temperature in the apartments in winter, due to poor thermal insulation.

Window in the bathroom
In many hruschevkah (for example, series 1-447), there is a window between the kitchen and the bathroom. A window about 40 cm high is located under the ceiling, in the kitchen it is opposite the street window. The most probable purpose of the window is due to the fact that during the construction of the Khrushchev, power outages were not uncommon. In this case, through the window to the bathroom there was a small amount of light, allowing the use of a toilet and a washbasin.

Storage room
In many Khrushchev projects, including the most common series 1-335, 1-447, 1-464, the apartments are quite large (2-3 m 2) dark rooms without windows for storing things (pantry). In later projects, the size of the pantry was significantly reduced, from the rooms they turned into built-in wardrobes. In the projects Brezhnev houses in connection with the spread of cabinets and other furniture from the pantry were gradually abandoned.

Noteworthy series
Series K-7
The K-7 series is one of the first series of industrial housing construction. Designed by VP Lagutenko based on the French panel five-story building. Houses are built on a frame-panel scheme. Apartments have large enough for Khrushchev kitchen, separate bathrooms and rooms. The houses have low noise and thermal insulation. Subject to demolition.

Series 335
Series 1-335 – one of the most common all-Union series of panel Khrushchev. It was built in 1958. The houses are built according to the scheme with a prefabricated reinforced concrete frame and external panel walls (the so-called incomplete frame). The most deshlya series of all panel Khrushchev.

Series 480
Development of KyivZNIIEP, implementation since 1958.

Series 464
1-464 – one of the most widespread in the entire USSR series of panel hruschevok. Bearing wall thickness of 0,35 m is made of concrete, on which is laid ceramic tiles. The ceilings are made of reinforced concrete. Implementation since 1960. Practical absence of vibration isolation.

In Moscow built “Moscow” version of the series 1-464 under the symbol 1605-AM / 5 with enlarged area of the apartment.

Series 438
The series 438 was developed by the project organization ” Giprograd ” (Kiev). The houses of the 438-series began to be realized in 1958. The houses of the series are frameless with longitudinal bearing walls. The foundations are made of concrete, and the walls are made of bricks. In the section there were different options, such as: 1-486-5, 1-486-6, 1-486-8.

Series 447
1-447 – the most widespread in the whole territory of the USSR series of brick Khrushchev, erected since 1958 a. Thanks to the thick walls of silicate or red brick, such houses outperform in thermal and sound insulation not only panel hruschevki, but also later panel houses. Internal walls in apartments are not capital, allow re-planning. In the rest, these are ordinary Khrushchevs with close apartments.

Do not belong to “demolished” series and have an extended service life in comparison with panel hruschevkami. On the basis of the series, many later modifications were created with the index 1-447С, which are already referred to Brezhnev’s houses.

Multi-storey “Khrushchev”
In the mid-1960s, attempts were made to build multi-storey “Khrushchev”. In particular, in 1965 in Minsk at the corner of the streets of Volgograd and Yakub Kolas one was built, and on the Tolbukhin boulevard there were three nine-storey “Khrushchev” existing to this day, however, this experiment had no continuation.

n 1990 – 2000 in Kazan implemented a project for the completion of the sixth floor Khrushchev. Thus, 2 houses were modernized on Korolenko Street and Ibrahimov Avenue.

In the 2000s, a similar house was built in Syktyvkar at number 13 on Opleznin Street.

In 2007, in Ufa, to the house No. 106/2 on October Prospect, 2 floors were built, on which are located 16 two-level two and three-room apartments. The contractor of the reconstruction was the Czech company “Brno”, who already had experience in erecting such superstructures in the Czech Republic. As a result, the project was declared unprofitable, and plans for the reconstruction of another two neighboring five-story buildings were curtailed.

In some cities (for example, Minsk, Saransk) during the overhaul of Khrushchev’s houses, external walls are insulated.

Present day
The panel buildings called ‘Khrushchyovka’ are found in great numbers all over the former Soviet Union. They were originally considered to be temporary housing until the housing shortage could be alleviated by mature Communism, which would not have any shortages. Khrushchev predicted the achievement of Communism in 20 years (by the 1980s). Later, Leonid Brezhnev promised each family an apartment “with a separate room for each person plus one room extra”, but many people continue to live in Khrushchyovkas today.

Khrushchyovka standard types are classified into “disposable”, with a planned 25-year life (сносимые серии) and “permanent” (несносимые серии). This distinction is important in Moscow and other affluent cities, where disposable Khrushchyovkas are being demolished to make way for new, higher-density construction. The City of Moscow had planned to complete this process by 2015. More than 1,300 out of around 1,700 buildings have been already demolished as of 2012.

In connection with the moral and physical obsolescence of houses throughout the country, it was decided to demolish the Khrushchev in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It should be noted that throughout the country, there are fees for major repairs at the expense of residents. Before the delivery of houses to citizens (imposed privatization) major repairs were not made.

In Moscow and St. Petersburg, there are programs for the demolition and reconstruction of the Khrushchev blocks and their replacement with modern housing. In 1999, in Moscow, a program was adopted for the comprehensive reconstruction of the five-storeyed buildings in the first period of industrial housing construction. The program covers the least durable (“demolished”) panel hruschevki: they were assigned to the houses of the series K-7, II-32, II-35, 1MG-300 and 1605-AM / 5 – only 1722 five-story building. In the framework of the program, obsolete Khrushchevs are demolished, and in their place elevated-storey houses are built – mostly panel series P-44T, etc., and alsomonolithic. Some apartments in new houses are occupied by tenants of demolished five-story buildings, others are sold.

As of May 22, 2017 in Moscow, it remains to demolish 60 five-story buildings of the first period of industrial housing construction.

In 2017, Moscow adopted a new program for the renovation of housing stock. It provides for the demolition of residential buildings with a total area of 25 million square meters.

Source from Wikipedia