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Typical constructions of the Soviet Union

Heritage of the past Stalin years – monumental “stalinka”, faceless “khrushchevka”, multi-storey “brezhnevka” – is an habitual and everyday view for citizens of cities. These houses are something ordinary and uninteresting for a lot of people. But if a question of buying or renting an apartment arises, differences of these buildings become obvious. After all, quadrature, height of ceilings, separate rooms and combined bathrooms are important issues for future residents. The price of cherished square meters depends on all these factors.

So, you’ve decided to buy housing or you look for a daily rent apartment in Kiev, exactly on the secondary real estate market. In this case you need to analyze all pros and cons of such living space.

Apartments in “stalinka” buildings were always considered to be the most comfortable and expensive ones. These houses had been built from the beginning of the 30-ies to the end of the 50-ies. A fashion tendency to buy such dwelling and make first stylish (posh) “European-quality” repairs spread in 90-ies. Still, there was enough space for design ideas to settle: huge living premises, high ceilings – from 2,9 m, spacious kitchen, numerous closets and corridors. But “stalinka” buildings are also various. The ones – more prestigious and comfortable – were meant for leaders of a party apparatus and Soviet elite society. They had separate spacious rooms, big kitchen and bathroom. Buildings intended for average citizens were simpler. These houses were built without any special extravagance, communal apartments for several families were often planned in them. As a rule, bathrooms and sometimes even individual kitchens weren’t provided in such buildings. Nowadays typical “stalinka” apartments were re-planned and they possess all necessary conveniences.

This kind of housing remains attractive because of convenient planning, good noise insulation, high ceilings and big metric areas: from 50 to 110 sq.m. “Stalinka” houses were built for ages, with all Soviet technologies strictly being observed and qualitative materials used. Usually they have from 4 to 7 floors and are located in elite central districts along main city streets.

“Khrushchevka” buildings became an economic solution of a housing problem from middle of 50-ies to 80-ies. Ascetic five-storey buildings without any decorations have filled Soviet cities. Their planning is one of the most unsuccessful: small kitchen, low ceilings (2,5 m), often adjacent rooms and no sound insulation. However, it is an acceptable option of housing for young family with limited financial opportunities.

Advantages of “khrushchevka” apartments are affordable price of square meters and possibility to save on repair work. Total area of such living space varies from 18 to 50 sq.m.

Multi-storey “brezhnevka” houses with refuse chute and elevators had been built at the beginning of sixties. These buildings have from 8 to 16 floors and apartments remind somehow “khrushchevka” housing but of a little bit improved planning. As a rule, rooms are separate in “brezhnevka” apartments, -kitchens are more comfortable with the area of 7-9 sq.m. Total area of an apartment is 20-80 sq.m. The problem of such apartments is bad sound insulation and a great disadvantage of all panel concrete buildings is the cold in winter and the heat in summer, especially in corner apartments.

Such type of buildings as “gostinka” has appeared at the times of Brezhnev governing. Usually these are 9-storey buildings with apartments of total area of 12-18 sq.m. Such housing was offered as temporary ones.

If you are going to buy an apartment in a house built in USSR times, analyze all pros and cons of such dwelling. Think over whether this living space meets your requirements on metric area and facilities. Definitely pay attention to “age” of a building and condition of public supply. An apartment in “khrushchevka” or “brezhnevka” house is the most affordable and economical option for a long-term rent. If you are interested in a daily rent apartments, you have a wide choice of housing on the secondary real estate market. The most comfortable and expensive apartments for rent are the ones in prestigious “stalinka” buildings.

June 16, 2014


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