Soviet Serial Apartment Buildings in Riga Historical Centre Streetscape. 1945–1990

  • 1 Riga Technical University, , Riga, Latvia


Today’s European historical city centre streetscapes, many of which are designated cultural heritage sites, consist of a mix of urban and architectural housing heritage of different periods, including post World War II period buildings. Nevertheless, knowledge of history of historical centre post-war housing and their artistic and cultural-historical values of this recent past is still insufficient, to a certain degree contradictory, and in some cases even incorrect. This is particularly accurate regarding Modern Movement serial or type Soviet housing in former Soviet republics. This paper presents an ongoing research intended to identify valuable housing streetscape architecture and urban layout traits of post-war period in Latvia (1945–1990) in the environment of historic centre. The goal is to provide specialists in planning and heritage fields with appropriate evaluation criteria and correct know-how material on the theme, as well as general public with cultural historical information considering post-war housing heritage. In this study an example of post-war Modern Movement serial Soviet housing in the historical centre of Riga, the capital city of Latvia, and its protection zone is drawn. The research is based on mapping and auditing streetscapes using Maryland Inventory with this housing typology in historical built environment to identify most common characteristics and qualities of these buildings. The main conclusions are that historical street-scapes do not have significant qualitative differences from historical mixed with post-war housing streetscapes, whereas the quality of streetscapes with dominating post-war modern housing tends to differ from historical streetscapes, as well as has similar shortcomings to those of the large-scale housing block streetscapes.

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