OCT 08 / 9.30am – 11.00 am / BME K210


Dr. Kornélia KISSFAZEKAS PhD / Budapest, H
BME Department of Urban Planning and Design / LinkedIn

Dr. Endre VÁNYOLOS DLA / Cluj, Ro
Sapientia Faculty of Technical and Human Sciences 

Dr. Federica VISCONTI PhD / Naples, I
UNINA Department of Architecture



’Socialist in the Content’? ‘National in the Form’? 

The state socialism after World War II, can be divided into marked sub-periods of which the ’50s is perhaps the most controversial one. Maybe this decade saw the biggest contrast between the common belief in the need for social changes and the political will disguised by dictatorial demagoguery. In this context, the role of the architects was interpreted more broadly by contemporary political leaders. They were convinced that the designers could influence social mentality, by creating the ’life-frame’ of the new society.

1952: G.M.Orlov, a Stalin-award-winning Soviet architect, visited Budapest to help Hungarian architects formulate the new urban planning and architecture according to the social-political order versus ’cosmopolitan modernist ideology’. The instructions were as a summary of the political expectations, which included guidelines such as the transition to collective work, the widespread use of standardized designs, mass housing construction, the awareness of the urban significance of new public buildings, the roles of the new urban spaces and streets, the importance of the silhouette effects in the urban design; professional tasks related to the introduction of socialist realism. Presumably in every country of the Eastern Bloc was a “Comrade Orlov” who mediated Soviet directives amicably and oversaw its implementation. However, the transposition of centrally formulated ideas into local practice can show differences.

The main topic of the session is to formulate the contradictions of the 1950s, among others:
– soviet directives versus local tendencies;
– professional commitment to individual architecture versus the politically expected direction;
– among noble ideas, such as equal opportunities, housing as a fundamental right for the wider strata, and consequently the relationship between mass housing and quality;
–  to deny modernism and to formulate new stylistic features in contrast to the formal features of socialist realism.

The aim of the session is to objectively evaluate the urban architecture and architectural events of the decade, to analyze the relationship between the idea and reality, paying attention to their current context.



Bárbara Mylena DELGADO da SILVA & Dr. Eszter KARLÓCAINÉ BAKAY / Budapest Hu / Br
People’s Park: An Overview from Examples of Post-Socialist Urban Parks in Europe

It is seen through time that the human being needs to be close to nature. Over the centuries, the presence of areas that brought aspects of the countryside was always fundamental. Urban parks, in the 19th Century, were areas that provided freshness effects for an industrial city, society needed for physical and mental well-being, not even taking into consideration the sustainable and sanitary functions. In this regard, it is interesting how each society and public policy developed these spaces in the cities we live in today, including how the political models structured the urban design of the public areas of some of them. However, these areas were also tools of political theories towards society, such as the Soviet theory in which shows the need to build public spaces for a new “socialist man. This work aims to overview three public urban parks that were an instrument that helped to build a socialist society, known as “people’s parks,” their history, and how they were essential to the urban fabric today, especially in certain well-known cities in post-socialist countries such as Russia, Germany, and Hungary, taking in consideration their actual situation, as their uses and interventions through time.


János KLANICZAY / Budapest H
Measuring the Architectural Experience: Comparing the ‘50s and ‘70s during Urban Walking Tours

This study proposes a new methodology to measure the architectural experience perceived by locals by analysing and comparing geo-tagged photography taken by participants during guided walking tours. A comparison of two socialist housing estates in Budapest built in the 1950s and in the 1970s will be conducted to investigate which elements of the built environment inspire people to take photos of, and therefore which neighbourhood is more relatable for visitors. The lack of decorative architecture, such as we can see in prefab block housing areas, seems to alienate people from the built environment. Meanwhile in the early ‘50s housing estates were constructed in a more human scale in socialist realist style, where decorations were mandatory. The architectural heritage of the socialist era is often confused and misunderstood, so this study hopes to advance the public discourse, and give new tools for designers to understand the relation of citizens to the built environment. After analysing the quantity, geographical location and content of the photos taken during walking tours the data will be cross-referenced with the previously mapped POIs and itinerary, leading to the identification of key elements of housing estates that contribute to the urban experience of visitors.


Ekaterina GLADKOVA & Prof. Valerii KOZLOV / Irkutsk Ru
Urban Planning Concepts for the Renovation of Microdistricts in the 1950s-70s: the Result of a Workshop in Irkutsk

The strategies of development of microdistricts of 1950-70 considered in the article in the conditions of changing socio-spatial priorities of society and modern ideas of their transformation based on the projects of a three-week project seminar in Irkutsk. The method of parallel work of project groups with fundamentally different structures of microdistricts makes it possible to generalize design models, urban planning approaches to the transformation of microdistricts of a large city in the context of modern urban planning assessments and experience in the renovation of mass residential buildings. The methodological unity of the project approach began with a discussion on the topic, the concept of a place, the interpretation of its uniqueness, in which the physical, symbolic, typological, morphological, and material context differ. Despite the differences between microdistricts, the projects used common standards of integrated development, the effectiveness of which was evaluated. With the generalization of urban planning solutions in projects taking into account the diversity of microdistricts, the principles of spatial planning adaptation of the microdistricts development to the prospective requirements and interests of the population are proposed on the basis of the developed design models and prospects for the development of microdistricts.


Ana BORANIEVA / Barcelona E / MK
In the Shadow of Skopje’s Railway Artefact: The Interscalar Character of the Artefact as a Condition for Constructing New Centrality

Skopje railway station is an artefact, dating from the post-earthquake reconstruction of the city. Kenzo Tange’s master plan, envisioned the station as a strong urban artefact, a “CITY GATE”, dimensioned to embody an intermodal city entrance and a new urban centre. It was designed as a metabolic mega-structure, corresponding to the traffic needs of the young capital; and as a sole point where all traffic converges. As a new urban centre, it was outlined as a great concentration of administrative and commercial activities. Due to a complex economic and political context, the project was never completely constructed. The evolution of the built structure understood continuous segregation and detachment from its environment creating peripheries in the city core. The focus of the research is to understand the potential of this alien element, but also to rise the pending discussion on the urban digestion of the mega-structures and reprograming the outdated infrastructural artifacts. In that sense, I analyse the dialog between the artifact and the city, emphasizing the relation between the infrastructure and the public space. I search for situations of positive conflict in the case of Skopje and other similar cases, as an impulse towards a new epicentre of urban activity.


in the online+ session / OCT 09 / 9.00 am

Lyudmila KOZLOVA & Dr. Anastasia MALKO / Irkutsk Ru
The Structural Role of Public Spaces in 1950-80s Mass Housing: Experience and Prospects of the Akademgorodok District in Irkutsk

The article examines the changes in the development of private and public spaces from the 1950s to the present time on the example of the district of Akademgorodok in Irkutsk. The trends in the development of society reflect the differences between the ideology of project proposals implemented in the 1950s and the current state of the space. The public spaces of the district preserve the sustainability of the post-socialist city, especially given the ability of public spaces to adapt and continue to function in conditions of socio-economic transformations and challenges. The article analyses the relationship of design ideas and realities of different historical periods in the context of Akademgorodok. In modern strategies and experience in creating a comfortable living environment, there is a relationship with the morphology of the development of the district as the basis for a socially inclusive form of reviving public spaces. The German experience of the quarter’s management can have a positive impact for the formation of a unified scenario for the development of the district.