An Aspect of Urban Architecture

Residential Buildings in the Social Realist Style in Budapest

Text: Kornélia Kissfazekas

Research works surveying the tendencies in the state socialist countries still do not actually favour the urban architecture of the 1950s. The memories of political influences, the dictatorial system and the directives permeating every aspect of life evoke negative feelings sometimes based on personal experience when dealing with the products of urban architecture and architecture in general. The success of some of the reconstruction projects in the recent past have slightly modified the tone, but they are typically public buildings of significance, building complexes of city centres that received special attention even at the time of their constructions. The role and position of residential buildings and complexes, however, differed from this substantially, and their designs have provided some scope of freedom for architects. In the early 1950s building complexes were designed by the dozen that were primarily expected to meet the needs arising due to the inadequacy of building stock. Despite housing with various standards, the frequently used architectural clichés and frequently criticised methods of development these housing estates have stood the test of times from one special and important aspect.