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  • Housing Estate Destiny 3

    Seeking Ways and Means in the 21st Century
    Žirmuna Housing Estate, Vilnius, Lithuania 1962–1969

    Text: Melinda Benkő


    In the 2014/2 issue of MÉ we started a series of articles on prefab housing estates in Europe that were professionally acknowledged at the time of their construction. Following examples in Grenoble and Magdeburg, the third article is about a project in Vilnius and thus presents the designing principles of the first prefab-technology housing estate built in today’s Lithuania, formerly the Soviet Union including its unique values, contemporary issues, and the potentials of revival. Housing estates built in the 1960s and 70s have reached their „middle age” by now. Young people who moved in there are elderly today, and a natural consequence of political, economic and social changes in the post-Socialist countries is the demographical crisis which affects most of them. However, However, the residential environment is unsuited to satisfy more recent demands: the buildings and public domains have no unobstructed access, the need to maintain the housing units is too intense owing to their disadvantageous energetical faculties of the prefab technology, public institutions are outdated and unused. In Central Europe, and especially in the states of the former Soviet Union, thus also in Lithuania, where prefab housing makes up about 50 % of the whole housing stock housing estates must be given a chance to survive. There is no other option, as this heritage of the 20th century cannot be forgotten.