Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stacked Townhomes - a Russian precedent

Thanks go out to reader Tony Denzer for his observation and recall. Tony pointed out this Russian precedent of an apartment building that follows the pattern of stacked townhouse.

This interesting example was published in the well known book Modern Architecture: A Critical History by Kenneth Frampton. Here this design by Ivanov and Lavinsky is described as a precursor to Le Corbusier's Unite stacked apartments. The Russian pair prepared this design for an international housing competition in 1927 and it is believed that this design is something that Corbu would have been well aware of by the time he designed his own apartment units.

Although the 1 & 1/2 floor configuration of the apartment units are the same as Corbu's Unite, the apartment buildings themselves are very different. The Russian apartment building is not a tall multi-story block, but rather just a 3 story building containing only the two stacked units, however they are oriented off a central hallway suggesting a long horizontal apartment block.

Also of interest in this scheme is the outdoor space for each unit, in both cases off the shared bedroom. Since access to the units appears to be from the common hallway, this means the ground floor bedroom can have an outdoor space that is not an entry porch.

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