Natalia Dubrovina, Sergei Sementsov


Introduction: This paper is a result of a long-term comprehensive study of Houses and Palaces of Culture in Leningrad, designed or constructed in the 1920s–1930s. It provides proofs and clarifications for those intermediate studies and conclusions that we previously performed and drew. Our main finding is a refined methodology to establish grounds for the protection of a special type of buildings — Houses and Palaces of Culture in the style of constructivism — both at the urban-planning and facility levels. Materials and methods: In the course of the study, we examined archival as well as published scientific and reference sources, including illustrations, on the subject, analyzed the master plans of Petrograd/Leningrad, performed on-site investigations and office processing of the obtained results, and compiled detailed graphic models. Results: We identified all the planned, partially constructed, and implemented designs of a special function — Houses and Palaces of Culture — in the territory of Leningrad in the 1920s–1930s, tracked prerequisites for their creation at the urban-planning level in the Leningrad development system of the time, grouped the facilities according to the main urban-planning, architectural-and-artistic as well as cultural features, and found examples of such buildings that developed the most. Based on the identified facilities, we propose methodological approaches to identify the values of Houses and Palaces of Culture in the style of constructivism, clarifying the existing structure of grounds for protection, established for such facilities. The study showed that some of the most significant architectural-and-artistic as well as urban-planning features of Houses and Palaces of Culture are very vulnerable. Conclusions: The proposed methodology to identify (clarify) values (grounds for protection) of such facilities will ensure a more holistic, comprehensive approach to the preservation of unique architectural-and-artistic, space-and-planning as well as urban-planning features of cultural heritage facilities of the avant-garde period.


Grounds for protection, cultural heritage facility, constructivism, Palace of Culture, House of Culture, Soviet architecture, restoration, adaptation.

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