New Open Access Articles, Architectural Histories

Ekaterina Heath's picture

Vronskaya, A., (2022) “Modernism and Mobilization: From Viktor Sokolsky’s Economic Principle to Interwar Architectural Planning”, Architectural Histories 10(1). doi:


Influential before the revolution of 1917, the work of the now-forgotten Russian imperial military architect Viktor Sokolsky (1869–1913) on the efficiency of construction continued to be studied in the aftermath of the revolution. An analysis of its influence reveals how modern architecture converged with military history, blurring the established historiographic boundaries between the radical and the regressive. Among the projects that developed Sokolsky’s intentions is Moisei Ginzburg’s Narkomfin building in Moscow (1928–1930). The genealogy of this modernist icon reveals its roots in a typology well developed in imperial military architecture: the barracks. This example demonstrates that the emergence of modern, mass, warfare led to an elaboration of the principles of modernist, mass architecture with its ethos of hygiene, efficiency, and economy.

Stătică, I., (2022) “From Biopolitics to the Lived Body: Maternity, Reproduction and Domestic Space in Socialist Bucharest (1965–89)”, Architectural Histories 10(1). doi:


Two major reforms initiated in Romania during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s dictatorship (1965–89) tied the gendered domestic sphere directly to the urban landscape of socialism. In 1974, one of these reforms envisioned the restructuring of the city based on unprecedented mass housing construction using prefabricated elements. The other had criminalised abortion in 1966 in an attempt to increase the country’s population, (re)prescribing the essential role of women’s bodies in the social reproduction of socialism, thereby establishing the importance of domesticity in the formation of subjectivities and the (literal) reproduction of subjects. Taking this framework as a point of departure, and enquiring into state policies regulating the body and the home on the one hand and modes of appropriation by these spaces’ inhabitants on the other, the article argues that domestic architecture played a fundamental role in constructing and deconstructing women’s mythical position within state socialism. At the level of the city, the notion of natality opens peculiar perspectives upon the way in which urban planning responded to the legal framework that regulated the social body. The transition to the scale of the apartment through socialist and post-socialist ethnographic accounts and visual culture (art and film) brings to light a contradictory discourse, whereby women detached themselves from any idealised projection present in the public discourse. Shifting from the scale of the city to that of the apartment, the article builds on these antagonisms, unfolding the gendered (and convoluted) nature of the socialist domestic space.

Categories: Open Access, Research
Keywords: new publication