The Socialist Life of Modern Architecture: Bucharest, 1949-1964, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Socialist Life of Modern Architecture

Bucharest, 1949-1964, 1st Edition

By Juliana Maxim


188 pages | 86 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138820357
pub: 2018-11-29
Hardback: 9781138820340
pub: 2018-11-27

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The Socialist Life of Modern Architecture is the first systematic architectural history of Romania under socialism written in English. It examines the mechanisms through which modern architecture was invested with political meaning and, in reverse, how specific architectural solutions came to define the socialist experience.

Each of the book’s three parts traces the historical development of one key aspect of Romania’s architectural culture between the years 1949–1964:

  • the planning and construction of housing districts in Bucharest;
  • the role of typification of design and standardization of construction in a project of cultural transformation;
  • the production and management of a folk architectural tradition.

Going beyond buildings and architects to consider the use of photography, painting, and novels, as well as narrations of history and the formation of an ethnographic architectural heritage, the author explores how buildings came to participate in the cultural imagination of socialism—and became, in fact, a privileged medium of socialism.

Part of the growing interest in the significance of Soviet Bloc architecture, this is an important contribution to the fields of architectural history, cultural history, and visual culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: The Rise of the Socialist City Part 2: Type and Typification Part 3: Peasant Houses and Workers’ Apartments Index

About the Author

Juliana Maxim is Associate Professor of Architectural History at the University of San Diego, USA.

About the Series


The Architext series brings together recent debates in social and cultural theory and the study and practice of architecture and urban design. Critical, comparative and interdisciplinary, the books in the series will, by theorizing architecture, bring the space of the built environment centrally into the social sciences and humanities, as well as bringing the theoretical insights of the latter into the discourses of architecture and urban design. Particular attention will be paid to issues of gender, race, sexuality and the body, to questions of identity and place, to the cultural politics of representation and language, and to the global and postcolonial contexts in which these are addressed.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern