Soviet prototype of a plastic house built in the early 60’s

Soviet plastic house_1

The Soviets were known for their space technology, aircraft designs and political arm-twisting. And now it has come to focus that many Soviet engineers and architects also dabbled with the interesting possibility of making viable plastic houses for urban habitation. In fact, the above pictured prototype of the plastic house was built in Leningrad (now Saint-Petersburg) in 1961; the same year when Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin made headlines as the first human being in space.

The experimental house technically had two levels, with the ground floor accounting for heating and ventilation purposes. This level zero compartment was built with a specially reinforced framing material infused with glass blocks.

Soviet plastic house_2

Quite naturally, the main habitation zone was confined to the expansive upper floor; the walls of which were actually constructed from plastic. Plastic is already known for its high insulation property, thus allowing the maximum thickness of the walls to be around the 14 cm mark (as opposed to 25-35 cm thickness of conventional brick walls). According to an official documentation from that time, this wall arrangement incredibly equated to the insulation power of a 2 m thick brick wall.

Soviet plastic house_3

As for user-oriented zoning, the main habitation floor comprised of a single-room apartment with a kitchen, bathroom and even a compact terrace. The high windows were constructed from Plexiglas, while the piping was made from viniplast.

Soviet plastic house_4

Interestingly, the prototype nature of the house never led to its occupation by inhabitants in a regular manner. Instead the dwelling was used as an practical experiment to test the effectiveness of plastic in the long run. The results were presumably successful, as they were a few other plastic-based feasible buildings that were built in Moscow in the subsequent years.

Soviet plastic house_5

Unfortunately, the model house decayed to a considerable extent after its many years in sun. The above image shows the exact site of where the original plastic house was situated.

Via: EnglishRussia

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