Ştefan RUSU

public space / projects

Flat Space

Bucuresti Street, Chisinau, 2009-2017

The point of departure for the FLAT SPACE/APARTAMENT DESCHIS project design was the interest for the private space limited by socialist society standards in flat buildings, which still represents a strong visual element of contemporary urban and social landscape of East European countries. Originally the project was conceived as a piece multiple meanings and functions, and the point here is that architecture comes with a specific kind of well-defined functionality and aesthetics, so from this perspective I was concerned with overcoming the idea of fixed functionality. FLAT SPACE was designed for CHIOSC produced by Oberliht Association

This choice to replicate an apartment is also informed by the fact that I was concerned with spaces and contexts that define this region and community, which has emerged as a result of socialist modernization. The entire society of the MSSR (Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic) was adapted to Soviet social standards, including the ideal creation of a new man, the cultivation of family values as builders of a homogeneous society. The designers and architects followed that policy and thus, a typified habitat were created, in which man and his family would live productively and this logic was tacitly assimilated by the society. As the population was constantly increasing and resources were limited, it gradually arrived at the flat buildings and uniform city-planning that currently dominates the capital’s urban scenery, not to mention that of several other cities in Moldova: Balti, Tiraspol, Kahul or Ungheni.

The other aspect that motivated the project itself is growing interest of local gastarbeiters that temporarily works (legally, but most of them illegally) ether in Russia but most of them in EU countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal, etc.). This process is very common for the population of other East European countries and determines the tendency to have a higher social status and possess its private space in the city no meter how small it is. Acquiring a flat apartment becomes the most efficient investment for the majority of the population and the sign of economical stability in post-transition period.

The FLAT SPACE/APARTAMENT DESCHIS project is a functional replica of a one-room apartment that comprises the basic components of a typical socialist habitat: the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room and the balcony. The transparency and openes is an important feature of the project since the apartment has no external walls (with the exception of the facade). The furniture and other technical elements of the apartment are marked as a technical sketch depicted directly on its floor.

Basically the project is a sampe of city-planning type of architecture, extracted from a typified socialist building block and placed in public space, where it will function as an open space/platform. Finally, the primary material for the FLAT SPACE project was reinforced concrete used in the fabrication of typified blockhouses; although I should say that a great deal of modern technologies and materials were equally common in the socialist and capitalist systems: concrete and metal rebar were widely used during the modernization period in both Eastern and Western societies.

Details: http://chiosc.oberliht.com/apartament/