New goals and objectives in the housing sector in the 1950-1960s, such as providing people with apartments in fast and cheap ways, "to solve the housing question", open up a new chapter in housing development. Microrayons were supposed to create a particular residential environment, which has open planning structure, normative accessible social services and functional self-sustainability. 


A typical microrayon (from 10 to 60 ha) consisted of 3–4 residential groups. Each group was formed by medium or high-rise residential buildings around a courtyard. In the center of the microrayon, there were accessible social services and schools. The average population density of the microrayon was 450 people per hectare. The regulations fixed the number of shops, areas for recreation, entertainment, communication, physical education, and green space. Microrayon is bounded by the main streets and road network and divided by the local street and road network. The outer street network provides transit traffic while the inner provides access to the residential buildings and public facilities. The logic is very much similar to the urban block, but the sizes of a microrayon are several times bigger. 


It was also a turn to a new phase of industrialization based on the construction of house-building factories (DSC) throughout the country to optimize logistics in producing standard elements for housing. the infrastructure of mass housing construction, however, is still the basis of housing construction in post-Soviet Russia, where the microrayons has firmly taken first place as a type of spatial organization.



Pic. 06 Microrayon - Tolyatti


Solnechny case study - morphological integrity changed by significant post-Soviet transformation of open green spaces.


Among the built microdistricts of Irkutsk, Solnechny became one of the highest-density suburbs, where the ideas of the architecture of the late 1960s were primarily implemented. It means the introduction of wide boulevards and the formation of a system of endless greenery, including not only the construction of residential buildings on standard designs but also the construction of experimental residential buildings, which emphasizes its importance today.


Although all the new districts were located mainly near large green areas, since they were built on the city's outskirts, the position of Solnechny is exceptional - this is a peninsula protruding into the Angara. This made it possible, while in the city, to use the advantages of the river by placing a marina for boats here. Such areas still have a unique location market value. In this sense, the project and its match with the location are of interest for analyzing principles and arguments of non-market planning. To date, Solnechny remains one of the high-demand areas on the secondary housing market and has high real estate prices (real estate reports). . 


In addition to reflecting the ideas of 1960s architects about the living environment, the area is attractive to be studied because it has a high degree of implementation of the original plan. Besides social facilities, a significant part of which was implemented later, 90% of the project's housing sections were built. In this regard, the case makes it possible to disassemble and describe the spatial structure and housing typology of the microrayon of the late USSR, taking into account its functional and transportation hierarchy. A significant part of the housing development has stayed the same physically so far. It allows us to record how the initial ideas of the living environment are working today, to assess their relevance or redundancy.



Pic. 07 Solnechny



Pic. 08 Solnechny