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Revenge of the pest architect or unfinished sickle: How the House-Sausage appeared in St. Petersburg

For a long time, this five-story building, located on Babushkina Street, was considered the longest in St. Petersburg. No wonder, because it extends 300 meters in length, and because the building was built in the form of an arc, it was called “Sausage House”. And many who have seen this “miracle of architecture” are wondering: why was it built and is it convenient to live in it?

Innovation or simple savings?
In fact, such a strange shape and length of the house were not at all the embodiment of progressive architectural thought of the employees of the Stroycom bureau. So long curved house built in order to save. At the turn of the 1920s and 30s, when it was created, a course was adopted in the USSR for cheap, economical housing by type of commune, and a huge number of young Soviet families could be settled in such a house. Since the building was designed with multiple sections (as if “glued together” from several residential buildings), the lack of “extra” ends meant lower heating costs, because, as you know, it’s always colder in corner apartments. And the curvature of the building, according to the calculations of the authors of the project, was to save a little space.

Professional architects see the style of Gregory Simonov in the architecture of this building, which he adopted from his German colleagues: open brick combined with plaster, continuous glazing of staircases, etc. Simonov really managed this project and was one of those who signed it.

Legends about the origin of the house
In Soviet times, among the tenants of this house there was a legend that initially this building was conceived as part of the architectural composition “Hammer and Sickle”, in other words, this house had to be crossed by a no less long “brother” – in the form of a hammer. Like, from a height it would look very impressive. However, for some reason the project was not finished, and leaving the “sickle” alone. Now it is difficult to find out if this is true or not, but almost immediately after the construction, a completely different nickname stuck to the curved building – “sausage”.

There was a more pessimistic, not at all romantic version about the origin of this building among the tenants: according to rumors, the house was designed by a certain pest architect – to make the life of Soviet people extremely uncomfortable, and when his insidious idea came to light, he was sent to places not so remote. And speaking of purity, living in it really was not very convenient.

Is it easy to live in a “sausage”?
At first, almost all the apartments in the house were communal (three-room), and settled at the rate of 4.5 square meters per person. Interestingly, the design did not assume the presence of bathrooms, and there was no hot water. In order to have a quick wash, the tenant had to ask the neighbors not to go into the kitchen for a while and perform water procedures over the sink, drawing water under the tap and warming it on the stove. Many residents of high-rise buildings went to wash in the nearest city baths, which were located a few stops from the house.

Initially, the presence of bathrooms was not expected. /Photo:citywalls.ru

Initially, the presence of bathrooms was not expected. /Photo:citywalls.ru
There are 25 main entrances in the building. Simple Leningraders lived here. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, the people were friendly. During the war, like everyone else, survived the blockade, helping each other.

In the second half of the last century, apartments gradually became “modernized”. Kommunalki settled, many tenants did redevelopment in apartments – for example, having equipped a bathroom in the kitchen (good squares in the apartments were large).

In recent years, the apartments have become more modern. /Photo: the-village.ru

In recent years, the apartments have become more modern. /Photo: the-village.ru
Now representatives of completely different social strata live in this house – both wealthy people, and not so much, and intellectuals, and simple hard workers. Although the building does not have the status of an architectural monument, it is considered a symbol of the Soviet era, and its creator, Grigory Simonov, was an architect ahead of time, since such curved or long buildings began to appear in our country much later – 20-30 years later.

 

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