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What can surprise CFT House in St. Petersburg – a kilometer-long museum of Soviet architecture

This is an unusual building on the Novosmolenskaya Embankment in St. Petersburg, which was popularly called the “House of CFT” (the Center for Corporate Trade) – the brightest representative of late Soviet architecture and, in particular, of Leningrad architecture. The building surprises not only with its appearance and incredible length, but also with its internal layout. Indeed, in the House of CFT in the Soviet years, two-level apartments were designed!

The grand building was built in the mid eighties of the last century, in other words, at the sunset of the USSR. It was designed by a whole group of Soviet architects. Moreover, first the central part of the house was erected, and then the edges.

The CFT house is almost three times longer than the St. Petersburg House-sausage, it occupies almost the entire embankment of the Smolenka River and has about forty main (porches) in it. However, the building does not look boring due to the interesting architecture. It is stepped, with towers (in different parts of it the height varies from 11 to 16 floors). Along the lower floor was conceived gallery stores Center for branded trade. Now there are also shops there, and there are at least two dozen of them in the building.

Residential multi-storey building (and in fact – a residential complex), standing on a high base near the water, became part of the architectural ensemble and harmoniously fit into the surrounding landscape. The style of the building is called late modernism and brutalism, as evidenced by large vertical ledges, stepped towers and high narrow arches that look like giant cracks. Well, large concrete tiles are very characteristic of non-typical residential buildings of the 1980s.

The two-floor apartments of the CFT House are designed so that on the lower floor there are “guest” rooms (living room, kitchen and second bathroom), and on the top floor there are bedrooms, first bathroom (for owners) and bathroom. Two levels are connected by a wooden ladder. In general, the interior of such an apartment is very similar to the layout of a small private house-cottage. Probably, the architects took this idea from Western (for example, British) colleagues who designed similar houses in the 1960s.

In many apartments, the designers have provided storage rooms and walk-in closets, which emphasized the elitism of the residents. However, the apartments in the house were given to different categories – both military men and workers of the shipping company and the Baltic Shipyard, as well as representatives of other completely ordinary professions, settled in it.

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