Lenin avenue, 51

The building of the «House of Communes»
Gomel, Lenina ave., 51

House № 51, or house-commune, is the most famous among the works of Stanislav Danilovich Shabunevsky. It was presented as a business card of Gomel, therefore, according to the architect's idea, it had to be perceived both near and from afar. In the BSSR, this was the first attempt to create a house-complex with premises for various social and household purposes.

The building in the style of constructivism is a U-shaped volume in terms of a symmetrical axial composition. Spatial expressiveness is achieved by combining 7-storey corner volumes with central and side 6-storey volumes. The composition of the facades is symmetrical, dynamic due to risalites, blades, verticals with loggias. The central risalites of the main and side facades have stepped attics. The angular volumes of the building are raised by half a floor and significantly deepened towards the courtyard.

For the first time, the architect used a hotel-type housing scheme for an apartment building (cheaper than sectional type housing). The U-shaped layout and «light pockets» visually relieved the tension from the duration of the corridor layout. On the 2nd-6th floors there were 172 living cells with 2 – 3 rooms and mini–kitchens. Rest rooms and bathrooms were provided on each floor. There was an elevator between the forest marshes. The first floor was intended for a dining room, a library-reading room, a preschool, etc. In the basement there were household rooms, including rooms for washing and drying clothes.

The house was built in 1927 – 1931 for the workers of the car repair plant. However, when it was settled, the idea of a house as a means of forming a new socialist society did not materialize. The new residents did not seek to «generalize everyday life», and soon many of the premises on the ground floor were transferred to trade institutions. During the Great Patriotic War, the building was damaged, in 1946 – 1949 it was restored. For a long time it housed a hostel. Now it is used as a residential building with built-in social facilities.

image001.jpgLenin avenue, house № 51. Photography of the 1950s.

image002.jpgLenin avenue, house № 51. Photography of the 1970s - 1980s.

image003.jpgLenin avenue, house № 51. Photo of the 2010s.

image004.jpgLenin avenue, house № 51. Photo of the 2023s.