The Apartment of Stubborn Cats

04. 2019
Khrushchyovka is a type of concrete/brick, three to five storied apartment building developed in the Soviet Union during early 1960s. The low-budget & quick-to-build residential scheme was soon adopted in China as allocated housing under planned economy. Such building could still be seen in many places in China, especially in old dormitory towns constructed in 1970s. However, the prototype slowly lost its appeal as housing sector became more and more market oriented. In Xinzhen, a residential town attached to state-owned research institute, a group of matchbox-like Khrushchyovka buildings were vacated for demolition.

Interestingly, in the building’s last days, street cats took over the space and once again turned them into occupied blocks. ‘The city of cats and the city of men exist one inside the other, but they are not the same city.’ – Calvino symbolized the animal’s presence as an alternative reality for the artificial environment, subconscious of building that only emerges when human dominance lifts.

The following drawings are documentation for such ‘memory’ – for Khrushchyovka’s dream of ‘social condenser’ at the end of its life.

Standard Living Units

Vertical Street Activity

Shared Public Balcony

Stair Common Space