Laura Ingerpuu (Estonian Academy of Arts)
Comparing the Socialist Rural Architecture of the Baltic States:
The Past and the Future of the Administrative-Cultural Centres of Collective Farms
Collectivisation of agriculture in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was a drastic change that shaped rural built landscapes of the Baltic countries for five decades. Although Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been independent states, and collective farming has been abolished for almost thirty years now, the physical legacy of collective farms still exists. This paper examines what are the present processes in terms of preservation and valorisation of collective farm architectural heritage in the Baltic States. The focus of the analysis is on the administrative-cultural buildings of the collective farms, mainly built in the 1970s and 1980s, which represent the modernist and postmodernist rural architectural gems. I compare the context of the establishment of the administrative-cultural centres in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as developments in reuse and protection of these buildings after the abolishment of collective farming. I also analyse today`s situation in terms of acceptance of this socialist legacy as a meaningful part of the history. My study is based on the field work in the relevant countries, available literature and data, and interviews conducted with the heritage conservation experts and researchers in this field.