March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 40 December 2012

History of architecture

Dunaev Sergey A.

PhD student.
Chair of Architectural Design.
Research supervisor: PhD. (Architecture), Associate Professor B.L. Krundyshev.
Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering,
Saint-Petersburg, Russia, e-mail: s.a.dunaev@yandex.ru

Lomakin Yury A.

PhD student.
Chair of Russian Art.
Research supervisor: Professor Ye.A. Borovskaya, PhD. (Architecture),
I. Repin St.Petersburg State Academy Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Russian Academy of Arts,
Saint-Petersburg, Russia, e-mail: y.a.lomakin@yandex.ru


In the course of work with the cultural heritage in St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region, the authors of this article have studied a range of materials connected with the history of charitable institutions, such as shelters and almshouses. This article is a result of our review of materials connected with the emergence and development of institutions for elderly and disabled people in Russia as special architectural and town-planning complexes.

The author’s review of inventories from monasteries dating back to the 18th century shows that none of them had an almshouse as a stand-alone building or a complex of buildings. At the same time, it may be considered as a hard fact that the functions of care for the sick and elderly were performed by the majority of monasteries.

Late 18th – early 19th century inventories contain descriptions of monastic complexes, the architectural and planning centres of which were represented by churches and refectories. They also contain descriptions of monk’s (nuns’) cells and auxiliary structures.

The analysis of sources has shown that the turn of the century witnessed accelerated progress and sophistication of architectural and planning solutions for care institutions for the elderly and disabled, both reconstructed and newly created under the aegis of the state and secular charitable societies. Almshouses were established as town-planning complexes, including a residential building and auxiliary structures such as baths, laundries, and pantries. Major almshouses would also include a church, hospitals, buildings with flats for persons in the care of the almshouse, a court yard for walks, and a garden.

Thus, in less than 200 years institutions for the elderly and disabled have passed a long way from being places for giving shelter to "the needy" in which these could quietly spend their final days to becoming complexes providing decent and, sometimes, rather comfortable existence, and acquiring in some cases a town-planning importance.

Key words: architecture of shelters and almshouses, homes for elderly

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017