Kolkhoz apartment building

Two-storey silicate brick apartment house

The silicate brick apartment house was built in 1964 for the workers of the Sookuru dairy barn at Järvesalu collective farm in Räbi village, Valga district in southern Estonia. Similar kolkhoz houses by standard design can be found all over Estonia and they have become a common part of our rural landscapes.   

The apartment building was transported 200 km from Southern Estonia to Tallinn in 2019.

The building includes four three-room apartments and they provide a picture of the everyday life of rural people in the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s and 2010s. In the basement, you’ll find an exhibition on the development of Estonian rural life from the establishment of collective farms to the present day, along with a play and activity area, which is called The World of Little Ilmar.

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Did you know?

  • A collective farmer was allowed to have one cow, one pig, one or two sheep and chickens and a 0.6-hectare plot of land for personal use.
  • In the late 1950s, the planning of residential buildings and villages started to be actively dealt with. Standardised project no. 61 was the most commonly used model in the rural areas between 1958 and 1962 – 32% of the residential buildings were built according to his design.
  • By 1970s, the standard of living in the larger and more successful collective farms was similar to that of urban residents – their apartments were similar, as were their furnishings, clothing, cultural activities and cars.
  • When Estonia regained its statehood in 1991, agricultural, ownership and land reforms were among the first to be implemented. In the course of the reforms, most of the collective farms were liquidated, and their assets were distributed or privatised.