|Communal Living in Russia: Photos|
|The one and only water heater in a large apartment stands in the hallway. 1997.|
|Basic Facts and Background|
Where: The hallway of a large apartment in the center of St. Petersburg.
What: The floor plan of this apartment is shown in this drawing.
At the left behind the ladder is the door to the kitchen, and straight ahead is the door to the washroom. It is very rare to see a water heater installed in the hallway, as this one is, as usually there is no ventilation in the hallway. In this case, only the washroom has hot water, while the kitchen sinks do not. In principle, it would probably be possible to install pipes to provide hot water to the kitchen, but strained relations among the residents have prevented them from coming to agreement on the issue.
Basins and pails are kept not only in the washroom but also in the hallway. Over the washroom door is a curtained shelf.
The hallway, which is narrow but cluttered with old furniture, is usually pitch black because there is no common light bulb, but only bulbs belonging to specific residents. Consequently, the light is turned on only when needed.