COMMERCIAL KITCHENS were factories for public food service and enterprises for mass production of ready-to-serve and semi-finished meals. They were built in Leningrad at the end of the 1920s - beginning of the 1930s with the purpose of providing hot meals to workers of industrial enterprises and relieving female workers from cooking at home, and also with the purpose of studying the nutrition processes. The construction project of the first four commercial kitchens was developed in 1928 (architects A. K. Barutchev, I. A. Gilter, I. A. Meerzon, and Y. O. Rubanchik, engineer A. G. Dzhorogov). The authors saw the commercial kitchen as a highly automated facility that allowed delivering ready-to-serve and semi-finished foods to consumers. Every commercial kitchen consisted of the production zone and a store: the former included a storage area, a cooking facility and other production areas, and the latter — a shop for selling prepared foods and a canteen. Commercial kitchens were planned to be located in workers' districts of Leningrad, close to large industrial enterprises. Designed in the style of constructivism, buildings of commercial kitchens were to become a kind of architectural dominants and play an important role in the formation of the new appearance of former factory outskirts according to the conception of their founders. The first commercial kitchen (Nevskaya Commercial Kitchen) was built in 1928-29 in Nevsky District (today 119а Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue). In 1931, it produced 35,000 dinners a day. In 1929, Stalinskaya Commercial Kitchen (later known as Vyborgskaia factory Kitchen) was opened at 45 Bolshoy Sampsonievsky Avenue. The planned production capacity (12,000 dinners a day) increased three times after the so-called thermos crews were organized at the factory at the beginning of the 1930s, when the ready meals were delivered directly to enterprises of Vyborgskaya Side (delivering in 1931 some 36,000 dinners a day). In the 1980s, Coeval Cafe was located in this building. In 1930, the largest commercial kitchen - Kirovskaya Commercial kitchen (later - Narvskaya Commercial kitchen, afterwards known as Commercial kitchen № 1) was opened on the spot of the former Taganrog tavern in Narvskaya Zastava (today 9 Stachek Avenue), making some 60,000 dinners a day in 1931. In 1930-31, Vasileostrovskaya Commercial kitchen № 1 was built at 68 Bolshoy Avenue of Vasilievsky Island with the planned production capacity of up to 35,000 dinners a day (closed in 1982). In the 1930s Vasileostrovskaya Commercial kitchen № 2 worked at 6 Uralskaya Street. In the 1930s, the commercial kitchens failed to deliver the expected results because of food shortages. The last commercial kitchen was closed in 1990.
Vyborgskaia Factory Kitchen
St. Petersburg, Russia
1 of 1Richard Anderson via Flickr
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