A loanword from German used to describe buildings made from large prefabricated concrete slabs, plattenbau was popularized in East Germany and throughout the former Soviet Union during the 1960s as a means of meeting increased demand for housing. Although many buildings could be constructed in a short period of time, plattenbau tended to give neighborhoods a drab sameness as they were filled with concrete rectangles hewn from the same template. A humorous take on this is the Soviet film The Irony of Fate, in which the entire plot hinges on the joke that you could find identical apartments in identical buildings on streets that shared the same name in both Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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