Scielo RSS <![CDATA[CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios]]> vol. sp22 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[What architecture for the middle-class?]]> <![CDATA[Devicology: Expanding fieldwork possibilities for architectural observations in inhabited interiors. The case of Japanese post-war mass housing]]> Abstract Japanese mass housing from the 1960s has a colloquial nickname - danchi, which can be translated as “common land.” Originally celebrated by the public as a highly desirable living environment, danchi are now becoming a source of problems for the government. After briefly introducing the reader to the history of danchi, this paper will turn to investigate the interior lives of their current residents who stay hidden from the media attention behind dilapidating concrete walls and layers of social stigma. This work will attempt to propose a practical methodology on how to collect and interpret ethnographic materials from the apartment visits in relation to factual architectural knowledge. The data collected during the visits became the most controversial part of this research: in the spotlight is the abnormal inability of danchi residents to verbally admit their unsatisfactory living conditions that arises from the Japanese cultural characteristic of gaman, roughly translated as “perseverance”. Despite dire living conditions, clearly depressed inhabitants keep repeating that they cannot imagine living a better life. Balancing on the edge between ethnography and architecture, an innovative interior analysis method named “Devicology” (in homage to Wajiro Kon’s “Modernology”) can help us look beyond these modest replies by detecting “devices” -- intricate systems of unconventionally used furniture and smaller, less permanent objects, that are unconsciously assembled by the residents. These visually chaotic yet surprisingly functional structures are the only tool of the current dwellers to negotiate with the restricting standard apartment plans that were originally designed for a very different sector of the Japanese population. Beginning as an examination of behaviour patterns in a single apartment, Devicology has the potential to become a study of the collective unconsciousness of different people stuck in the same conditions with the same set of rules. <![CDATA[Community centres in increasingly diverse neighbourhoods: policies and practices of community building in post-war housing estates in Switzerland]]> Abstract This paper uses research conducted in Swiss post-war high-rise estates to focus on policies and practices of community building in neighbourhoods with an increasingly diverse population. Initially, the estates were mainly populated by Swiss and Southern European lower to middle income families, but latterly the household structures have become very heterogeneous with residents coming from all over the world. The planning and development policies of the estates are based on specific ideas about creating a community, which are still evident in the building and management of community centres but also in various facilities for common use (playgrounds, football and sport fields, community rooms and kitchens, libraries, petting zoos, cafés, crafts rooms, etc.). The community centres, along with community work, are key to encouraging encounters, connecting people and activating cultural life in the neighbourhoods and have played a pioneering role far beyond the boundaries of their respective estates. However, individualisation and pluralisation processes, the aging of the facilities and built structures, and economic pressures pose challenges for the community centres. The current Covid-19 crisis reinforces these challenges by limiting and impeding cultural activities and direct (physical) social encounters. The paper analyses the potential and the challenges of community building in the context of growing diversity among residents, and acknowledges what we can learn from these experiences when thinking about creating and strengthening communities in a multi-faceted world today. <![CDATA[The tool of planning agreements: Milan at the core of an underexplored reading of the post-war Italian cities between the public and private sectors]]> Abstract The canonical planning and historiographical perspectives concerning the Italian cities in the second post-war period describe their complex modernization and expansion process mainly due to linear sequences of planning acts and policies. The public housing estates, their models, strategies, and agents are the consolidated interpretative categories to address the Italian boom. The paper aims to question this understanding of the role played by the public powers facing the planning agreements as underexplored tools of Italian planning. Their original interpretation in connection with the post-war Italian planning legislation and the tools of the City and Detailed Plans opens to a nuanced history in the relationship between the public and private sectors, and the practices in the central and expansion areas of the post-war cities. In the Italian legislative context, planning agreements are long-standing arrangements between the public administration and public or private actors, aiming at organizing and disciplining expertise and goods for planning purposes. Mainly interpreted as technical measures to overcome the City Plans constraints in the expansion areas, they rather reflect a stratified experience of punctual negotiation throughout the city, offering a privileged lens to observe tools and practices, professional and administrative networks, demands for social emancipation and renewal of planning processes, at the centre of a complex system of actors, habits, disciplinary and critical positions, leading to a reinterpretation of cultural and professional backgrounds and of social and negotiation processes, which is crucial for a complex reading of the post-war Italian cities. In the second post-war period, the city of Milan offers a significant framework to observe the use and critical understanding of this tool, being at the core of the disciplinary debate and professional expectations of the 1950s and 60s. The meaningful case study of Piazza della Repubblica tower, one of the best-known post-war projects by the architect Giovanni Muzio, is provided. <![CDATA[From an imagined community to genuine communities: Birth and development of Etrimo Apartment Buildings in Brussels, 1950-2020]]> Abstract Using an analysis of apartment buildings built in Brussels by the real estate developer Etrimo between 1950 and 1970, we investigate the ability of collective housing to build and support an inhabitants’ community. After World War II, Etrimo took advantage of the poor state of existing housing stock and the return of Belgian families from Congo to intensify its production of apartment buildings for aspiring middle-class homeowners. These buildings consisted of repeated, identical three-room dwellings offering all modern comforts for the nuclear family of the thirty-year post-war boom. The portrait of this family, reflected in various commercial brochures and the 14,000 dwellings built in Brussels by the private developer, suggests a relatively homogeneous middle class. How did this imagined, abstract community materialise? First, we present how the juxtaposition of identical households may or may not have produced a homogenous community at the project’s different spatial scales. This analysis is based on primary sources at our disposal: sales brochures, Etrimo advertisement posters, writings by the company’s founder Jean-François Collin on the legal and financial set-up of his business, plans of the housing units and complexes. Second, on the basis of interviews with inhabitants and on-site observations of living practices in the collective spaces of the housing estates, we highlight the model Etrimo housing estates offers contemporary society for new ways of living together. <![CDATA[What makes mass housing representations so different, so appealing?]]> Abstract References to mass housing complexes tend to balance between their generally unknown realities and the pervasive power of their representations. These are often nourished by emotional experiences conveyed by words and images in mass media and political discourse - especially when it comes to ghettos or problematic suburbs - and multiple arrays of commercial, documentary, and fictional depictions of everyday realities or aspirational imaginaries. Complementarily, different media types entered middle- and lower-class houses, rendering these mediations bidirectional by progressively conquering their place in the domestic scene. Besides, the history of access to housing runs parallel and often intertwined with the history of media, rendering mass housing an object of mass media and a pop culture subject, entangling different and often contradictory representations. Simultaneously the country of bande dessinée and the crisis of the banlieues, France is a particularly revealing example. Since the mid-1960s, comic strips acquired a special status in French society that rendered it an accurate cultural barometer of its culture. Alongside, France extensively built social housing estates in the outskirts of its major cities throughout Les Trente Glorieuses. As a result, these grands ensembles often became highly stigmatised and mediatised places with their bars and towers, frequently depicted in cinema, literature, comic strips, and other art forms. This paper aims to discuss the state of the art of the presence of social housing estates in French comics and present an array of comic books - produced since the 1970s - that depict these architectures and illustrate their social questions. These examples reveal the qualities and expose the contradictions of comics and the seductive power of the medium to explore the urban context of the banlieue, either when narrating its dystopic and violent environments or when enhancing the anthropological and visual qualities of these suburban settings. <![CDATA[The history of the Cité Balzac and the vicious circle of social housing]]> Abstract The history of the Cité Balzac, a housing complex built in the 1960’s in Vitry-sur-Seine, an emblematic “red suburb” in the south of Paris, reveals several transformations on public housing policies in France and some permanencies throughout five decades. Originally built to provide affordable housing for the inhabitants of problematic neighbourhoods within Paris, this large-scale complex inspired by post war architectural models and organized following functionalist urban-ism schemes has been initially occupied by an emerging middle class that left the apartments when private property became encouraged by a liberal government during the 1970’s. The social housing apartments were by then occupied by impoverished immigrants and French citizens coming from former colonies and became stigmatized as a symbol of social problems and ethnic conflicts. Recently, even being situated in a municipality dominated by the French Communist Party since 1920’s, the Cité Balzac was the epicentre of an intense urban renovation project led by the National Agency for Urban Renewal (ANRU), giving room to a controlled gentrification process that tried to erase the image of sensible neighbourhood that characterized this territory and its surroundings with the demolition of the bigger blocks and the ‘residentialization’ of the smaller ones. This project opened space for new housing blocks built by real estate and public works contractors based on private property to be occupied by middle class families that couldn’t afford to buy in Paris intramuros. This controlled gentrification happened gradually as the Grand Paris project was taking place, expanding the limits of the French capital to its closer suburbs with the extension and improvement of the public transportation system, feeding a vicious circle that raises fundamental issues about the role of social housing and its contradictions. <![CDATA[Total heavy prefabrication: Santo António dos Cavaleiros (SAC) and Quinta do Morgado (QM). Overview of the building process, exterior panel pathologies and a study for their rehabilitation]]> Abstract Prefabrication is one of the two great methods of industrialized construction that became cost-effective after World War II. The development of such industrialized building techniques was prompted by the great shortage of buildings resulting from the massive destruction of cities, the big demographic explosion and the industrial concentration after World War II (Blachère, 1975). Traditional construction, which was diffused and disorganized, short of skilled labour, materials and energy, came out ineffective. Most European countries came to the conclusion that housing provision, in terms of quantity, speed of construction and price, could only be solved with the use of industrialized construction. The use of heavy prefabrication in Portugal began in the mid-1960s, in order to meet the large national deficits (requiring 500,000 new dwellings per year). The first Portuguese building experience with this kind of technology began in 1964, accomplished by the construction company ICESA - Indústria de Construção e Empreendimentos Turísticos. This presentation will explore two significant case studies built by ICESA: Santo António dos Cavaleiros (SAC), a Housing unit of real estate development, with 42 hectares, located in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, near the Frielas bridge, Loures, about 2.5km away from the main city centre. Around 3000 dwellings were grouped in small-scale buildings (up to 5 floors) and towers (11 floors). They were divided into several categories, according to the organization of the space, floor area, materials and appliances, and typologies of one to four bedrooms per apartment; and, Quinta do Morgado, a Housing unit located in Lisbon, next to the Encarnação neighbourhood, where a total of 1660 dwellings were spread throughout 20 hectares. The planning, design and construction of this housing complex is the result of a bidding process carried out by the Lisbon City Hall (initially for 1140 houses), to tackle the housing problem of the lower classes.