2014. Luca Ortelli


Prof. Luca Ortelli


From the point of view of society’s development, housing is the main achievement of modern architecture. In spite of the small attention paid to this topic by the most popular histories of modern architecture, housing represents a wide and generous attempt to modify not only the city itself but also the conditions of its inhabitants. Beyond differences in architectural language and urban approach, housing is the most common and shared experience for many European architects from the very beginning of 20th century. The workshop is based on a series of classes illustrating different experiences in this domain, with a particular attention to Germany and Austria. The most radical examples, as well as the most traditional, will be illustrated. Students are requested to analyze housing projects from the first decades of 20th century, from the following points of view: Morphology, Typology, Construction, Cultural and political context. Our historical distance from that period allows us to analyze these experiences from a non-ideological perspective. In order to analyze the projects and evaluate their real qualities, two main issues are proposed. The first issue is the collective character and the capacity of a given project to represent it in architectural terms, easily understandable for a large public. The second issue is about realism as an intention influencing architectural and urban choices. Both collectiveness and realism will be object of discussion. The main attempt is to attain general definitions, considered as analytical tools and enriched by the development of the analysis themselves.

Students are requested to produce an individual illustrated report presenting the results of their analysis and their point of view, especially in relationship with possible contemporary issues. In a certain sense the workshop is design-oriented: in fact, the objective is more linked to theory than to history. In other words, the workshop aims to provide students with general theoretical methods and conceptual tools allowing them to define design strategies for contemporary housing projects.

The report will contain 5000 up to 6000 words and as many figures as necessary (historical documents and photos, schemes, drawings)

Students are also requested to elaborate a synthetic picture illustrating both conceptual and concrete aspects of their analysis (drawings, photos, photomontages, executed by computer and/or by hand).

Lectures’ subjects

Introduction to workshop. Methodological approach. Theoretical tools.

Housing in Histories of Modern Architecture. A criticism

Ernst May and the New Frankfurt. Urban concept and typological studies

Modern architecture and Red Vienna

Housing in Germany. Modernism and Traditionalism

Garden City. Heinrich Tessenow and Hellerau

Housing in Hamburg. Fritz Schumacher

Housing in Berlin. Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner

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