Entries by Dick van Gameren

Groot Begijnhof


From the thirteenth century communities for unmarried women began to develop in a number of cities in the Low Countries. These begijnhoven, or beguinages, offered a safe haven for beguines, or women who wished to live a devout, chaste life, under the authority of the church, yet without the bonds of monastic vows. Such communities […]


AmsterdamAlexander Kropholler

In 1921 the rapidly growing city of Amsterdam took over Watergraafsmeer polder, hitherto an independent entity. The polder was already the object of a large-scale, planned expansion of the city, whose layout employed the then customary pattern of long, relatively shallow housing blocks. One exception to this pattern was a block between Middenweg, the original […]


ViennaHermann Aichinger & Heinrich Schmid

The large-scale housing programme implemented by the city of Vienna from 1923 to 1934 provides a unique example of a direct connection between politics and architecture. From 1919 to 1934 Vienna was run by a social-democratic city council, thus forming a political enclave, known as Red Vienna, in an otherwise highly conservative and clerically governed […]


LondonChamberlin, Powell & Bon

The large-scale destruction wreaked by the Second World War in London’s financial heart, the City of London, was responsible for intensifying the population decrease that had started many years before. Where 120,000 people had lived in 1851, this number was barely 5,000 a century later. The Corporation of London, the City’s governing body, resolved to […]

Peterstorp 3

MalmöStig Dranger & David Helldén

Standard and Adaptation Within the space of a few years around 1930 urban design in Sweden underwent a radical shift from a romantic, Sittesque to a strictly functionalist style. Traditional, dense urban blocks made way for austere open-row layouts. In the 1940s these were in turn adapted into a more irregular, landscape-inspired open design that […]


LondonKenneth Frampton/ Douglas Stephen & Partners

Efficiency through Complexity When Frank Lloyd Wright visited London County Hall in the 1950s, he was introduced to what was then the world’s largest housing body. In 1956, the Housing Division of the Architect’s Department of the London County Council (LCC) employed 310 architects who worked together on the design and realization of housing projects […]


KatowiceHenryk Buszko & Aleksander Franta

Plattenbau The Silesian city of Katowice boasts a few distinctive groups of residential tower blocks. They were designed in the 1970s by Henryk Buszko and Aleksander Franta who, from 1956, were in charge of the Polish state-owned office PPBO. Large-scale industrial housing developments, which dominate virtually all Russian and Eastern European cities, are usually labelled […]


AmersfoortApon, van den Berg, ter Braak, Tromp

Industrial Production During the 1960s, large-scale, industrial housing production really took off in Europe on either side of the Iron Curtain. A 1968 publication by the Stichting Bouwresearch (Foundation for Building Research) entitled Niet Traditionele woningbouwmethoden in Nederland (Non-traditional construction methods in the Netherlands) lists more than 30 government-approved construction methods that were in use […]