Latest Docomomo Publications

Docomomo Journal 51: Modern Housing. Patrimonio Vivo

Patrimonio Vivo

Journal 51
Modern Housing. Patrimonio Vivo (100 pages)

The House, the Home and the Housing Question 
By Ana

Housing and City: Old Problems, New
Joan Busquets

Modern Housing: Heritage and Vitality 
By Josep Maria Montaner And Zaida MuxíMartínez

Housing Envisaged as a Patrimonio Vivo (Living Heritage) 
By Josep Maria Montaner

Hood Gardens and the Rehabilitation of Post-War Mass Housing in London 
By Aranzazu Melon

Activation in Contemporary Collective Housing. Barcelona Experiences 
By Isabel Aparici Turrado

to Deal with Halen Estate 
By Bernhard Furrer

María Micaela 
Cooperative in Valencia: a Critical Assimilation of the Modern Legacy 
By Carmen Jordá And Maite Palomares

Tunal Experimental
: 40 Years Later an Experimental Housing Project in
Bogotá, Colombia, 1972 
By Ramón Bermudez, José Roberto
Bermudez, Daniela Sanj Inés

of Social Housing in Buenos Aires. Lessons From Juan XXIII 
By Soledad Armada

Housing in the 60s in São Paulo 
By Maria Luiza

the Late 19th Century House Question to Social Housing Programmes in the 30s:
the Nationalist Regulation of the Picturesque in Portugal 
By Rui Jorge Garcia Ramos, Eliseu Gonçalves And Sérgio Dias Silva

Faces: Seeing Behind the Mask of Convention 
By Alice T.

in Modern Neighborhoods: Margarete Schütte–Lihotzky; Jakoba Mulder, Lotte
Stam-Beese; and Carmen Portinho 
By Zaida Muxí




Preservation of Authenticity and the Awareness of the Necessary 
By Luciana Rocha

Mexican Housing Units developed by the Social Security Institute 
By Juan Pablo Rodríguez Méndez






The House, the Home and the Housing Question 
By Ana

issue of the docomomo Journal is devoted to the theme of
Housing — “housing” in its broadest meaning coveringmulti-family apartment
buildings, single-family houses, privately-funded housing as well as government
— and institution— funded social/public housing.

Housing is a central program in contemporary architectural production.
Incorporating civilizing values of 19th century culture, the house arrives in
the 20th century at the time notions of private space and domestic comfort come
to the fore in Western Culture as values inseparable from the emergence of the
family in domestic space: the home. In 1951 Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), in
his Darmstader sprache, “Bauen, Wohnen, Denken”, relates the word building
(bau) with theverb “to be” and the action of “being” (bin), to conclude that
“dwelling is the fundamental trait of being, the mortals’
livingcondition.” Looking to reframe the sense of construction and to identify
the meaning of “being”, Heidegger’s criticism is moved by the failure of the
so-called rational materialist icsolution, and opens the discussion up to the
re-evaluation of the design action as a unique, magical and creative action.

In the second half of the 19th century, with the Arts and Crafts movement, a
process focused on finding comfort and a sense of intimacy and privacy in the
dwelling is begun. Espoused by the vanguard of the early 19th century, housing
became a tool of the ideological agenda of the modernity. The analysis of
dwelling conditions implies an understanding ofthe occupation of space: related
spaces, uses and functions. Addressing the act of living as a cultural fact,
the house reflects the time and manner of its production. In its internal
organization, the house responds to the mode of existence that the environment,
culture and civilization suggest. Its design reveals the time and taste of the
inhabitants, the family’shabits, and it offers many clues about the nature of
social relations. The rapid changes in domestic architecture that followed the
course of the 19th century have profoundly altered the boundary between public
and private space.

Following Engels’ housing question (1872), the idea of ahome for all or, as it
has been stated in the ‘60s, for the “greatest number”, addresses architecture
practice at a political level, becoming to be understood as a determinant
social factor.

With a new twist, modern homes brought to the debate themes of public and
private life, intimacy, exposure and gender. The house, seen from the cell, the
module, the system, and expanded across the city, constituted the fundamental
issue debated within the architecture of the Modern Movement. CIAM discussion
forums triggered profound consequences, both in the organization of the family
house unit and of themulti-family housing blocks. The theory of the minimal
house, based on the Existenzminimum concept, was present, not only in models
for social housing, but also in the bourgeois houseprogram. It was Sigfried
Giedion (1888–1968) who, in 1929,wrote about modern forms of housing showing
the house’s “magic formula” for the future: light, air and openness
whilelaunching, in the same year, the theme of CIAM II: “MinimumHousing.”

docomomo acknowledges the major relevance of reflectingon Modern
Movement heritage, focusing on these mainissues: house and housing. As Joan
Busquets argues “in thecourse of the 20th century, housing became a science due
tothe huge efforts of progressive architects and their great interestin
addressing this issue that had been raised with majorpolitical impact by

I wish to thank Josep Maria Montaner and Zaida Muxiwho acted as guest editors
for this issue of the Journal. Due to their commitment and research in the
field, together with the knowledge of the range of researchers who agreed to
share their work, and their analysis and creative interpretation that focused
on some key architectural houses or housing complexes— from Barcelona’s
innovative experiments to RobinHood Gardens’ symbolic destiny, social housing
cases from Valencia to Bogotà, from Buenos Aires to São Paulo, and from
cultural to technical or gender aspects — it is possible to extend this debate
by reflecting on the link between design and housing, and the house and the

The challenge of considering sustainability as the urgent contemporary issue
facing momo buildings and neighborhoods was reflected in the main docomomo
forum discussions held during the 13th International docomomo Conferencein
Seoul, South Korea, in September 2014. A resultof the discussions was the
establishment of the docomomo ISC on Sustainability. Apposite to the emerging
theme ofsustainability, the student workshop that preceded the Seoul conference
comprised a design discussion on the future of Sewoon Arcade, the Seoul modern
commercial and housingmega-structure recently threatened with destruction.
Thanks to the efforts of many people the demolition has been avertedand a new,
economically — and socially — sustainable life is now envisaged for this
amazing structure.

Ana Tostoes

of docomomo International

References: Martin Heidegger, Bauen, Wohnen, Denken, Vortägeund Aufsätze, G.
Neske, Pfullingen, 1954 [1951]; CIAM II, L’HabitationMinimum, Zaragoza, COAA,
1997 [orig. German, 1933]; Sigfried Giedion,Befreites Whonen, Leipzig, Orell
Füssil, 1929.