Regionalism and Modernity

Architecture in Western Europe 1914-1940

Leen Meganck (Editor), Linda Santvoort (Editor), Jan De Maeyer (Editor),

Series: KADOC-Artes 14

Category: Architecture and Urban Planning, History, History 1800-present

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058679185

Publication date: January 28, 2013

€59.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 240

Size: 280 x 225 x 20 mm

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Stock item: 68273

Standard delivery time for print books:

For Belgium: 5 to 8 working days

For EU: 2 to 3 weeks

For other countries: 4 to 5 weeks


Previously published: Sources of Regionalism in the Nineteenth-Century. Architecture, Art and LiteratureThe complex and shifting relation between regionalism and modernity

With its search for purity, honesty, modesty, and ‘fitness of purpose’, the late 19th and early 20th century concept of architectural regionalism is seminal to the modern movement. In later historiography, however, regionalism in Europe was neglected and even labeled ‘backward’. The origins of this drastic change of perception can be traced to the 1930s, when regionalism as a positive form gradually turned into a ‘closed’ form of regionalism, a folding back on one’s own region as a defence mechanism in an economically and politically turbulent decade.

In this book internationally renowned researchers investigate the complex and shifting relation between regionalism and modernity in the architecture of Western Europe between the two World Wars, with a focus on Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain. They demonstrate that regionalism cannot be separated from modernity, but is in fact a way of dealing with modernity and its contradictions. Applied to architecture, regionalism is a means to moderate modernism, to embed the design in its local surroundings. It is seen as a result of the search for identity in a modernizing and globalizing world where tensions arise between diversity and superiority and among science, aesthetics, and ideology. The employment of regional forms and concepts is then used as an adaptation strategy, a way to facilitate modernity. Rather than rejecting regionalism as an anti-modern phenomenon, this book’s contributors show that we should interpret regionalism as a striving for continuity within modernity.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content)

Hervé Doucet (University of Strasbourg); Kai Krauskopf (Technische Universität Dresden), Leen Meganck (Flanders Heritage Agency), Benoît Mihaïl (Police Museum Brussels), Lut Missinne (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), Björn Rzoska (Groen), Michelangelo Sabatino (University of Houston), Vanessa Vanden Berghe (University of East London), Johan Van den Mooter (Kempens Landschap), Evert Vandeweghe (Ghent University), Jean-Claude Vigato (École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Nancy)



Jean-Claude Vigato
Between Progress and Tradition. The Regionalist Debate in France

Hervé Doucet
Searching for a New Image. An Idealized Regionalism in Lorraine


Johan Van den Mooter
German Reconstruction in Belgium during World War I. A Regional Experiment

Leen Meganck
Patriotism, Genius Loci, Authentic Buildings and Imitation Farmsteads.
Regionalism in Interwar Belgium

Benoît Mihaïl
Traditionalist Architecture in Belgium between the Wars.
The Obsession with National Culture and the French Influence

Evert Vandeweghe
Municipal Imagery and Regionalist Architecture in the Aftermath of the First World War. Branches of the National Bank of Belgium in Flanders

Björn Rzoska
Farmstead, Tribe, Soil and National Character.
Clemens Victor Trefois, a Self-Made Farmhouse Expert from Flanders

Lut Missinne
Regionalism and a European View? Gerard Walschap on the ‘Heimatroman’


Kai Krauskopf
Standardization and the Landscape. Traditionalism and the Planning of Housing Estates in Germany between the Two World Wars


Vanessa Vanden Berghe
Oliver Hill. A Window on Regionalism in Britain during the Interwar Period


Michelangelo Sabatino
Toward a Regionalist Modernism. Italian Architecture and the Vernacular


Leen Meganck

Leen Meganck is Senior Researcher on Architectural History at the Flanders Heritage Agency.

Linda Santvoort

Linda Van Santvoort is PhD in Art History and Professor at the U.Gent. Her research focuses on architecture and conservation in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Linda Van Santvoort is Professor of Architectural History and Heritage at Ghent University.

Jan De Maeyer

Jan De Maeyer is professor emeritus of contemporary church history at KU Leuven and honorary director of KADOC-KU Leuven. His research focuses on political and social Catholicism, material Christianity, and the development of religious institutions and congregations.

Lost and Found: Regional Modernism in Europe
With 'Regionalism and Modernity', we get a more full and European perspective that suggests that in Europe maturation was dominant, but also more complex. European regionalism, assert the editors, was a “strategy for
ensuring continuity within a modernizing society which compensates for the increasing loss of landscape and tradition.” [...]
So considered altogether, 'Regionalism and Modernity' is a valuable contribution to the discourse that benefits a US audience by its ability to situate regionalism, modernism, historicism, and eclecticism within a social and political framework, while also demonstrating architectureʼs cultural and artistic relevance. Rather than simply a debate about style (regionalism, modernism, or neo-Tuscan?) as has been so often the case in the US, the European context demonstrates a closer and deeper relationship between culture, meaning and architecture.

Vincent B. Canizaro, University of Texas San Antonio

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