Contested Legacies

Critical Perspectives on Post-war Modern Housing

Edited by Andrea Migotto and Martino Tattara

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Edited volume - paperback

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New insights on the controversial and often-overlooked postwar large-scale housing estates

In the light of the current housing and environmental crisis and increasing social inequalities, there is a growing sense of urgency for architecture as a discipline to engage with the transformation in housing evident in the postwar period. Rather than conceiving this task as a technical matter, this book proposes to reassess the conditions and legacy of this large and ubiquitous housing stock. By foregrounding the mismatch between constructed cultural, social and ideological narratives and the everyday realities of residents, the contributors rediscover the value of often-overlooked modern open spaces and reconsider the technological advances that paved the way for this large-scale construction.

Contested Legacies advances a new notion of heritage which, rather than seeking to preserve the past, sets outs to actively transform what exists to meet current societal needs. It offers an ‘atlas’ of exemplary cases, each illustrating a defining yet often neglected aspect of modern postwar housing, from which present engagement and active reflection can grow, making the book an appealing read for both scholars and housing practitioners worldwide.

Contributors: Umberto Bonomo (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Flávia Brito do Nascimento (Universidade de São Paulo), Gaia Caramellino (Politecnico di Milano), Federico Coricelli (Politecnico di Torino), Jesse Honsa (KU Leuven), Michael Klein (TU Wien), Andrea Migotto (KU Leuven), Nicola Russi (Politecnico di Torino), Heidi Svenningsen Kajita (University of Copenhagen), Martino Tattara (KU Leuven)

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).


Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

232 pages

Illustrated with colour section of 30 pp.

ISBN: 9789462703728

Publication: September 01, 2023

Languages: English

Andrea Migotto is an architect and researcher at the Faculty of Architecture of KU Leuven.
Martino Tattara is an architect and an associate professor at the Faculty of Architecture of KU Leuven.
This wide-ranging book takes the study of postwar ‘welfare state’ mass housing to a completely new level – no longer content merely to plead the intrinsic interest or variety of an unfashionable subject, or just to factually document it. Instead, Contested Legacies presents a vital, critical analysis of how this vast patrimony can now be transformed to face the future, both as a massive resource of homes and of embodied carbon, but also as a potent cultural and social heritage. In the process, the book ideologically harnesses and energises the sheer vastness, idealistic ambition, and diverse inhabitant experiences of postwar mass housing in a wide variety of European and South American countries, so as to present a head-on challenge to today’s practices of neoliberalism.
Miles Glendinning, University of Edinburgh
 
The line of reasoning in Contested Legacies is intriguing and novel. The focus on the transformation of postwar housing over time suggests a new orientation within architectural research that is productive not just for the architectural field but for society at large. In terms of social and material sustainability, researching the transformations of large-scale postwar housing is increasingly urgent, and this book contributes to a growing field of architectural research critically assessing the heritage of the recent past.
Thordis Arrhenius, KTH Royal Institute of Technology