Scientific and technological quality, including any interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary aspects of the proposal
In Nouvelles Impressions d’Architecture, Libeskind (1998) writes “When architecture no longer deals with Space, all transactions, in which the container and the contained twisted together […] have come to an end”.
Morphology means the study of the form. Morphological elements of a system are:
- the ‘container’, the load-bearing scaffold, the frame for a totality of spaces, related in functional-spatial co-operation into the spatial structure. This constitutes a physical level.
- the ‘content’, the lived architectural space, a totality of localised activities, related into the functional structure. This is a phenomenological level.
A systemic analysis can be performed morphologically, functionally or dynamically.
(Structural)-functionally, the analysis starts at the ”activity” (ex. residing), closely connected to the use (ex. residential). The “activity“ is preceded by the human ”mobile”, which evolves during the existence of an organism to a totality of ”forces”. Economic, social, political, aesthetic “forces“ lead to space determination through decision/action. The human ”mobile” gives the initial impulse, but the activity dimensions a space.
Dynamically, the form is a concretisation in time and space, static or dynamic, of the phenomenon as a system: spatial forms, forms of organisation and of “life“ (psycho-social, economic etc).
The buildings of the Modern Avantgarde were raised during a very short time span of 20, sometimes just 10 years, in several different parallelly coexisting styles, coexisting also with newest developments in music, arts, physics, philosophy, economic and social theory and industrialisation. It was an unique time when not the aesthetics, but a solution to the problems of the society, mainly the lack of adequate, many times of affordable, but sometimes of one suiting the life style, housing. These forerunners of the interwar Modernism prepared the ground for the development in the 20s and 30s.
As case studies will be considered:
- the forerunners of the Avant-Garde and the interwar architecture in Hungary 1896-1939;
- the Milanese architecture of the Novecento and Rationalism in 1920-1940;
- the Romanian Modernism in Bucharest 1920-1940;
- the architecture between the world wars in Athens, Greece.
Intensive research on the forerunners of the Avant-Garde in the Austro-Hungarian empire has been performed by Ákos Moravánszky. The architecture between the wars in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland built the subject of a monography, in which the parts on Hungary were covered by contributions of János Bonta and John Macsai.
The Italian architecture of the period 1890-1940 was investigated by Richard A. Etlin and published in a compressive monograph. Apart of this, the Milanese Novecento was the subject of further works, like one published by Annegret Burg. The Modern Italian architecture is known mostly through the work of the architect Giuseppe Terragni, about the work of which numerous books have been published, including one by Bruno Zevi and another one by Daniel Libeskind. Giuseppe Terragni was the representative of another movement, the one of Rationalism.
In Romania, interwar architecture is a favourite among research topics as well. The works of the architects Horia Creanga, Marcel Janco, Duiliu Marcu were subject of individual monographs, while the MIT, who also published Etlin’s work on Italian architecture, published a comprehensive monograph on the architecture in Bucharest 1920-1940. Some other works were published in Romania.
On the architecture of the XXth century in Greece an exhibition was held at the Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt, Germany. The interwar architecture in Greece is linked to that in Romania by the fact that the architecture congress CIAM, held 1933 in Athens proclaimed the principles of the functionalist city in the so-called Athens Charter. The Athens charter never found a home in Athens, but the 1934 Master Plan of Bucharest employed its principles, which resulted into the situation, unique in Europe, that the facades of the main boulevards of the capital are built by Modernist buildings.
In Italy the urban planning was far from the Athens charter and followed instead the so-called contextualism, or reasoned picturesque. One of its representatives was Marcello Piacentini, who, in a study of the state of the Modern in Europe at the begin of the XXth century gave appreciative words to the forerunners of Modernism in Hungary.
The study will concentrate on European features of building stock which have not been covered by previous studies, namely the spatio-functional research of the interior organisation of the dwelling in the blocks of flats for the middle class.
Objectives of the research are:
- documentation of the spatio-functional shaping in the interwar buildings, since research so far concentrated from a point of view of history of art on the façade, not on the building plan;
- comparison of the common features and differences of the Modern multi-storey housing building for the middle class in various social conditions;
- development of a model for the interior zoning of the flat;
- a new definition of the character of a zone, result of various space-configuring textures;
- determination of characteristics to be maintained when subsequent material and spatial layers redefine the space in frame of contemporary interventions;
- lessons learned from the solution given to the problems of the society in the Modern design of flats for coping with environmental problems today;
- dissemination of knowledge.
As explained above, functional and spatial-volumentric relationships characterise an architectural programme. A residential unit started, what today is generally accepted, to functionally display a “day-zone”, and a “night-zone”. Today some of these buildings, particularly in Romania, are subject of interventions due to upgrading to new standards, including seismic retrofit. These change the space and therefore a study on how to approach the memory of space is needed.
The social or, in other words, anthropologic perspective of the project consists of the “perception” part. This opens the project to multi- and interdisciplinary aspects with sociology. The systemic approach to be adopted builds a cross-connection with mathematics, since it is a cybernetic approach. Another multi- and interdisciplinary aspect is given by the connection to materials research. The complex spatio-functional shaping of the Modern housing buildings was possible due to the employment of reinforced concrete skeleton structures, which allowed different configurations on different storeys.