Urban morphology and social representation: the case of modernistic housing estates

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The spatial representation of community is present through different levels of built environment – from single dwelling unit and buildings with specific shared spaces to neighbourhoods and districts. In urban level the spatial representation of community is manifested in public spaces. Traditional urban public spaces - rooted in human cognitive and sensual capacities and cultivated for centuries-long development of adopting, using and identifying one self with a place – can be perceived as most natural field for public social interaction. The paper describes the problems of legibility of modernistic urban patterns, its spatial and social dimension. Modernistic housing estates represent specific morphological structures where identity in urban level is generated by solitary buildings instead of public spaces. Public space is often designed as an open space without any specific content and with uniformity lacking social meanings. This setting can easily lead to disorientation and lack of inhabitant’s identification with the environment. Based on problem analyses the study explores the possibility of reorganizing the public space in favour of legible public space without the necessity of massive changes in built mass. It presents the results of comprehensive research project “Housing Estates, What’s Next?”, which has taken place at the Faculty of Architecture CTU in Prague. During the process six specific modernistic neighbourhoods in Czech Republic were analyzed and more then 20 model solutions have been produced and evaluated.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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