Wholesale architecture in southern Europe despite architects

Speculative architecture has been excluded from architectural circles and critical praise. It is a wholesale product, repeatedly referred to as passe-partout, anonymous, banal, vulgar and kitsch. Specifically, contemporary residential architecture in southern Europe has been devaluated because of its commercial character, commonly being equated to dauntless exploitation. Its prevailing perception fails to consider its vernacular side or the amalgamation of sophisticated influences into its body. This research aims to reveal in which ways small-scale collective architecture is anonymous and to offer better insight into the above-mentioned characteristics. This includes looking into unspecialized professionals’ engagement in housing, the lack of institutions and state monitoring as well as architects’ obscure involvement. A case study, a provincial city of Greece, where since the 1960s lower classes crystallized their dreams of modern living in the small apartment building, is thoroughly examined. Parallelization with Italy and Spain confirms this non-architecture’s strong, albeit never researched, imprint on the cityscape.

Presented at:
66th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Buffalo, NY, USA, 10 – 14 April 2013

 Record created 2014-02-17, last modified 2019-03-16

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