The Philosophy of Domesticity

This paper aims to analyze the contribution of German architect Heinrich Tessenow (1876-1950) to domestic architecture through his theoretical writings and housing projects. Firstly, the book Der Wohnhausbau, published in 1909, proposes his housing design theory through an exemplification of the architectural elements and issues that the architect must consider during the dwelling construction. What is described is a promenade in the various domestic spaces, in which Tessenow explains clearly the needs and problems that make up the daily universe of an affordable house. Undoubtedly, these examples can be considered as “scenes of domestic life”, in which each element of a room - the walls, the floor, the windows, the doors, the skirting board, etc. – has to face the usefulness, convenience, and practicality aspects. Secondly, the plans of housing projects published and realized, in particular the garden city Hellerau (1908-1912), demonstrate the worth of these theoretical principles. In this perspective, Tessenow states a “philosophy of domesticity”, where architecture has the task of providing logical responses to the fundamental inhabitants’ life needs. Tessenow occupies a crucial position into the housing debate: on the one hand, he re-elaborates the models of the traditional German house of the 19th century and, on the other hand, he indicates the most appropriate solutions of domestic architecture for a new society. It is no coincidence that these will be the main fundamentals for the new generation of modern architects.


Présenté à:
Cultures of Intimacy in the Nineteenth Century, Queen’s University Belfast, 26th-27th April 2019
Année
Apr 27 2019
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 Notice créée le 2019-04-29, modifiée le 2019-09-29

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