FIRST ATTEMPTS AT THE PROLIFERATION OF CONCRETE AND REINFORCED CONCRETE IN HOUSING CONTRIBUTIVE TO THE EXPLORATION OF NEW POSSIBILITIES OF SHAPING THE FORM AND AESTHETICS IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE
References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-33-1 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 5.1; 113-120 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/51/S17.014
The article discusses four examples of the pioneering use of concrete and reinforced concrete in the early twentieth century residential architecture that were of key importance for ideological and aesthetic changes at the root of modernity in housing. Two of these examples are completed buildings, i.e. Hennebique House in Bourg-la-Reine and the apartment building at 25 rue Benjamin Franklin in Paris designed by Auguste Perret. The other two relate to theoretical works – using concrete and reinforced concrete in a visionary way both as a construction material and as a means of architectural expression that liberated the previously unknown freedom of design possibilities in housing. These examples are Tony Garnier’s design of private villas as part of the Cité Industrielle and the Corbusieran concept of Dom-ino.
The aim of the study is to indicate a section of significant artistic achievements from the history of European architecture (mainly France) created at the threshold of the so-called nascent “twentieth century modernity” period which laid the grounds and structural framework for new execution and design possibilities of modern housing owing to concrete and reinforced concrete. The research methodology is based on material collected from source literature referring to the beginnings of the history of modern architecture, mainly describing the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The analysis allowed to systematize the knowledge and opinions on this matter of respected authorities and historians of modern architecture. The division into the execution and theoretical and design achievements of the contemporary creators as well as the recognition of the origin of new ideas in architecture in their thought have become significant from the point of view of the research methodology. The research findings allow one to claim that each of the above examples had a slightly different effect on the nature of nascent future theories and ideas in architecture, especially those related to modernist trends, owing to the possibilities offered by the then new material – reinforced concrete that determined the search for original shapes in architecture. These pioneering and bold attempts at popularising reinforced concrete structures frequently became contributive to the subsequent exploration of new possibilities of shaping the forms, aesthetics and typology of residential architecture. The findings presented in the article allow one to perceive the often underestimated and downplayed significance of the above-mentioned precursory creative achievements that influenced the ideological changes in thinking about the twentieth century character of residential architecture.
Keywords: residential architecture, early reinforced concrete structures, concrete, concrete architecture
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