• Key Urban Housing of the Twentieth Century: Plans Sections and Elevations

French, Hilary, 2009, Book, Key Urban Housing of the Twentieth Century: Plans Sections and Elevations (2008) Laurence King, and Norton, 2009 Le Moniteur, Gustavo Gili,, UK, USA, Brazil, France, Spain. ISBN 9781856695640

Abstract or Description:

This book presents 87 expositions of the most influential housing designs of the past century, each with drawings to scale, including floor and location plans and explanatory text (42,000 words), with photographs, some sections and elevations, in six themed chapters.
The book prioritises drawings in orthographic projection, the main tool of the architect, bridging a gap between practice and theory (see French REF Output 4). French undertook extensive research in libraries, archives, architects' offices and existing publications to discover and investigate negatives, prints and digital files of various kinds in a range of scales. She analysed and reconstructed these digitally to a uniform scale and style to support comparative study: ‘carefully assembled 1:200 plans allow direct comparisons between the projects encompassing the whole evolution of 20th century housing up to the present day’ (Building Design, 2008). ‘One can track, for example, how bathrooms, bedrooms and overall apartments have increased in size over the years’ (John Hill, Archidose, 2009). The work builds on the seminal ‘picture books’ of F.R.S. Yorke and Frederick Gibberd in the 1930s and 1950s. Since then, with very few exceptions, histories in this field have tended to focus on theories of architecture based on stylistic analysis or the careers of significant architects. This study is a return to the analysis of buildings themselves. ‘A well-designed, knowledgeable work’ (Book News, 2009); ‘A comprehensive overview of multi-residential design and its recent history’ (Australian Design Review, 2009).
Five translated versions have been published. Interest in the book led to an invitation to give the keynote ‘Learning from the past’ at the conclusion of the ‘OIKODOMOS: A Virtual Campus to Promote the Study of Dwelling in Contemporary Europe’ project at Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona (2009). French’s New Urban Housing (2006) was subsequently reissued in a paperback and Chinese edition (both 2009).

Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture > K110 Architectural Design Theory
Architecture > K400 Planning (Urban > K450 Housing
School or Centre: School of Design
Copyright Holders: Text and drawings UK, Text only USA, (see p 238 for images copyright)
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2011 16:09
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:23
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/464
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