In the modern era, the idea of looking at Social housing as a model to solve inhabiting issues, most of the times arouse after a critical change in society. Important economic and political events such as the industrial revolution, the Two World Wars, (Civil War also in Spain), and the sudden industrial growth of the big capitals had a strong impact on the new configuration of the growing cities.
Thanks to the use of new technologies applied to construction, not to mention the innovative modus operandi of architects now open to the instances of the social housing recipients, new building structures have been generated as collective housing complexes, which most of the times included also public services. The innovative technical aspects, such as the extensive use of reinforced concrete, together with the prefabrication and standardization processes, were not only reifying new materiality but were an opportunity for a new configuration of the architectural form.
Yet, collective housing results from the need to group several housing units. This new habitat model entails the generation of a common life that demands new areas of domestic and community gathering. Possibly it can identify the new pattern of what was previously called social housing or popular housing that, essentially in Europe, after the war, was a necessary pattern not to recover the destroyed cities by a coherent housing model, but also to dignify the working class that ultimately was going to be responsible for the construction of the social and economic future of each country. These housing units constituted a residential scenario in many cases of high heritage value. Not just in their semantics as buildings, but also for other community habitat models, influenced in this case also by North American trends. Thus, at present, we have a vast field of action on an architectural and constructive legacy and not exempt from the technology of the moment in which they were built, a referential value by combining technological advances with the spatial and functional idea of architecture itself. This tangible heritage, today is in a certain way stagnant but susceptible to multiple interventions, such as energy rehabilitation. It points out the problem of how to achieve a better standard from the point of view of the energy balance by also rethinking the building heritage of the aforementioned years that must be programmed from the perspective of environmental sensitivity and sustainability.
Hence, the materials and their implementation should have also to offer an efficient response, an issue that had to be considered presumably from the very idea of the project. The contemporary need in the house of durable and responsive elements that guarantee a life cycle, a transformation, recovery, and recycling never imagined before looks essential, both in the light of well-being and climate change. The reuse of the building itself and the single residential units that compose it, thanks also to rethinking the houses in terms of flexibility that guarantees different alternatives to family units of multiracial origin, is essential. Likewise, the integration and regeneration of the building can prevent citizens from “escaping” to the periphery of the cities where they live. The project and urban re-study where the idea of the garden city can be taken up functionally in terms of the modality and uses of its neighbours can create more sustainable and resilient models with the application of new technologies.
The editors are seeking contributions that investigate the possible reconfiguration, reuse, and optimization of the extensive existing social housing units spread worldwide. In light of the fact that some of them have been included in the UNESCO Heritage List (for instance four of the Siedlungen built by Bruno Taut in Berlin), the editors wonder if the advanced technology at our disposal nowadays could implement not only the general energetic balance of the social buildings but also their potential as new housing units fulfilling the contemporary needs of different kind of dwellers and the value as a legacy inherited from the past.
Papers must be submitted in English.
Submission is done through the Open Journal System platform, which requires registration as an author: https://polipapers.
The authors are called to use the provided TEMPLATE and follow the instructions that are written in the TEMPLATE.
Deadline for submission of papers: 5 April 2023
Publication date: June 2023