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Post-War Middle-Class Housing

Models, Construction and Change

Edited By Gaia Caramellino and Federico Zanfi

Post-war middle-class housing played a key role in constructing and transforming the cities of Europe and America, deeply impacting today’s urban landscape. And yet, this stock has been underrepresented in a literature mostly focused on public housing and the work of a few master architects.
This book is the first attempt to explore such housing from an international perspective. It provides a comparative insight into the processes of construction, occupation and transformation of residential architecture built for the middle-classes in 12 different countries between the 1950s and 1970s. It investigates the role of models, actors and policies that shaped the middle-class city, tracing geographies, chronologies and forms of development that often cross national frontiers.
This study is particularly relevant today within the context of «fragilization» which affects the middle-classes, challenging, as it does, the urban role played by this residential heritage in the light of technological obsolescence, trends in patterns of homeownership, as well as social and generational changes.
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About the author


GAIA CARAMELLINO is Senior Research Fellow in Architectural History at the Politecnico di Torino and teaches History and Theory of Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. She was national coordinator of the research project “Architecture for the Middle-Classes in Italy, 1950s–1970s”, funded by the Italian government, and was visiting scholar at the CCA in 2011. Her research focuses on the history of 20th century housing models, cultures, policies and practices and on their circulation between Europe and the U.S. FEDERICO ZANFI is Assistant Professor in Urbanism at the Politecnico di Milano. His design and research activity gravitates around the “post-growth” transformation of the 20th century built heritage, with a focus on Italian urban systems: he has developed reform strategies for unauthorised southern settlements, for diffuse urbanization in central-northern regions, and for middle-class condominiums in the main metropolitan areas.

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