Story 03. Cheaper, faster, lighter and taller

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CHEAPER, FASTER, LIGHTER AND TALLER

CITÉ DE LA MUETTE Beaudouin, Lods, Mopin, Bodiansky Drancy (Paris. France) 1931-1934 48°55’13.10”N / 2°27’19.74”E

Interior panels of the facade

Exterior lattice concrete panels of the balcony

Systematized housing is an objective which has emerged parallel to collective housing. Ever since the Industrial Revolution boosted city growth and demonstrated the need to provide shelter for the working masses, building as fast and as cheaply as possible has become a constant objective. The two great methods which systematized housing process development is based on are: the closed system method (three-dimensional models, formwork-tunnel or large panels) and the component method also known as open building industrialization (sub-structural components). Despite the heyday of systematization being in the years following the Second World War, the Cité de Muette is the first case of the use of industrialization in high-rise collective housing. It was implemented using a mixed steel framework system reinforced with pre-fabricated lightweight concrete panels, installed horizontally and vertically. Its relevance lies in the architects’ ambition to improve house-building by incorporating the advantages of new materials: the lightness of steel, and by assembling with industrial components. However, fire regulations curtailed the development of this mixed system which seemed to be the most suitable system for systematizing dry construction.

Lower level panels, plinth elements “Techniques are the very basis of the poetry.” LE CORBUSIER, 1930.1

1. Le Corbusier. Précisions sur un état présent de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme. G. Crès,1930. P. 67.

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