Page 1

DOMESTIC

CONFLICTS FORMS OF COLLECTIVE LIVING IN METROPOLITAN LONDON BY ILIAS OIKONOMAKIS


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London


For Giorgos and Elpida


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London

Abstract This research deals with the intriguing housing problem of metropolitan London and its social, political and economic origins and consequences. One of these consequences that is representative of London’s housing crisis is the extended phenomena of housesharing, which derive from the unaffordability of rental prices that make individual occupation impossible for the working-class and the lower middle-class, especially in the city centre. Therefore, housesharing is the starting point for the search for new housing typologies. However, the purpose of this search is not to increase the viability or the effectiveness of housesharing, but to delineate the shift to collective living as the historically most efficient and affordable way to accommodate a large number of people in the same domestic space. The shift from housesharing to collective living through this reasoning is not a new conception. It appears constantly in the contemporary discussion on London, but most importantly in historical transformations of domestic space. The most significant


cases are the cooperative housekeeping movement in England from the 1840s to the 1920s and communal living in the Soviet Union from the 1910s to the 1930s. The study of these paradigms examines both the shift from housesharing to collective living and the typologies that embraced this shift. In both cases, collective living stemmed from overcrowded housesharing, which were informally evolved to collective living. The efforts to formalise collective living caused the emergence of new typologies for domestic space. As such, collective living appears as a historical tendency that under circumstances of housing crisis and economic oppression emerges as the evolution of domestic coexistence. The delineation of this historical tendency and of the possibility for its appearance in the context of metropolitan London, constitute the basis for addressing collective living as a design problem. In order to do this, this research analyses these historical forms of collective living, and the typologies that formed them and embraced the transformation of domestic coexistence to collective living. Collective living is not conceived as a stable but as a dynamic form of living, as a procedure and as a tendency. It has at its core the creation of a common life between inhabitants, through the collectivisation of domestic tasks and activities and the perception of domestic labour not as an individual responsibility but as a collective responsibility. Therefore, this research proposes the transformation of housesharing to collective living and explores the way this will affect domestic life. In design terms, it searches for the housing typologies that can embrace this transformation and questions the urban role of collective housing and how the domestic collective space can extend beyond the private living cell into the urban. Part of this, is the clarification of the meaning and the historical origins of collective living. In this way, this research moreover constitutes a reinterpretation and reconceptualisation of collective living in the present context. Its current mutated and mainstream meaning is being opposed through a re-evaluation of its initial economic, social and political importance, and thus this research re-establishes it to the contemporary social conditions and problematisation.


Table of Contents


Acknowledgements

11

PART A: HISTORICAL TYPOLOGIES AND FORMS OF COLLECTIVE LIVING

12

Preface

15

Introduction

24

Chapter A: The cooperative housekeeping movement in England, 1840s -1920s

40

Chapter B: Communal Living in Russia and Soviet Union, 1910s - 1930s

64

Chapter C: The Collective Old Oak and the dominant perception of collective living nowadays

106

Chapter D: From domestic coexistence to collective living

114

PART B: DESIGN PROJECTS ON COLLECTIVE LIVING

131

Fitzrovia Project A

136

Fitzrovia Project B

156

Kingsland Project C

176

Conclusion: Domestic Conflicts and the Conflict for the Domestic

192

Instead of an Epilogue

202

Appendix

204

Bibliography

210


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London


Acknowledgements

First of all, I want to thank my tutors, Sam Jacoby and Platon Issaias, who helped me with restless advice and always challenging comments. I really hope that I fulfilled their expectations. Moreover, I want to thank Maria S. Giudici and Adrian Lahoud, for their advice during the process of my work. Thanks to Eri Papalamprou, I gained access to A. V. Neal’s text “Associated Homes”, and I met Katerina Downward, who did the editing of the text. Moreover, I want to thank Carmen Ortega Hernáez and Carlo Basile for their help with the painting of the second area model. I want also to thank all the projective cities students for the fantastic and friendly atmosphere in the studio and the great conversations we had. Additionally, I would like to thank the AA for supporting me with a bursary during my second year of studies. Moreover, Aliki and Leli, who supported me with their slashed income, and without them, life in London would be much more unaffordable than it is now. I want to express my full gratitude to Angelos Siampakoulis, friend and partner since 2009, by wishing that our common travel in the world of architecture will fulfil us every single day the way we want. This travel, which began from AUTh and continued at the AA and MIT, now proceeds to the founding of our practice. I cannot find the way to thank Haroula Ailamaki for her support. Despite the distance and the difficulties, Hara was there for me every single moment, to always remind me the most important things of a person’s life. Without my parents, Giorgos and Elpida, their immeasurable support to my choices and their immense sacrifices, I would never be able to do what I have done. The only thing I can do to express my unfathomable gratitude for their unconditional and endless support is to dedicate the dissertation to them. PS: Being part of a collective is the only way to understand what collective is. And most of all and above all the political implications, it is a feeling. The feeling to fight TOGETHER. Words are powerless to express my gratitude to all the people of Επιτροπή Αγώνα _ ΕΑΑK, who showed me what this feeling is. And that the most beautiful cities are these that we have not designed them yet.


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London


PART A: HISTORICAL TYPOLOGIES AND FORMS OF COLLECTIVE LIVING

13


14


What does collective living means today? Does it retain its original essence? Can collective living appear as a “new way of living� in the present context?

15


Im.1: The Collective Old Oak, PLP Architecture, Representation, 2016

16


Im.2: Communal House of the Textile Institute, Painting by M. Nemtsov, 1930

17


CO-LIVING IS A NEW WAY TO LIVE Co-living is a way of living focused on a genuine sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle. THE CO-LIVING LIFESTYLE Co-living is designed to be the perfect platform for life in the city. COMMUNITY Join a community of likeminded young people, living, working and playing under one roof. Regular events and amazing shared spaces. At The Collective, we approached co-living on an unprecedented grand scale – the world’s largest co-living building in fact. Co-living at The Collective Old Oak has been designed for those who want to make the most of London life.We can help you focus on what you love and introduce you to a community of people on a similar journey. WHO IS CO-LIVING FOR? Some want to remove the hassle out of their life by paying one bill that covers everything. Others are tired of house shares that have gone wrong, fed up of bad landlords and tired of waiting months to get anything fixed. And many people move in because they want the community. […] So whatever your reason, there may be something in co-living for you.1

1. The Collective Old Oak, Introduction text in the webpage of the project, 2016, available in thecollective.co.uk/coliving

18


NEW WAY OF LIFE This idea of a “new way of life” is not a recent inspiration. It is an integral part of the concept of socialism itself, which by transforming the means of production aims at the creation of new human relationships. Although actual experiments in brick and mortar are only now being carried out, the dream itself dates from the early years of the Soviet regime, from those years when famine, cold, civil war, typhus, and the lack of essential commodities failed to prevent Soviet architects from imagining -and sometimes even building - the new framework of a future life. [...] THE OBJECT of architecture, its ‘goal’ as Moses Ginzburg called it, had become the creation of the structures needed to transform the nation’s way of life, while the intention of the architects was to erect no longer mere buildings, but “new social condensers” capable of producing a mutation in man. [...New way of life] was to help form new links between men by making each individual a responsible member of society, this being perhaps the essential objective of socialism. It was to represent a system of values different from that inherited from the old regime, with which we are all familiar: the consumer society […]. Living in common, with his everyday needs supplied by the collective, man would have every chance to improve and educate himself and to make a maximum contribution to society, instead of plunging into a race for material goods […].2

2. Kopp, Anatole, Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning 1917 - 1935, Translated by T. E. Burton, [London: Thames and Hudson, 1967], pp. 2, 101, 146

19


20


Preface

The perceptions of collective living have prominently changed since its first conception and appearance. The modern history of collective living begins after the Industrial Revolution, when it was perceived as a political reaction to the newly established capitalistic mode of production, and as a manifestation against poverty, inhuman work conditions, individualisation and alienation that arose as consequences of capitalism. The Utopian Socialists’ projects at the beginning of the nineteenth century gave prominence to an alternative form of inhabitation, articulated with an effort to establish alternative economic issues and modes of socialised production. Collective living was perceived even from its inception as a condenser of human behaviour and conscience and as an economic tool for improveing of living conditions, something that was further developed and theorised by the Soviet architects of the 1920s and 1930s. The recent shift in the conception of collective living does not imply its transformation as a form of living but mainly the mutation of its meaning. This mutation is part of the constant efforts of capitalism to obtain profit from everything, even from actions and conditions that by their definition and origins are against it.Following Karl Marx’s analysis, this is arguably due to capitalism’s tendency to integrate into its production process and ideological mechanisms even the most radical beliefs and approaches by mutating and alienating them from their essence. Collective living could not be excluded from this. In recognising this tendency, this research aims initially to identify the process by which capitalism integrates such radical approaches regarding living. In so doing, this research does only endeavour to reinterpret collective living in the contemporary environment considering its origins in social and political terms, but to re-establish it in design terms as a historical social and economic tool to improve people’s way of living. Im.3: Penthouse and Flat Roof of Narkomfin, 2007. Photo by Igor Palmin

London, June 2017

Domestic Conflicts

21


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London

22


[‌] the question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be, what kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of life we desire, what aesthetic values we hold. - David Harvey, Rebel Cities, 2012, p. 4

23


24


Introduction

[…] the metropolis appears first and foremost as a creation of allpowerful capital; as a feature of its anonymity; as an urban form with its own economic, social, and collective psychic foundations that enable the simultaneous isolation and tightest amalgamation of its inhabitants. A rhythm of life amplified a thousand times displaces the local and the individual.1

1. Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Metropolisarchitecture, [New York, NY: GSAPP BOOKS, 2012], p. 86-87

- Ludwig Hilberseimer, Metropolisarchitecture, 1927 Here in buildings and in educational institutions, in the wonders and comforts of space-conquering technique, in the formations of social life and in the concrete institutions of the State is to be found such a tremendous richness of crystallizing, depersonalized cultural accomplishments that the personality can, so to speak, scarcely maintain itself in the face of it.2

2. Simmel, Georg, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” in The Sociology of Georg Simmel [NewYork, NW: Free Press, 1950], 409-24

- Georg Simmel, The Metropolis and Mental Life, 1903

ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF 3. Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Ibid, p. 85

4. Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Ibid, p. 84

Im.4: Mark Lascelles Thornton, The Happiness Machine, Painting, 2011

THE METROPOLIS

London as a contemporary metropolis is a product of the birth and economic development of the capitalistic mode of production and a “necessary result of global industrialization”.3 As a world city it cannot be considered as independent, but as an organic part of “the all-encompassing economic system [which] connects it to the entire civilized world”.4 Ludwig Hilberseimer’s analysis of the metropolis is still relevant, as it reveals the nature of globalised capitalism, despite the changes that have happened. Perhaps the most important part of his analysis is the way he defines speculation as a crucial

Domestic Conflicts

25


factor in the way cities are built and transformed. Speculative development appears as a driving force in the capitalistic city, and Hilberseimer called for an end to this process.5 Although at present, capitalism deploys metropolitan cities as financial and governmental centres and less as industrial cores, the metropolises remain key places where the social, political and class contrasts and contradictions are more sharp and apparent. Despite the fact that the traditional working-class has been decimated from the metropolises, its position has been displaced by the insecure, part-time and disorganised low-paid labour, which makes and sustains urban life and economy.6 This reveals the character of the metropolis as the epicentre of the most important class struggles. Additionally, London as a contemporary metropolis can be socially described through the extreme anonymity of the people who live in, the “seemingly limitless potential for encounter”7, and moreover by the extended alienation of personal relationships. This alienation, which concerns both the people as individuals and their interpersonal relations is a consequence of the way they are forced to live, act and interact, and cannot be construed outside their wider economic and political context.8 Individualism, as a result of the antagonism between people is expanded and becomes dominant regarding the overall culture and lifestyle. This, as Georg Simmel observed back in the 1920s leads to

5. Anderson, Richard, “An End to Speculation”, in: Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Ibid, p. 18

6. Harvey, David, Rebel Cities, [London, UK: Verso, 2012], p.xiv

SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE METROPOLIS

8. The concept of alienation of the workers from their humanity derives from Karl Marx’s analysis about the consequences of capitalistic mode of production and the perception of the worker as an instrument of the production activity. For more, see: Marx, Karl, The German ideology, [Mocsow: Progress Publishers, 1967], Part 1: Feuerbach. Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook

the strangest eccentricities, to specifically metropolitan extravagances of self-distantiation, of caprice, of fastidiousness, the meaning of which is no longer to be found in the content of such activity itself but rather in its being a form of ‘being different’ — of making oneself noticeable.9 Thus, the metropolitan condition constitutes a distinctive political, economic and cultural existence “where a huge process of creation of subjectivity is taking place”.10 One of the most important factors that define this process is the mode of living, and specifically inhabiting as action and housing as its spatial actualisation. The living mode which appears as the most representative of the metropolitan economic and social context is that of housesharing. Housesharing does not only emerge as a distinctive form of living but as one of the most important factors for the creation of subjectivity in London’s metropolitan environment. This regards housesharing not only as a spatial

26

Introduction

7. Aureli, Pier Vittorio, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, [Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011], p. 218

9. Simmel, Georg, Ibid.

THE FORM OF LIVING MODE AS MAJOR FACTOR FOR THE CREATION OF SUBJECTIVITY

10. Agamben Giorgio, Metropolis, Transcribed and translated by Bove, A. from Uninomade audio files, [2005]


result of the metropolitan condition, but also as a phenomenon that reinforces it. HOUSESHARING AS A RESPONSE TO THE METROPOLITAN CONDITION 11. Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Ibid, p. 88

12. A Daily Mail article about the costs of housesharing and costs of living alone argues for the financial benefits of living in a multi-person household stating that single habitation costs approximately £3,500 a year more than being part of a couple or share house with one person. According to the article, “rising utility, council tax and food bills in particular are hitting Britain’s 19 million single-person households harder than those with partners and families.” Living alone costs under £14,000 a year on average, but living in a multi-person household, the figure falls to around £10,500. “The high price of a single life... £3,500 a year more than if you are hitched”, Daily Mail, 06/07/2011 13. “The fastest-growing type of family in the UK are people who are living together without being married […]”, in: “More people cohabiting without being married”, The Guardian, 02/11/2012 For more information about the mass increase of the number of couples deciding to cohabitate, see: Guardian, “More people cohabiting without being married”, 02/11/2012 See also: Deech, Ruth, “Couples don’t need the law to tell them how to live together”, The Guardian, 22/11/2009

14. This does not downgrade the fact that sharing can be also a choice for social or political reasons. Livings in squats or in other forms of communal living constitute the most representative alternative examples; however, these cases should be distinct from housesharing as an economically driven practise. 15. In London, between 2009 and 2014 the number of house-sharers aged 45-54 has risen by 300% and between 35 and 44 by 186%. This shows not only the increasing unaffordability of the rents, but moreover the increasing adoption and acceptance of sharing as lifestyle. Collinson, Patrick, “The other generation rent: meet the people flatsharing” in their 40s, The Guardian, 25/10/2015

HOUSESHARING AS AN ECONOMIC BASED INTERCLASS PHENOMENON

The reasons housesharing constitutes a widespread and popular living condition for the lower classes and young people appertain to these two different aspects of the metropolitan condition.The first is the dominant role of the real estate market, which intends to speculate for every piece of land and hikes the values up.11 The extreme land and rent values make individual habitation unaffordable12 and stimulates the phenomena of housesharing and cohabitation between couples.13 Therefore, housesharing emerges as an inevitable response to the unaffordability of the rent prices in the metropolis. As such, it is not only that the economic characteristics of the metropolis define the housing situation in London, but concurrently the widespread housesharing practices reveal the most important causes of the housing crisis: the problematic speculative role of the market and the lack of radical interventions through regulatory polices by the state. The second aspect is the extreme anonymity and alienation of social interactions. Housesharing can be perceived as an opportunity for socialisation and interaction, especially between people who are new to the metropolis. As such, housesharing can be seen as a common response to both the economic and social characteristics of the metropolitan condition. However, due to the huge economic pressure in the metropolis, the main reason housesharing is so widespread is economic and regards the very basic conditions of habitation: an affordable place to sleep. Housesharing primarily appears as an economic necessity rather than an actual desire14 and this is based on the character of the metropolis as the place in which the most extreme processes of land and rental speculation are taking place. Thus, housesharing emerges as a forced action of sharing. Housesharing involves a variety of different social, class and age groups. Despite its primarily economic reasoning, it does not constitute a strictly class and age defined phenomenon, but an interclass practice, which mainly appears among the working-class, the lower middle-class and migrant groups, and also involves students, young and low-paid workers and professionals and precarious employees. However, in recent years, due to the increase in rental prices, housesharing has expanded to older and more economically well-off social groups.15 In many instances, personal income can arguably support individual accommodation; however, the combined

Domestic Conflicts

27


economic power housesharing offers can assure a much better living environment. At this point, the interpersonal dimension of housesharing plays a more crucial - even though secondary role, as it rises as an important factor of socialisation inside the extreme anonymity of the metropolis. Housesharing, as the sharing of a domestic space and its facilities, mainly uses existing housing, which has most commonly been designed for families. This forms discordance between the form of living and the housing typology. Family as the fundamental social cell, and the family house as its spatial expression, constitute an inseparable unity. However, family as a social structure does not only delineate a form of living, but moreover a set of hierarchic relations and roles,16 which can be clearly noticed in the structure of dwellings. The family house is designed to host the life and relations of family living; however, since the whole structure of society is based on the family model, the family house constitutes “the dominant dwelling type offered”.17 As such, the family house appears as the fundamental housing type and organisational element of the urban fabric, and dominates, defines, and indeed accommodates any other form of living. Housesharing is considered as a temporary situation that cannot exceed family as fundamental social cell and therefore has to be allocated in family housing types.

THE FAMILY HOUSE AS

As such, housing typologies have not been created in London particularly for housesharing, and thus housesharing relies on the family houses. The basic factor which allows family house to accommodate the lives of individual persons is the existence of spaces that are clearly private and spaces that are clearly common. The bedrooms are transformed into private individual rooms, while the kitchen, the bathroom(s), the living room (if it exists) and any other spaces constitute the common areas. The common areas are physically and conceptually the connecting point between the individual persons and their lives. This transformation of the family house creates a de facto different domestic model than the one which the family house implies. The viability of this configuration depends both on the spatial potential and the mentality of the individuals involved. This viability becomes considerable in cases where situations of overcrowding take place. Situations where a closet is used as a room are quite widespread and are results of the private speculation on the ground of the housing crisis.18

INCOMPATIBILITY

THE DOMINANT MODEL FOR HOUSING

FIG. 1

17. Karel Teige was already writing back in the 1930s: “It seems that today anyone who lives outside the institution of marriage is obliged to live without an apartment: the dominant dwelling type offered is the family household and, as a result, proper dwelling is reserved first and foremost to the bearers of the honorific wedding ring.” in: Teige, Karel, The Minimum Dwelling, Translated by Bluhosch, Eric, [Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002], p. 174

BETWEEN MODE OF LIVING AND TYPOLOGY

IM. 5 - 6

HOUSESHARING

Housesharing appears primarily as an agreement agreement. It is the consent

28

Introduction

16. These relations can be transformed through the time inside the family regarding the growing up of the children and the senescence of the parents, and also across different time periods in a macroscopic view inside society. In any case, the family as the basic generative and dominant model for the organisation of society remains unscathed.

AS AN AGREEMENT

18. English housing survey 2013 to 2014: headline report. For more examples of such situations, which are not isolated but on the contrary typical, see: Horton, Helena, “London flatshares offer ‘Harry Potter’ style rooms under-the-stairs for up to £900 a month”,The Telegraph, 30/09/2015 Fig. 1: Henry Roberts, Model House for 4 families, 1851


29


Im. 5: Advertised RoomTitle: The Harry Potter’s Room Mattress on the floor of a cloakroom under the stairs for £500-a-month.

30


Im.6: Rules for a party in a shared house.

31


to “live together” with unknown people, without the prerequisite of having common needs, daily routines or interests. This agreement defines the individual’s responsibilities and the rights of each person regarding the use of the space. Each inhabitant uses the common spaces individually and occasionally, in a way that does not prevent other inhabitants to use them, either simultaneously or sequentially. Therefore, housesharing refers mainly to the harmonic domestic coexistence of persons, which permits the individual use of the space and its facilities.Their use is an individual action, which in cases transfers the idiosyncrasy of a person to the common space, and leads to its momentary - or in some cases more permanent - individualisation. Coexistence means in this case that the domestic labour of the individual person remains unattached and domestic life appears as an aggregation of individual households. The creation of a protocol regarding the domestic space is not so much part of the agreement, but mainly appertains to the mentality of the inhabitants, their relationships and manners of interaction.19 Under specific circumstances that appertain to the persons’ will, cooperation between them can emerge in specific domestic activities and tasks, such as cooking, cleaning or maintenance.To the extent that this cooperation remains optional, spontaneous and informal and is undefined and unplanned, the domestic labour of the individuals remains unattached and domestic life continues to appear as an aggregation of separate households. This informal and spontaneous domestic cooperation reveals the potential of housesharing to create different relations and modes of interaction in the domestic space. However, these are restricted by the design of the family house, which neither promotes, nor coerces domestic cooperation. Mainly, they are restricted by the informal organisation of domestic life, which is centred on the individual lives of the inhabitants. Nevertheless, the widespread and popular acceptance of housesharing as an agreement to live together with other people and to share one of the most fundamental elements of personal life - the house - creates the potential for further cooperation in the domestic space, regarding not the individual use of the spaces, but instead the cooperation in domestic tasks and the rearrangement of domestic labour. Therefore, this research poses the hypothesis that the potential for this transformation reside in the logic and existence of housesharing, and thus housesharing offers the kernel for new modes of domestic life and interaction. This concerns a new type of domestic space and a different form of living: collective living.

32

Introduction

FIG.2

19. This observation, in reverse, extends as well to the strictly personal spaces of the individuals. The use of the individual space constitutes a personal action; however it should not prevent the other inhabitant to proceed to their own activities in their own spaces or the common space. This refers mainly to the noise activities can produce, the hygiene conditions of the space and its maintenance.

HOUSESHARING AS POSSIBILITY FOR A NEW DOMESTIC LIFE

Fig. 2: Flat 39, Penfields House, York Way Estate (Council Housing).


1

5

4

3

2

A: Original version of the plan 1. Mater Bedroom 2. Second Bedroom 3. Living Room 4. Kitchen 5. Bathroom 6. Storage

6

0

1

5

B: Modified version for house-sharing

33


This potential reveals the difference between housesharing and collective living. Collective living appertains to planned and formalised domestic cooperation, to the creation of common routines and to the formation of a collective household, while housesharing can extend only to informal, optional and spontaneous cooperation. According to these criteria, two forms of collective living can be recognised: cooperative living and communal living. Cooperative living regards the frequent and planned cooperation in aspects of domestic life, such as cooking, cleaning, maintenance, provisions, childminding or elderly care. Cooperation does not concern the entirety of domestic life, but parts of it, and the cooperative activities emerge as the intersection of the inhabitants’ individual lives. Thus, domestic life becomes a subject of negotiation between the inhabitants and the agreement to live collectively obtains more complex social characteristics. Since cooperation regards only specific domestic tasks, the individual domestic existence of the inhabitants is not dissolved. As such, cooperative living does not necessarily create a single domestic household, but refers to the collectivisation of some parts of it and to the specific and partial rearrangement of domestic labour. On the other hand, communal living does not simply regard the domestic coexistence of different persons or their cooperation on specific tasks and activities, but mainly refers to the community. This is the existence - or the will to create - a community most important characteristic that differentiates communal from cooperative living and can justify it as the most advanced form of collective living: the actual domestic subject is not the individual person, but the community as a higher interpersonal synthesis. The existence of a community implies the formation of a single household between all inhabitants, and consequently the creation of common routines, regarding the cooperation in all domestic tasks and activities. This implies the creation of a common domestic life.

COOPERATIVE AND

Therefore, housesharing forms a completely different living condition than collective living. Nevertheless, a historical connection between them can be identified. The shift from housesharing to collective living is not a new perception, but it appears both on the contemporary discussion for London, and - most importantly - in historical transformations of the domestic space. The most significant cases are the cooperative housekeeping movement in England from the 1840s to the 1920s and communal living in the Soviet Union from the 1910s to the 1930s. By studying these paradigms, the research investigates

FROM HOUSESHARING

34

Introduction

COMMUNAL LIVING

TO COLLECTIVE LIVING

TIMELINES


Combined Timelines UK and Soviet Union

Russia & Soviet Union 1910 - 1930

1917: October Revolution

1820

1830

1840

1850

1860

1870

1880

1890

1900

1910

1920

1930

Owenite Communities

Cholera Outbreak

Cholera Outbreaks

1842: Chadwick’s Sanitary Report

1848: Public Health Act

1847: Economic Crisis

1875: Public Health Act

1866: Economic Crisis

Long Depression 1873–1896

Letchworth Garden City

World War I

England 1820 - 1930

Collective Living Projects: Implemented Collective Living Projects: Not Implemented

Overcrowded House-sharing

35


both the shift from housesharing to cooperative and communal living, and the typologies that supported it. Thus, housesharing is identified as the beginning point for the search for new housing typologies. However, the purpose of the research is not to increase the feasibility of housesharing, but to delineate the shift to collective living, and the way this will affect domestic life. As such, the research does not perceive collective living as a stable but on the contrary as a dynamic condition. It does not perceive it as a consolidation of domestic relations or living forms, but as a tendency that can arise under specific historical circumstances from domestic coexistence as an evolved form of living. However, this tendency is neither linear nor guaranteed, and when it appears it is accompanied by major social, political and economic struggles and transformations. It appears as a tendency which can ultimately prove the connection between the living forms either disrupted or evolutional. Therefore, the research specifically questions:

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

How can housesharing evolve into collective living, and how will this affect domestic life and the way people live, act and interact inside the domestic space?

DISCIPLINARY QUESTIONS

Which housing typologies can support the shift from housesharing to collective living and at what scales?

TYPOLOGICAL QUESTIONS

What is the urban role of collective housing and how can the domestic collective space extend beyond the private living cell into the urban?

URBAN QUESTION

In contemporary London, the shift from housesharing to collective living can be justified in both economic and social terms. Institutionalised forms of collective living in a higher density than housesharing can reduce the cost of housing through the collectivisation of facilities and spaces. This appears historically as an immovable argument in favour of collective living. This does not imply that collective living can address the problems coerce housesharing. However, the aim of this research is not to bypass the dominant role of the economic interests in the metropolis and the speculative methods that define the character of the urban fabric and the modes of living. On the contrary, it tries to point out the irrational logic which defines the way people are forced to live, by proposing a new “old� way of living. The research does not try to tackle the origins of social problems, but to take advantage of them in order to delineate

TOWARDS COLLECTIVE

36

Introduction

LIVING AS A NEW DOMESTIC MODEL

Im.7: Church Lane, Ground Floor, Wood engraving, 1850


37


alternative social realities. In social terms, the interpersonal interactions and relationships that can emerge through collective living are able to produce a new model of domestic and social life and mutate the anonymity and the extended alienation of the social relations in the metropolitan environment, thus challenging the social structure by projecting a different way of living. Therefore, the dissertation targets at mutating the process of creation of subjectivity, through the transformation of one of its crucial factors, the form of living. Through the creation of domestic fields of encounter, interaction, negotiation and conflict regarding the organisation of the domestic life, collective living aims to intervene in the creation of subjectivities. This new social diagram for the organisation of domestic space, forms the precondition for new architectural typologies to emerge. Or otherwise, as Anatole Kopp wrote in the 1960’s, […] a really new architecture will be born neither by an intelligent architect who will find out new and unknown spatial relations, nor through the usage of the latest technological innovations. A really new architecture will occur only through the conception of a new social model, for which the architects and the planners will imagine the appropriate new environment.20 This research, rather than concentrating on the structure of a desirable society per se, aims to reimagine a new domestic and urban life, by focusing on the way people live, act and interact in domestic space. The purpose is not to conceive a new social model, since such a radical procedure is impossible to be conceived in the framework of a dissertation on architecture, and since it is a subject that needs to be elaborated collectively. On the contrary, it envisages a new domestic and urban life that does not correspond to the present reality, but becomes antagonistic to the dominant behaviour and conscience and thus projects a different social reality.

20. “[…] μια αρχιτεκτονική που θα είναι αληθινά νέα δεν θα γεννηθεί επειδή κάποιος ευφυής αρχιτέκτονας θ’ ανακαλύψει νέες άγνωστες μορφολογικές σχέσεις, ούτε μέσα από την χρήση των τελευταίων ευρημάτων της τεχνολογίας. Μια αρχιτεκτονική αληθινά νέα δε θα προκύψει παρά μόνο με τη σύλληψη ενός καινούριου κοινωνικού μοντέλου για το οποίο οι αρχιτέκτονες και οι πολεοδόμοι θα φανταστούν το κατάλληλο, νέο περιβάλλον.” Kopp, Anatole, Town and

Revolution, Translated in Greek by Lazarides, P., (Athens: Livanis Introduction, p. 29

publications,

1975),

Im.8: Overcrowded apartment, in Hong Kong, photo by Michael Wolf.

38

Introduction


39


40


The cooperative housekeeping movement in England, 1840s -1920s

THE HOUSING SITUATION BEFORE CHADWICK’S REPORT

1. Burnett, John (1980), A Social History of Housing 1815-1970, [London: Methuen, 1980], 58-72

2. The Health Foundation, “Edwin Chadwick’s Report on the sanitary conditions”. 3. Chadwick, Edwin, Report On The Sanitary

Condition Of The Labouring Population and on the Means of its Improvement, [London, 1842],

p.8 , 13

4. A description about the housing conditions in Newcastle in 1854 reports that, “[…] half the families in Newcastle are confined exclusively to the occupancy or joint occupancy of exceedingly over-crowded single-room tenements. There were 9,453 houses in Newcastle for about 20,000 families. A total of 6,900 houses were self-contained, and the remaining 2,553 were occupied in tenements by roughly 13,100 families, which gives an average of rather more than five families to each tenemented house throughout the Borough.” In Daunton, Martin James, House and Home in theVictorian City, [London: Edward Arnold (Publishers), 1983], p. 16 Im.9: Hector Gavin, “Lodging House in Field Lane,” from ‘Sanitary Ramblings’, 1848

John Burnett in the Social History of Housing summarises the terrible living conditions for both the urban and rural workingclass in the early nineteenth century. As he describes, families in towns were living in cellars or tenement houses, renting a single room or a floor at best.1 These descriptions are fully revealed in Edwin Chadwick’s 1842 Report on the sanitary conditions of the labouring population of Great Britain, where the hideous living conditions for the working-class appear as a major social and political problem.2 Most relevant to this research, is what Chadwick reports regarding the way people were living, writing that “in several instances I found whole families, comprising adult and infant children with their parents, sleeping in one room.” Additionally, he describes a house “[…] divided into six apartments, and occupied by different families to the number of 26 persons in all”.3 Such situations of congestion and overcrowding, with 12 to 14 people sharing a single bedroom were not only frequent, but typical for the majority of the labouring population in Great Britain.4 The general pattern of domestic life for the working class was that of inhabiting one, overcrowded, room; with available space severely restricted and inadequate facilities for cooking and hygiene.These situations of forced communality coerced gradual

Domestic Conflicts

41


42


levels of sharing, from the public domain to the private room. As Martin James Daunton describes,5 the dwellings were creating a network of courts and alleys, forming thus a semi-public space in which certain facilities such as privies, water supply and washhouses were creating a communal network.6 These conditions appeared because working-class families were living in such great poverty that they could not afford to rent a decent space for their accommodation. The economic asphyxiation of the working-class, its inability to compete the housing market and the lack of governmental willingness to address the urban problems due to the laissez-faire principle that promoted non-interventionist convictions,7 were the principal reasons formed these living conditions, the extended phenomena of overcrowded housesharing and urban forms such as the English slums. As Harold James Dyos points out, these slums were the necessary result of avoiding spending many resources in housing. This decision had been considered economically justifiable both by the municipality and the employers, since thus labour would be abundant, cheap, and docile. Therefore, “the making of slums” was perceived as an inevitable cost of the huge industrial expansion at the beginning of capitalism.8 The horrible living conditions did not emerge as “an unfortunate side effect of the economic growth” which could disappear as growth itself would create the resources for the solution of the problem. On the contrary, economic growth and slums appeared as cause and effect, respectively.9

5. Daunton, Martin James, Ibid, p. 12

6. Urban forms as these described here with semi-public courts, alleys and yards can be found as well in the eighteenth and nineteenth century’s urban blocks in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Across time, the inside space of the urban blocks was occupied in various ways and with different functions. These functions could relate to the individual dwellings or to the whole block as a unity. Supplementary functions of a dwelling or a business, such as kitchen gardens, bleaching fields, business premises, storage rooms or just a private garden could be located there, as well as any function or activity that required an outdoor space. Moreover, alleys and passages could lead to the cheapest dwellings or to community schools. The inner side of the block was an urban microcosm. It could house any activity that could not be part of the formal public life, such as pleasure gardens. The uncontrolled inner space was a danger for the order of the society and therefore it should correspond to specific rules and regulations. The modernization of the way of living and the integration into a “respectable society” was the target of the urban politics of the period. Meyer, Han, “The Urban Block as Microcosm of the City”, in Komossa Susanne, Meyer Han, Risselada Max, Tomaes Sabien, Jutten Nynke (ed), Atlas of the Dutch Urban Block, [Bussum: THOTH Publishers, 2005], pp. 252-3 and, Reijndrorp Arnold, “The Domestication of Urban Living: The Dutch Urban Block Opened Up”, in Komossa Susanne, Ibid, p. 262 7. Morley, Ian, “City Chaos, Contagion, Chadwick, and Social Justice”, Yale Journal of Biology and Health, 2007 June, vol. 80(2), pp. 61–72, p. 63 8. Dyos, Harold James, “The slums of Victorian London”, Victorian Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Sep., 1967), pp. 5-40, p. 27 available in: jstor.org/stable/3825891, last accessed: 11/04/2017 9. Daunton, Martin James, Ibid, p. 288

THE MATTER OF HOUSEKEEPING

10. Utopian Socialists’ communities were concentrated on communal living and socialized domestic work. They were built during the first half of the nineteenth century as alternative societies and as paradigms for radical social, political and economic transformations. The model of family was broken down and the childrearing was responsibility of the community. Owenite socialists established seven communities in England, Scotland and Ireland between 1821 and 1845. The voluntary communalism of the communities appeared as an alternative to the overcrowded conditions of the working-class housing; however, the communities did not

Im.10: Slums of London, engraving by Gustave Dore, circa. 1850

The public debate which emerged between the 1840s and 1920s regarding the improvement of domestic life centred around the matter of housekeeping. Despite the strong influence from the utopian socialist projects, the discussion was detached from any effort to delineate a radically alternative form of domestic life in the direction of communal living.10 On the contrary, it was concentrated on reorganising and altering the way housekeeping was performed. Cooperative housekeeping can be perceived as an effort to eliminate overcrowded housesharing and transform the informal domestic cooperation that emerged. The architects tried to loosen and formalise this domestic cooperation with new housing typologies. Their intention was to provide affordable housing for the working-class, through the combination and centralisation of domestic tasks and facilities. Thus, cooperative housekeeping appeared as a movement proposing a system for improving the quality of home life. It can be defined as the system “in which several households of one or more people [were] combined to share the costs and labour involved in

Domestic Conflicts

43


2.

1.

3.

1872

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

1872: 1874: 1892: 1901: 1905: 1905: 1908: 1909: 1920: 1923: 1924: 1925:

1874

Associated Home Cooperative Home For Mrs E.M. King Ladies' Residential Chambers,York Street Cooperative Dwellings Quadrangle Elmwood Cottages Collective Dwelling Homesgarth, Letchworth Garden City Waterlow Court Working Woman's House St George's Court Meadow Way Green South Guessens Court

1892

Marylebonem London Bradford Letchworth Garden City Letchworth Garden City Hampstead Garden Suburb Boumville, Birmingham Letchworth Garden City Welwyn Garden City

E. V. Neale’s E. W. Godwin Balfour and Turner B. Parker and R. Unwin M.H. Baillie Scort Lionel and Waiter Crane's H. Clapham Lender M.H. Baillie Scort Furniss and Phillips S. Alexander Wilmot C. Crickmer H. Clapham Lender

Not Built Not Built Built Not Built Built Not Built Built Built Not Built Built Built Built

Built Not Built Case Studies


7.

3. 11.

1901

1905

1908 1909

1920

5.

10.

8.

6.

1923 1924 1925


providing themselves with services such as cooking, laundry and cleaning.”11 The fundamental idea was that the combined households could retain their individual homes and privacy and share the communal dining room and other facilities, in order to reduce the costs and improve home life. However, cooperative housekeeping was also perceived by some of its pioneers as a first stage towards communal living and socialism.12 Although this viewpoint never became dominant, it is especially interesting since it perceived cooperative housekeeping both as a solution to the housing crisis and as possessing an emancipatory potential.

stand for a long time due to severe financial, organizational and social problems. For more information, see: Benevolo, Leonardo, History of Modern Architecture, Volume one, The tradition of Modern Architecture, [Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1971], pp. 148 - 252 Marx, Karl, and Engels, Frederick, Manifesto of the Communist Part, [Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1969], pp. 31 - 33 11. Pearson, Lynn F., Architectural and Social History of Cooperative Living, [London: The Macmillan Press LTD, 1988], p. 1 12. Ibid

A total of 15 cooperative housekeeping developments were built in England before 1925. Despite the terrible living conditions for the working-class and the fact that cooperative housekeeping was initially conceived as a way to improve them, only middleclass took advantage of this housing model. For the middle-class, the target was to maintain the standards of domestic services without increased costs. The servants would live and mainly operate in the communal areas, thus increasing the privacy of the house.13 On the contrary, the working-class expectations were simpler but more difficult to be addressed. The ideas of cooperative housekeeping certainly had working-class support, but there was no financing available. Philanthropic companies and investors would not give funding for such social experiments on working-class housing, especially after the failure of the Owenite communities. The only popular application to working-class housing was the system of co-partnership.14 Moreover, the social reasons for the limited expansion of cooperative housekeeping lie in the collective imaginary of the Victorian society that perceived home as an ideal and a “castle” of individuality.15 A cooperative home implied radical changes in the mode of living and in the image of the self as member of a wider grouping than the family. The fact that family would not be autonomous and self-efficient was a major inhibitory factor, especially for the middle-class families. However, all of the projects implemented addressed the middle-class needs, either of families or of individuals.

PRIVACY &

The intersection of the built and unbuilt projects can be found in their typological transformation regarding the kitchen and the dining room. These two spaces were removed from the house and transferred into a new, collective domain. The collectivisation of housing facilities focused only on these two spaces, which became the cornerstone of the cooperative house. This collectivisation was meant to decrease the cost of housing, by centralising and therefore reducing the housing facilities.

COLLECTIVISATION

46

The cooperative housekeeping movement in England

COMMUNITY

Im.11: Marie C. Morfit’s cooperative house, 1876

FIG. 3

13. In that way, control over the house by the tenants would become total, while the only contact between the inhabitants and the servants would happen only in the central building. This was meant also to radically change the relationships between the two parts, since they will be meeting in a neutral space and having a different and less direct contact.

14. Tenants could take shares and owning their houses, and thus they were entitled to benefit from any rise in property values. In co-partnership societies the members were not committed to any further form of cooperation. Therefore, cooperation appeared mainly in a financial sense, and as an investment. Due to this reason and in spite of the many rational arguments in its favour, only a few middle-class households had both the money to invest and the will to experiment with the cooperative principle. Pearson, Lynn F., Ibid, pp. 115 - 117 15. Ibid, p. 117

OF KITCHENS AND DINING ROOMS

Fig.3: Neal’s proposal for an Associated Home


Ground floor 01

32 Flats per floor

Collective Space (Dining Hall)

5

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

Collective Spaces (Grounf floor) Kitchen Children’s Space Yard


Most of all, was meant to decrease the cost of domestic labour by combining the labour power of the servants, and by reducing their number. The collectivisation of spaces and activities rarely involved spaces other than the kitchen and the dining room. The only project significantly extended collectivisation was this designed by Edward Godwin under the guidance of Mrs E.M. King. Godwin’s design was for a three-storey building for 21 families with children. Each flat had a bathroom and a sitting room, while the communal areas consisted of a central kitchen, a dining room, a recreational room, children’s classes and a playroom. The building could house over 100 adults and 200 children. This unbuilt project was the first detailed design proposal of a cooperative house and the only one that had a collective agenda including collective recreation and childminding.

FIG. 4

In all projects, the collectivised domestic tasks were operated by servants, while the inhabitants were not cooperating directly. The only project in which a different sharing mode appears is Meadow Way Green South in Letchworth, where two systems of cooperation emerged: the central system of meals provision and this in the cooperative homes. The first was operated by servants while the second involved tenants cooperation. For the central system, each tenant was responsible for both the housekeeping and the menu for two weeks at a time; dinner was considered as standard, while those who opted out of the midday meal paid a small amount towards running costs. The hired cook did the cooking and washing up, but the tenant planned the menus, ordered the food, kept the accounts and paid the bills. However, the inhabitants had the management individually and were cooperating.16

OPERATION THROUGH

Despite the removal of the kitchen and dining room from the houses, the architects tried to maintain the idea of home, since that was of utmost importance in the English context, regarding especially its perception as the place of family. As such, in the design of the cooperative buildings, a very clear and concrete distinction between the private and communal spaces emerged. The boundary between the two spaces was equally powerful as the family was the fundamental cell of society.17 For this reason, home life was planned to remain at the house and not extend to the collective areas. There was no effort to create a common life across the families or individuals, since the perception of home and family would not allow in any sense their dissolution in a wider collective domain. As such, the living cells were detached from

THE IDEA OF THE FAMILY HOME

48

The cooperative housekeeping movement in England

SERVANTS LABOUR

16. Ibid, pp. 164-67

17. This is also the reason that, although in some of the projects for families the architects included cooperative childcare facilities, this was never translated into an intention for cooperative childrearing. This is another point which shows that the model of family never became negotiable through these projects.

Fig.4: Cooperative Home For Mrs E. M. King


Ground floor 01

7 Flats per floor

Collective Space (Dining Hall)

Basement

5

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

Flat Services Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Corridor

Supplamentary Collective Spaces Kitchen Children’s Space Other Facilities


the collective areas. This is also the reason why the inhabitants were not involved in direct cooperation. This concept extends to the design of the buildings and the distribution of the houses. The cooperative houses were located in rows, while at the centre of the building the centralised communal facilities were placed. A covered - and mainly exterior - corridor was connecting the different houses. The corridor, by not being interior, was meant to remove the sense of being in a singular building but rather in a complex of individual houses, and to increase the separation between the houses. This design logic was even more apparent in the building complexes adopting the collegiate quadrangle, and appears in the absolute decree in the Cooperative Dwellings Quadrangle. Raymond Unwin’s and Barry Parker’s design was for an urban block with groups of three-storey terraced houses connected by an exterior covered hallway to a central service building. The innovation of their design appertains to the typological transformation of the isolated terraced houses to a whole that works as a unique structure. The houses varied in size, having from three to five bedrooms, baths and sculleries. The service building was located in one of the quadrangle corners, and had a two-storey common room, central kitchen and laundry room. Its most important function was the provision of food, which could be served either at the houses or in the common room, while all service was provided by servants under central management.18 The service building was small and could not provide space for all the inhabitants simultaneously, and this implies its supplementary role to the organisation of the domestic life.19 All the above projects concerned middle-class families, and only one category of buildings was intended for individual accommodation. This was the case of the Ladies’ Residential Chambers in York Street, which was designed for middle-class working women, and offered individual flats or bed-sittingrooms. In this case the cooperative housekeeping obtained a more complex social dimension. The provision of individual living cells in a cooperative building was perceived as a way of supporting women’s emancipation through the potential to have an independent life and to work for their own income.20 From all the case studies, only the Chambers included an additional level of sharing beyond the centralised services and thus promoted direct cooperation among inhabitants. Every two flats had a shared pantry and a toilet, while there was one bathroom per two floors and finally the central dining-room for all.21 The diningroom was in the basement, and this decision arguably promoted

50

The cooperative housekeeping movement in England

FIG. 5, 6, 7

General Plan 0 10

50m

Fig. 6: Cooperative Dwellings Quandrangle

18.Unwin, Raymond, and Parker, Barry, The Art of Building a Home, [London: Longmans, 1901], see Chapter 7, “Co-operation in Building”, Raymond Unwin, pp. 91 - 108

CONSTITUENCIES

19. After this project, Unwin started to believe that complete cooperative housekeeping was not feasible; however, he continued to support the benefits of common facilities, but as a solution that can only be successful by judicious limitation. Pearson, Lynn F., Ibid, p. 84

FIG. 8, 9 20. This tendency defined the first implemented projects on cooperative housekeeping, elaborated for middle-class working women. Working-class women were always working outside home; however, during the second half of the nineteenth century, middle-class women started to take paid jobs or to leave their parental home in order to study. This situation created an interest for typologies and modes of living that could serve their needs. Pearson, Lynn F., Ibid, p. 47 21. Perks, Sydney, Residential Flats of all Classes, [London: Batsford, 1905], pp. 158-160

Fig. 5: Meadow Way Green South Fig. 7, 8: Cooperative Dwellings Quandrangle Fig. 9, 10: Ladies’ Residential Chambers, York Street, Marelybone


Fisrt Floor Ground floor 0 1

4 Flats per House

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

5

Flat Services Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Scullery

Collective Servises Kitchen Dinning Room Bathroom Other Facilities


Large Family Dwellings Ground, first and second floor 0 1

2 Houses pre Cluster

5 Bedrooms per House

5

Circulation Exterior Interior Vertical

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Others


Common Building Ground and first floor 0 1

5


Ground floor 0 1

7 Flats per floor

Flats pre Floor 2 Autonomous Flats 3 Shared Flats

5

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

Flat Services Bedroom Sitting Room Pantry & WC Corridor

Shared Space inside Flats Sitting Room Pantry & WC


Basement 0 1

Collective and Other Spaces Kitchen Dining Room Central Bathroom Other Facilities

Additional Flats Inhabitants Servants

5

Servants Spaces Inhabitants Spaces Neutral


the individual life in the flats rather than the collective. Services were provided (as in all the projects) by domestic servants, while the Chambers were also under the central management of a philanthropic company. Cooperative housekeeping was perceived as an economic tool, as the combination and centralisation of domestic tasks and facilities could provide more affordable housing. The forced and informal sharing of the Victorian era in overcrowded houses, however, was never transformed into formal and institutionalised collective living.The reasons for this were mainly the lack of available funds and the unwillingness to proceed to domestic experimentations, if a self-contained family house was available. In such situations of congestion, the vision of a private family home was so strong, that only a much stronger economic argument or a political vision22 could overcome it. As such, the shift from congested housesharing to cooperative living was disrupted, and the state housing policies played an important role in this. The British government understood that the horrible living conditions for the working-class might spur dangerous political and social situations. As Mark Swenarton put it, the provision of affordable and individual housing was an “ad hoc response to an immediate political crisis”, since housing

FROM HOUSESHARING TO COLLECTIVE LIVING: AN INCOMPLETE PROCEDURE

22. This is exactly the case of the Soviet Union and will be analysed in Chapter 2.

would persuade the people that their aspirations would be met under the existing order, and thereby wean them from any ideas of revolution. The new houses built by the state - each with its own garden, surrounded by trees and hedges, and equipped internally with the amenities of a middle-class home - would provide visible proof of the irrelevance of revolution.23 Ultimately, the working-class housing problem was resolved through policies of council housing and subsidised rents24 and Britain became “the only western economy in which council housing has been the major component of workingclass accommodation since the First World War”. The council housing, the harsh experiences of overcrowded housesharing and the spread of technology into the home, marked the end of cooperative housekeeping as a considerable alternative for the improvement of domestic life. Otherwise, as Pearson wrote, “if cooperative housekeeping was to succeed in post-war Britain, its aims and methods would have to be adapted to suit a different world.”25 In this sense, the potential of evolving housesharing into formal and institutionalised forms of collective living remained

56

The cooperative housekeeping movement in England

INDIVIDUAL HOMES FOR WORKERS AS A RESPONSE TO

23. Swenarton, Mark, Homes Fit for Heroes.The Politics and Architecture of Early State Housing in Britain, [London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1981] pp. 86 - 7 24. Daunton, Martin James, Ibid, pp. 288 - 9

THE HOUSING CRISIS

25. Pearson, Lynn F., Ibid, pp. 156 - 157 Fig. 11: Homesgarth


Ground floor 01

9 Flats in Ground Floor

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

5

Flat Services Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Pantry

Collective Services Dining Hall Sitting Room Other Facilities


on the level of theoretical discussion, or it was mutated in order to cover the completely different needs of the middle-class. On the contrary, in the Soviet Union, this evolution did take place and created the most representative examples of collective living.

Im. 11: The Glasgow rent strike, 1915

58

The cooperative housekeeping movement in England


59


Comparative Matrixes

- Living Cell Facilities

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Others

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom

- Centralised Collective Facilities

Kitchen Dining Hall Sitting Room Children’s Space Bathroom Other Facilities

- Collective Facilities between Living Cells

Kitchen Children’s Space

Dining Hall

Kitchen Children’s Space Other Facilities


Bedroom Sitting Room Pantry & WC

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Others

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Pantry

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Scullery

Kitchen Dining Room Central Bathroom Other Facilities

Kitchen Dining Hall

Kitchen Dining Hall Sitting Room Other Facilities

Kitchen Dining Hall

Sitting Room Pantry & WC

Other Facilities

Other Facilities

Kitchen Dinning Room Bathroom Other Facilities


Comparative Matrixes - Size: Living Cell to Collective Space

Living Cell

Collective Space

- Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

- Interior (Main)

- Exterior (Main)


Erected

Garden City Concept


64


Communal Living in Russia and Soviet Union, 1910s - 1930s1

THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AFTER THE REVOLUTION

1. This chapter is based on the research, the report and the essay elaborated by the author during the first term of the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, years 2015-2016 2. The class struggles which finally led to the successful revolution of 1917 began to be more dense after the 1870’s. Numerous strikes, army mutinies and demonstrations, which were increasing through the years, formed a revolutionary conscience which leaded to the unsuccessful efforts of 1905 and to the February Revolution which caused the fall of the autocracy of the tsar. For more information, see: Luxemburg, Rosa, The Russian Revolution, [New York: Workers Age Publishers, 1940] 3. Kopp, Anatole, Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning 1917 - 1935, Translated by T. E. Burton, [London: Thames and Hudson, 1967], p. 32 4. The basic economic tool the government used as to cope with this devastating situation was the New Economic Policy (NEP), adopted from 1921 to 1928. NEP promoted a mixed economy system of both nationalised and private enterprises, and advanced rapidly the destroyed Soviet economy.

Im.12: Aleksandra Koneva, “Kommunalka”, 2010

THE HOUSING PROBLEM

The October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, which led to the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922 after years of class struggle2, constitutes the most important, structured and long-lasting attempt to replace capitalist system. During the first years after the Revolution, the newly established state focused its policies on the economic sector. The revolutionary government had to confront the collapse of the economy and the extended destruction of production caused by the Civil War and the First World War. The underdevelopment of the country’s industrial capacity, which in comparison to countries in the West was in an embryonic stage, had caused huge unemployment, while the majority of the population was living in terrible conditions both in cities and agrarian regions.3 After 1925 and due to the New Economic Policy4, living conditions began to improve and the predominantly agrarian Russia of unemployment was transformed into a country with a labour shortage. The establishment of new industries spurred the formation of new cities in their surroundings, while the population of the existing urban areas was increasing more rapidly than the available living space. The continuous and dense urbanisation, labour shortage, and the lack of available living

Domestic Conflicts

65


66


5. As Khan-Magomedov writes, “A mass resettlement of workers began, moving them out of shacks and cellars into the houses confiscated from the bourgeoisie. In 1918-24, nearly 500,000 people were moved into comfortable apartments in Moscow, and some 300,000 were likewise moved in Petrograd.” in: Khan-Magomedov, Selim, O., Pionners of

Soviet Architecture, The search for New Solutions in the 1920s and 1930s, Translated by Lieven, A., [London: Thames and Hondson, 1987], pp.341-342

6. Undeniably, the collectivization of the bourgeois’ houses was a primary solution to the huge problem of housing in the middle of an intense procedure of urbanization. Emergency policies as these applied the first years after the revolution regarding the accommodation of the working class, had been describe decades ago in Friedrich Engels’s book “The Housing Question”. Engels had proposed temporary solutions such as the accommodation of the workers in houses and apartments formerly occupied by the bourgeoisie, the fixing of the rents on the basis of income, requisitions of the household equipment and furniture and their distribution among the illhoused. Engels recognized that this could cause a temporary improvement of the living conditions for the worst housed, but only as a palliative and not as a temporary solution. The final solution to the housing problem could only be given by a revolutionary transformation of society. As he wrote, “there is only one means of ending this housing crisis: that is to abolish the exploitation and oppression of the workers by the ruling class”. Engels., F.,2013, The origin of family, Sychroni Epohi, Athens, p. 78 7. Khan-Magomedov, Selim, O., Ibid, p. 342 8. Kopp, Anatole, Ibid, p. 102

Im.13: Varvara Stepanova, The Results of the First Five-Year Plan, 1932, State Museum of Contemporary Russian History, Moscow

space constituted the housing problem of the USSR, and caused extended phenomena of overcrowded housesharing. These phenomena had started to emerge even since the czarism years. The housing crisis and the poor living conditions proved to be one of the most politically discussed subjects among politicians, architects, and workers during the 1920s. The housing problem was considered both as a huge economic problem and as one of the most important factors towards the construction of a socialist society. Its political importance created a dense debate among architects and caused the rise of confronting approaches, both architectural and political. The different answers and proposals that were given had a common objective: the transformation of the way of living through the collectivisation of domestic life. life THE EMERGENCE OF COMMUNAL LIVING

The first efforts to improve living conditions and to address housing shortage can be characterised as an imitation of the life of the old ruling class. Groups of families and individuals were allocated to collectivised bourgeois apartments;5 each family or person was occupying a room and all inhabitants were sharing the housing facilities. Attempts such as these were not the innovation that both architects and the working-class had envisioned since the result was a caricature of the life of their previous oppressors. They were neither an effort to configure a new model of society, nor a transformation of the way of living, but an urgent and temporary solution to provide decent living conditions during a difficult economic period.6 However, this inconsistent situation mobilised a new perception regarding the way of living and housing. In parallel, the housing communes which were developed spontaneously after the revolution were recognised officially by local councils in 1919 as an approved method for the use of old dwellings.7 Through these measures, communal living was established formally in the Soviet Union. Communal living was easy to be adopted by the working-class due to a series of historical and social factors. The origins of communal living can be traced in the deeply rooted traditions of the Russian regime, such as the agricultural cooperatives and the formulation of life around groups of families. This tradition was expanded during Russia’s industrialisation in the last czarist’s years and also during the first years of the Soviet Union, as the newly established industries used to offer temporary housing buildings with centralised or communal services and facilities. Additionally, during the years of the Civil War and First World War, revolutionaries and workers had adopted a communal way of

Domestic Conflicts

67


O.S.A & C.A. inquiry on communal housing

Stroikom Units research

4.

1.

1925

1926

5.

1927

1928

2.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

1926: 1927: 1928: 1928: 1928: 1929: 1930: 1930:

Havsko-Shabolovsky House Commune O.S.A Competition design for a communal house Building Committee of RSFSR Research Project Narkomfin building Communal house Dom-komuna in Moscow Communal House of the Textile Institute Communal housem at Kuznetsk

G. Volfenson, E. & S. Volkof, Aizikovich V. Vladimirov M. Ginsburg, Pasternak, M. Barshch, V. Vladimirov M. Ginsburg, I. Milinis K. Ivanov, E. Terekhin, P. Smolin M. Barshch, V. Vladimirov I. Nikolaev A. Leonid & V. Vesnin

3.

Built Not Built Not Built Built Not Built Not Built Built Not Built

Case Studies


7.

6.

1929

1930

8.

1931

1932


living known as War Communism, in order to address poverty.8 Communal living emerged spontaneously and informally as an evolution of housesharing in urban areas and among workingclass households. The official housing policies exactly after the revolution embraced these practices and transformed them to an official policy. Nevertheless, all the initial efforts were mainly administrative moves to manage existing forms of living and not efforts to transform, formalise or institutionalise them.

FIG. 12 & DR. pp. 72-73

The fundamental design concept which marked the beginning of an innovative typological research was the conceptual separation of housing spaces into two domains, the living cell and the communal space. These two domains defined the beginning of experimentation with the concept of the communal house. Of all the projects, the most innovative typological transformation concerned the rearrangement and diminution of the functions inside the living cells and the shift into complex communal spaces and programmes. The communal space emerges through the transfer of conventional domestic facilities and functions to a central area.9 The innovative nature of this new type of building cannot be detected either in the purely private living cell or in the communal spaces, but in the way these distinctive domains work together and create an inseparable whole. The nature and gravity of both domains appertain to this transfer of functions between them. As the living cell loses its conventional housing facilities with their transfer to the communal space, the centre of gravity in the building moves from the private to the communal domain. Therefore, there is an analogy between the two domains that appertains to these transfers, which defines their nature, the specific form of living and the gravity of the communal domain in relation to the private.

NEW TYPOLOGIES FOR

For instance, in the Communal House by K. Ivanov, E. Terekhin, and P. Smolin, the living cells consist of two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom and an exterior space. The kitchen and the dining room have been removed from the living cell and have been collectivised and professionalised. The communal space also provides recreational and educational spaces. Between the living cells and the communal space, the only overlap of functions regards the sitting-room. In the living cell, it functions as a common space for the inhabitants (family or individuals) and is a space of retreat, seclusion, and intimacy. On the contrary, in the communal domain it appears as a space of socialisation, politicisation, leisure and recreation. This reveals the fundamental character of the living cell as a space

COMMUNAL HOUSE, K.

70

Communal living in Russia and Soviet Union

COMMUNAL LIVING

1 2 3

4

5

1 2 3

4

5

SqM

%

Private Communal

IVANOV & F. TEREKHIN & P. SMOLIN, 1928

9. As conventional dwelling facilities can be characterised these functions which make the dwelling an autonomous entity, a structure which works on its own without the need for external or supplementary spaces. The bedroom, the bathroom, the living room, the kitchen and the dining room constitute the spaces which typically can characterise as conventional a dwelling.

FIG. 13 & DR. pp. 74-77

Fig.12, pp.: 71 - 73, Havsko-Shabolovsky Fig.13: pp.: 74 - 77Communal House


Ground floor 01

12 Flats in Ground Floor

Collective Space

5

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

Flat Services Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom


Axonometric Plan and Furniture of the Basic Type of Apartment

72


2.

1.

5.

Building’s Synthesis

3. 4.

1. Basic Repetitive Living Unit 2. Repetitive Cluster 3. Repetitive Block A 4. Repetitive Block B 5. Unique Block

73


First floor 01

9 Flats per 2 Floors

5

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

74


Ground floor 01

5

Collective Space Kitchen Dining Hall Sitting Room Other Facilities

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

75


Axonometric Plan and Furniture of Living Units A & B

76


Construction of the repetitive block with the Living Units A & B Living Units Circulation Communal Facilities - Club - Lecture Hall - Gym

77


of isolation and intimacy and the communal space as a place of encounter and social interaction. Therefore, both domains are by their design strictly defined in terms of routines and agendas and foster a standardised form of communal living. On the contrary in the Narkomfin building, the overlap between functions is more complex and implies a different perception regarding the shift to communal living. In this case, the form of living is not standardised but fosters a gradual shift to communal living. The two types of living cells constitute a transformation and condensation of the old large-scale apartments. The reduction of space concerns mainly facilities such as kitchen, the bathroom and the toilet, while the size of the living spaces such as the sitting-room and the bedrooms is also reduced but not to the minimum as the facilities. The gradual loss of spaciousness aims to motivate the inhabitants to transfer their domestic activities and routines - and particularly cooking and dining - from the private to the shared space. The collective space and the living cells complement each other in terms of functions and delineate a gradual shift from living in an apartment to living communally. At the same time, the collective spaces do not include only a central kitchen and dining room, but a series of other services that support the creation of an everyday communal life. In that sense, the devitalisation of the living cell in favour of the communal spaces and communal living appears as an evolutional procedure which flows from the gradual maturation of the communistic ideas in people’s conscience. The devitalisation of the private space is not instantaneous but occurs in sequential parts. Its purpose is to transform the private space of the dwelling into a place of retreat and seclusion and not of domestic life, and to transfer domestic life into the communal domain.

NARKOMFIN,

The Narkomfin living cells were a version of the Stroikom units. The Stroikom research proposed a set of rules, in order to define the constraints of communal living.10 These rules regarded the privacy of the family life, the complete independence from neighbouring families, the possibility of seclusion in a private space, and the provision of basic facilities in each living unit such as a small kitchen and bathroom. The most important challenge was to render the sharing of a unique unit impossible. This appeared to be a crucial design characteristic, since it would evade situations of overcrowding and complete dissolution of privacy. Therefore, the fundamental intention of the design was to stimulate the inhabitants to live communally and not

THE STROIKOM UNITS, 1927

78

Communal living in Russia and Soviet Union

M. GINZBURG & I. MILINIS, 1928

FIG. 14 & DR. pp. 80-84

10. Kopp, Anatole, Ibid, p. 139-42

Fig.14, pp.: 79 - 83The Narkomfin


First to Fifth Floors 01

10 Flats in first and second Floor

5

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

79


Axonometric Plan and Furniture of Living Units A & B

80


Living Unit Services Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Corridor Stairs

81


1

2

5

6

4

3

6

3

Key Repetitive Unit A Repetitive Unit B Repetitive Unit C Interior Corridor Exterior Corridor Main Stairs Corridors / Stairs Living Units Communal Facilities

82

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


Key (Circulation) Vertical Horizontal Vertical inside Living Units [Autonomous Accesses to the Service and the Living Units Building ]

83


to enforce them by eliminating every housing service or by reducing the size of the living unit to the minimum. The head member of the team Moises Ginzburg claimed that architects could no longer compel people to live collectively, as all the previous attempts had failed or had negative results. He claimed that architects had to provide the […] possibility of a gradual, natural transition to communal utilization in a number of different areas. That is why we have tried to keep each unit isolated from the next, that is why we found it necessary to design the kitchen alcove as a standard element of minimum size that could be removed bodily from the apartment to permit the introduction of canteen catering at any given moment. We considered it absolutely necessary to incorporate certain features that would stimulate the transition to a socially superior mode of life, stimulate but not dictate.11

Fig. 15: The Narkomfin Kitchen Alcove

FIG. 15

11. Kopp, Anatole, Ibid, p. 141

The last part of Ginzburg’s quote addresses the most important task for the Soviet architects: to perceive housing architecture as a transitional mechanism to a higher form of living and consequently to an evolved social model. On the other hand, the Communal House of the Textile Institute and the Dom-Komuna in Moscow, address the shift to communal living in a completely different way. This implies not only a difference in the design between these projects and Ginzburg’s approach but a latent political conflict. In these cases, the architects essentially proposed an immediate and total adoption of communal life, the simultaneous deconstruction of family and the complete separation of parents and children. The architects did not try only to prognosticate a mature stage of socialist development but to mould this society into a very rigid framework.12 Communal living had been transformed into an idea of Supercollectivism, which was far beyond the political and social conscience of the people.13 The size of the buildings was increasing dramatically, the communal space became gigantic in order to host all aspects of the personal and collective life, while the individual apartments were miniaturised into the dimensions of a single bedroom.14 Every domestic facility was at once collectivised and the living cell included nothing other than one or two beds. Only in some proposals could some basic facilities, such as a toilet or a shower be found. This conception of communal living detached any possibility of conventional

84

Communal living in Russia and Soviet Union

COMMUNAL HOUSE OF THE TEXTILE INSTITUTE, I. NIKOLAEV, 1930

DOM-KOMUNA IN MOSCOW 1929-1930, M.BARSHCH & V. VLADIMIROV, 1929

12. The submission of such proposals coincides with the beginning of the crisis of modern architecture in USSR, and with the denial of communal living. It can be supported that Supercollectivism defamed and abased the whole concept of communal living and simultaneously weakened the concept of the “new way of living”. Ibid. p. 155 13. Ibid, p. 154-57

14. Teige, Karel, Ibid, p. 381

Fig.16 - 18, pp. 85-89 : The Communal House of the Textile Institute, Nikolaev Fig.19, pp. 90 - 93: Dom-Komuna In Moscow, Barshch & Vladimirov


Ground Floor 0 5

Communal Services Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

Dining Hall Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Others

85


First Floor 0 5

Communal Services 152 Living Cells in each Floor

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

86

Dining Hall Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Others


Second to Eigth Floor 0 5

152 Living Cells in each Floor

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

87


The Living Unit as a Shared Badroom: Axonometric Plan and Furniture of the Living Unit

88


Key Corridors Stairs Living Units Communal Facilities

89


General Plan 0 5

92 Flats per Floor

Collective Space

Circulation Main Secondary Vertical

90


Living Units Servises Bedroom Common Bathroom Corridor

91


Key Vertica Circulation Horizontal Circulation Corridors Stairs Living Units Communal Facilities

92


Key Corridors Stairs Living Units Communal Facilities

93


family living and private life. The remnants of the private space could no longer be characterised as an apartment, since this was reduced to the size of a shared bedroom. In this case, the notion of privacy was questioned and the only strictly private space was that of the bed and the human body. In all the projects a clear separation between living cells and communal areas appears. The creation of two domains, the private and the communal, creates in design terms two distinctive architectural sectors, the sector of the living cells and that of the communal spaces. In the majority of the cases, these sectors constitute different buildings connected by a corridor. This clear separation should not be interpreted merely as a zoning of functions but as a distinction between two living forms, the private life of the living cell and the communal life of the communal domain. The intention of the design in all the projects is to foster communal life; however, this does not mean that private life disappears, even in projects such as the Communal House of the Textile Institute. Nevertheless, it is concentrated on retreat and reproduction. On the contrary in Narkomfin, private life maintains its conventional complexity as the carrier of everyday life, but tends to be replaced in parts by the communal. In any case, the private and the communal domestic lives operate in parallel, while in Narkomfin overlap in parts, thus creating a gradual shift from one living form to another. Thus, the corridor that connects the private and the communal lives and consequently the different buildings of the complexes has the character of a transitional element; it is designed as a primary collective space and as a threshold towards communal life. This threshold appears in almost all the projects and obtains different characteristics. In Narkomfin, it constitutes an important exterior space of the building and a place of spontaneous encounter and leisure. On the contrary, in the Textile Institute, it groups in separate floors the hygiene facilities and appears as the first point of encounter before the main communal spaces. Therefore, in both cases, gradual collectivisation emerges as a design component, even in a primary way. This intention becomes clearer by looking the living cell of the Dom-Komuna and the shared facilities that includes for each two inhabitants.

DR. p. 91

Communal living as it emerged in the Soviet Union, should be seen as an economic, social and political tool. In economic terms, it emerged as an important part of the solution for labour shortage. Through the collectivisation of domestic

ECONOMIC DIMENSION

94

Communal living in Russia and Soviet Union


1

2

3

4

1 2 3

4

5

1 2 3

4

5

SqM

%

5

Private Communal

95


labour, women could participate in the production process. Centralisation and collectivisation of housing services “could free about 30 percent of the population of any given city for work in production” and effectively reduce the housing costs. Centralised and collectivised facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens could reduce the construction costs for a housing unit more than fifty percent, by eliminating the unnecessary mechanical installations and intermediate spaces.15 Accordingly, the architects defined two main tasks as priorities for the housing design and reduction of construction costs. The first was to perfect the standard housing units through a design that could correspond to the design and technological progress already achieved in the West. The second was to achieve a cheaper, easier, and faster way to build housing, through the total industrialisation of the building process with prefabricated elements, new materials, and construction techniques.16 In addition, communal living as a “new way of living” appeared as one of the most crucial factors towards the construction of a socialist society. Through the collectivisation of domestic facilities and activities, housing obtained an educational character and gave an architectural expression to the desirable society, thus creating the appropriate environment that could house a new society model. In Anatole Kopps words, the object of architecture, its “goal”, had become the creation of the structures needed to transform the nation’s way of life, while the intention of the architects was to erect no longer mere buildings, but “new social condensers” capable of producing a mutation in man.17 The educational character of these “social condensers”18 aimed to abolish all the capitalist and petit-bourgeois characteristics that were integrated into people’s personalities, to eradicate self-centeredness by forming new links between the people, to emancipate women and to defeat patriarchal society. Most importantly, these “social condensers” aimed to create a new system of values, different to those inherited from the past. The purpose was not only to destroy the capitalist mode of production, but to eliminate all its repercussions in everyday life. Architecture was considered as a medium for the transformation of society and this is visible in every project, from the entire building to the construction details.19 The perception of communal living as a way to transform society constitutes the most important motivation for the creation of the innovative

96

Communal living in Russia and Soviet Union

15. Teige, Karel, Ibid, p. 365

FIG. 20, 22, pp. 97, 99

16. This was the main task of the research project of the Stroikom Units. The first communal houses were copies of the collectivised bourgeois apartment. They were different in their conception and intentions but not in the structure, the arrangement of the spaces or their design conceptualisation. In order to improve the collective utilization of the individual apartment, the architects increased its size, something that preserved the construction cost to the same amount, despite the collectivisation of spaces and domestic facilities. On the contrary, in the Narkomfin the architects adopted the technical knowledge of the modern movement and managed to achieve a much more cheap and efficient construction. Kopp, Anatole, Ibid, p. 126

17. Kopp, Anatole, Ibid, p. 101

18. Ginzburg, Moisei, Style and epoch, [Cambridge, MA / London: MIT Press 1982], p. 27

19. From the design of wall-attachable single beds and removable kitchen alcoves for the family flats, to the matter of industrialised construction, the effort to create both a completely new social and architectural paradigm is apparent. Soviet architecture of these years should be perceived as a comprehensive whole, in which every decision and element serves the target of creating a new way of living.

Fig. 20. The F Type of the Stroikom Units


97


housing typologies which emerged. However, communal living should not be perceived as a strictly political expression. Despite the primacy of the political factor, communal living emerged as a response to real needs and emerged at the intersection between political will and economic necessity and their articulation within fertile social circumstances. At its initial stage, communal living was adopted both informally and formally as a way to address the housing shortage and the poor living conditions. Subsequently, it was evolved into a political tool towards the construction of socialism. Therefore, the most crucial factor was the interrelation between these three factors for the creation of such radical transformations in the built environment and the form of living. Fig. 20: Wall-attachable single beds,

Fig. 22: Structure Analysis: Havsko-Shabolovsky House Commune: The internal arrangement of the spaces does not follow the structure Narkomfin: The internal arrangement of the spaces follows the structure

98

Communal living in Russia and Soviet Union


99


Comparative Analysis of the Rooms

Living Unit Functions Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Corridor Stairs Exterior Space


Comparative Analysis: Rooms, Furniture and Family Model, according to time

3 Families with or without children or equal number of persons

Key

1

2

3

1. Living Unit to Collective Space (%) 2. Living Unit’s Functions (SqM) 3. Living Unit’s Functions (%) Living Unit Functions Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Corridor Stairs Exterior Space Collective Space

1 Family with children

1 Family without children


1 Family with children or 2 Families or 4 persons (hypothesis)

2 Persons or 1 couple (practical ending through the use)

2 Persons


Combined Timelines UK and Soviet Union

Soviet Union England

1872

1874

1892

1901


1908

1920

Middle Class

1926

Working Class

1928 1929 1930


106


The Collective Old Oak and the dominant perception of collective living nowadays

3. Norwood, Graham, “Co-housing: a lifestyle with community spirit built into the foundations”, The Guardian, 24/02/2013, See also: Addley, Esther, “Cohousing: It makes sense for people with things in common to live together”, The Guardian, 16/02/2015, And, Elledge, Jonn, “Collective living’s fine for students but for everybody else it stinks”, The Guardian, 28/04/2016

The shift from housesharing to collective living is not a new idea, but it has been discussed extensively in recent years in London and not only among architects. Many articles in the press have discussed how housesharing should be addressed and what role collective living can have. Hatherley Owen analyses how the shortage of available housing and the high rental prices push people to housesharing, even at an old age. He argues that the subdivision of old houses or flats into separate rooms or smaller apartments is inefficient for housesharing. Therefore, he argues that the ad hoc design for collective living can provide the solution to the housing crisis.1 In her article, Sophie Heawood analyses her experience of living communally during her youth, and argues that such forms of living can operate efficiently.2 Moreover, in defence of cooperative housing as a financial and living scheme, Graham Norwood briefly analyses its historical origins and its operation in the UK. Cooperative housing provides individual homes and common areas with shared cooking, eating, laundry, leisure and meeting facilities. This form of collective living is presented as an attractive alternative to the dominant housing conditions.3

Im.15: The Collective Old Oak, representation

Additionally, Nicklas Maak in his book “Living Complex” calls for a new perception of collective living and argues for its

1. Owen refers to the historical examples of the Soviet Union and also the contemporary Lebensort Vielfalt in Berlin. He Moreover claims that such a suggestion for collective housing contradicts to the existing land policies and “the rightwing determinist urban planning orthodoxy of the last 25 years, where private and “defensible space” is considered a guarantor against crime.” Owen’s suggestion is that the shift from the inefficient house-sharing to housing designed for collective living can solve the housing crisis in the UK by providing affordable housing and better living conditions. Hatherley, Owen, “Communal living – forget stereotypes, it could solve the UK’s housing crisis”, The Guardian, 30/10/2012 2. Heawood, Sophie, “A communist collective is not the same thing as a cult”, The Guardian, 26/11/2013 See also, Shpancer, Noam, “Child of the collective”, The Guardian, 19/02/2011. Noam Shpancer in this article analyses his experience of growing up in a kibbutz in Israel, and concentrates in the advantages and disadvantages of communal upbringing of children.

THE CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSION ON HOUSESHARING AND COLLECTIVE LIVING

Domestic Conflicts

107


importance in the present. He bases his argumentation on the increasing need for housing units, which due to current urban policies and the construction industry’s intentions cannot be addressed, while they both limit the rethinking on how people live.4 As a response, Maak searches for new forms of housing beyond the nuclear family model, able to provide more freedom for people who want or need to live together.5 Maak addresses collective living outside of the family model, something that marks a shift in its perception as a generational specific concept, restricted to young generations.6 Thus, he calls for new relationships and modes of interaction in the domestic space, while he provides contemporary projects of housesharing and collective living, especially from Japan, as relevant examples. Through these cases, he recognises a latent tendency in people’s conscience and the housing market for such forms of living.

4. Maak, Niklas, Living Complex. From Zombie City to the New Communal, [Munich: Hirmer, 2015], pp. 13 - 26 5. Maak claims that “we do not know of a convincing form of building” that can accommodate “six octogenarians” housesharing, or “three single parents [living] with their children and two gay friends.” Ibid, p. 155 6. Maak claims that “we do not know of a convincing form of building” that can accommodate “six octogenarians” housesharing, or “three single parents [living] with their children and two gay friends.” Ibid, p. 155

the world’s largest co-living space and will form a new hub for urban professionals in West London. [The] design for this unprecedented building creates a new hybrid typology, redefining the architecture of living and working to suit the unique community of people that will develop here. The project reinvents collective living for today, laminating together a series of complementary programs and atmospheres to form a strategy for the future of housing. housing 7 Through this description, terminology and the way the project is meant to stand in the contemporary metropolitan environment and culture, the terms “collective” and “communal” become the centre of the debate around housing and the living conditions of the metropolis. These terms are used in order to describe the distinction of this “new form of living” from housesharing. The main design intention of the project is to support and enrich the existing metropolitan lifestyle, and to take advantage of the wider discussion about collective living and its appearance as a cultural trend in a profitable direction. Thus, through its description, the terms “collective” and “communal” lose their political meanings and origins, which historically refer to radical social transformations together with the transformation of domestic life. Therefore, it is not a matter of re-interpreting terms, as architects and investors claim, but of mutating their meaning in the light of the contemporary dominant culture.The Collective Old Oak is nothing more than a condensate of the existing alienated interpersonal relationships, a condensate of an alienated culture in the domestic space.8 As Matthew Stewart

108

The Collective Old Oak and collective living nowadays

THE COLLECTIVE OLD

7. Description of the project by PLP Architecture in the website of the firm, available in: plparchitecture.com/the-collective-old-oak. html, last accessed in: 21/04/2017. Bold by me.

OAK AS PARADIGM

8. This criticism concern also Niklas Maak’s approaches as it was presented before. His arguments about how collective living can address the contemporary housing crisis are valid. However, when they are detached from the efforts to delineate alternative social relationships and domestic interactions outside of the alienated current social context, they just end to appear as formalised versions of housesharing in better domestic environments. This is also visible from the contemporary examples he analyses, which are all speculative efforts to palliate the consequences of the housing crisis, but not to solve their causing factors.

Im. 16: The spa of the Collective Old Oak


109


claims, the most alarming feature of The Collective Old Oak is not “[…] the vague claims of solving a housing shortage or the pessimistic idea of a narcissistic youth driven through the next networking opportunity, [but that this] “new way of living”, is in fact a commodified old way of living; one that is steeped in the language of modernism yet robbed of its radical social intent.”9 Such projects are not an antagonistic proposal either to the root causes of housesharing nor to the alienated metropolitan culture but are rather an extension of it. They rest on the premise that the constituencies of the “new” collective living projects are “predominantly single, want flexibility, convenience, and value authentic ‘experiences’ over material possessions.”10 As such, they are strictly defined by the social and economic status of the lower middle-class and by a specificity to the young ages. This distinction between the different generations and their allocation to “appropriate” modes of living regardless of their needs and attitudes, the perception of collective living as “lifestyle” and its detachment from the severe economic and social problems it can address, together reveal the problematic conception of such proposals. This analysis pertains to the majority of such projects being built at present, which supposedly are designed for collective living.11 Therefore, the actual purpose of the Collective Old Oak is to create a fetishised version of collective living and a new mainstream condition, and it cannot be distinguished from the general metropolitan alienated culture of commodification and speculation, but becomes part of it. Thus, collective living loses not only its political significance and origins but moreover all its radical potential as an antagonistic and socially evolved way of living. As Stewart claimed, the most problematic consequence of Old Oak, is that it is not “aligned with a wider movement of social reformers, [but] aligned with investors who want a return on capital”.12 According to the above, The Collective Old Oak is not only a replication but most importantly a commodification of the most radical efforts to transform the way of living. It is not an effort for the improvement of living conditions in the metropolis since it does not address housing as a social matter, but as an opportunity for speculation. Undeniably, the project is an evolved form of housesharing and provides individual spaces with increased privacy and sufficient collective spaces. However, if the advertising of the Collective Old Oak badly replicates the narrative for the “new way of life” that first appeared in the Soviet Union, it moreover replicates the typology of similar projects built in London during the early years of modernism,

110

The Collective Old Oak and collective living nowadays

9. Stewart, Matthew, “The Collective is Not a New Way of Living – It’s an Old One, Commodified”, Failed Architecture, 2/12/2016

10. Ibid

IM. 17 & FIG. 23

COMMODIFICATION OF COLLECTIVE LIVING

11. As Matthew Stewart claims, “Co-living, as this latest and marketable housing mode, now exists in many of our major cities; typically those with acute housing shortages.” Niklas Maak in his book gives numerous such examples, mainly from the Japanese context.

12. Matthew Stewart, Ibid

Fig. 23: The Share, Tokyo, Typical Floor Plan Im. 17: The business network The Stare belongs


111


such as the Isokon and Kensal House. These projects attempted to address collective living as a way “to solve mass housing needs, through a rethink of what housing is and can be”. Their most important characteristic was that they were developed against - and as a reaction to - the laissez-faire approach to the creation of the city, “where housing was commodified, deregulated and market dominated”. They became housing prototypes for the architecture of the welfare state and post-war modernism, by approaching housing as an undeniable universal right.13

FIG. 24

13. Ibid

Fig. 24: The Isokon

112

The Collective Old Oak and collective living nowadays


113


0 1 km 2

114

5


From domestic coexistence to collective living

COLLECTIVE LIVING AS A CONTEMPORARY DESIGN PROBLEM

The locations of the proposed design projects

The cases of collective living in England and the Soviet Union analysed thus far were part of wider efforts seeking for transformations in the way of life but also in society. As such, they cannot be discussed separate from their political, social and economic context, having emerged as one of its spatial consequence. Both emerged as coherent entities, despite their differences. For this reason, they have been analysed as social tendencies that produced comparable housing typologies, rather than as isolated case studies. In the present context, collective living is a concept that continues to be discussed and projects worldwide are being built or studied. However, unlike historical cases, these projects are isolated and do not constitute a tendency, or part of a coherent debate around collective living. This reveals the weakness of perceiving collective living as an economic and social tool which can give answers to the living conditions in metropolitan cities. Despite the fertile ground housesharing creates, collective living appears to be either an obsolete form of living or to have completely mutated meaning into a new form of economic speculation on housing and urban space. As such, collective living as an idea for the organisation of domestic life is detached from the real problems of contemporary life. However, as the historical cases have shown, collective living emerged initially as a strategy for improving

Domestic Conflicts

115


living conditions. Therefore, the discussion on collective living should be re-established on that basis, as an effective instrument that is able to primarily provide better living conditions on a mass scale, treating housing as a right and not as a commodity. The adoption of collective living in the context of metropolitan London requires a search for new housing typologies. These typologies, but also collective living as a form of living, are a projection and a transformation of the historical paradigms onto the contemporary context, its subjectivities and their needs. This procedure regards initially the two most important components of the collective living building: the living cell and the collective space. As the analysis has shown, collective living is based on the fundamental distinction between private and collective life, and consequently between private and collective space. The private space can vary from a shared bedroom with two beds to a fully equipped apartment. Simultaneously, the collective space can exist either as a small dining room or as a huge multipurpose space which can cover almost any domestic activity except sleeping. In any case, the fundamental concept regards the collectivisation of housing facilities and their transmission into collective areas. The gravity between the private cell and the collective space pertains to this transfer of functions: as the cell loses its conventional facilities and these facilities are being collectivised, the centre of gravity moves from the private to the collective domain. In England, the gravity was placed in the living cell of the middle-class family. As such, the boundary between the living cell and the collective space is very strong. The collectivisation of housing facilities concerns mainly the kitchen and the dining room, in order to reduce the cost of domestic labour and of housing. The inhabitants are not involved in any cooperative activity since the collectivised tasks are operated by servants. Home life is confined to the living cell and does not extend to collective areas. There is no effort to create a common life across families, since the perception of home and family in the Victorian society, would not permit in any sense their diffusion into a wider collective domain. As such, by detaching the living cells from the collective areas, the architects tried to give the sense that the living cells are separate houses. This clear separation between living cells and collective areas appeared also in the Soviet Union, although the intentions were different and emerged from a strictly defined political agenda.

116

From domestic coexistence to collective living

THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRIVATE AND COLLECTIVE


This reveals the fundamental difference between the two cases: while in England there was no effort to create even minimal relations between inhabitants, in the Soviet Union the design was concentrated on creating communal life. As such, in the Soviet Union, the gravity is in the collective space. For this reason, the design of the personal space addressed the individual person as part of a community and therefore the actual subject of the design was this community and not the person. The projection of the collective space as the main element of the house and the restriction of the personal space and its facilities were the instruments towards the creation of a communal life and common routines. From a typological point of view, the collective space was physically and conceptually detached from the individual cells. cells This created strong and clear limits between the two spheres, the private and the collective, leaving no doubt about the purpose of each space and its modus operandi. The whole building complex pertained to the typology of the hotel, with objectified individual cells with minimum facilities and centralised service spaces. Despite the fact that the private and the collective domestic spaces constituted complementary entities in terms of functions, they tended to become autonomous due to their strictly defined programmatic agendas and the spatial separation of the domestic life. Domestic life appeared in distinctive parts, which corresponded to specific spaces of the building. In that way, the distinction between private and collective became strong and the possibility for their complete separation was always constant. If in England this was a prerequisite, in the Soviet Union was destructive. COLLECTIVE LIVING AND THE HOTEL TYPOLOGY

HILBERSEIMER AND THE HOCHHAUSSTADT PROJECT, 1924

In any case, both the living cell and the collective building exceed the conventional definition of the house and can be parallelised to the typology of the hotel. The primary role of the private space, which can be likened to a hotel room, is to accommodate personal moments of retreat and seclusion. Housing facilities such as the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room and the working space have been disappeared or reduced to minimum sizes, sometimes to the scale of an object. However, hotel rooms never stand alone but are always accompanied by centralised facilities, which cover the analogous deficiencies of the rooms. re clearly separated either horizontally These two entities are or vertically in distinguishable parts of the building, or they constitute different buildings, connected by a corridor corridor. The connection of collective living with the hotel typology is not a new insight. The conception of the living cell as a hotel room

Domestic Conflicts

117


Soviet Union England

1872

1874

1892

1901


1908

1920

Middle Class

1926

Working Class

1928 1929 1930

Collective Space

119


and as the structure which could host changes in society had a primary role in the projects elaborated by Ludwig Hilberseimer during the 1920s,1 and was further theorised by modernism. In the Hochhausstadt project, Hilberseimer conceived the hotel room “as the main metropolitan living cell”.2 The vertical and multifunctional building was no longer architecture’s main element, but it was considered as an aggregation of rooms or units. Thus, the overall organisation of the city was dependent on the organisation of the single unit, the cell.3 On the other hand, Karel Teige claimed that the solution for the shortage of working-class housing could not be found on the old house models.4 His idea was a dwelling without family-based household. He proposed the idea of the minimum dwelling, not as a minimization of old types, but as a new conception regarding the centralisation of domestic facilities. He thus argued that the collective dwelling should appear as a typological adaptation of the hotel design. For Teige, the hotel should be considered as the most technically and organisationally mature form of housing, which could transform the previously individualised housing services “into centralised large-scale production associations”.5 The generic forms of the city’s vertical conception which Teige, Hilberseimer and the modern movement studied,6 were further developed in the metropolitan context of New York by Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis. The Hotel Sphinx and the Welfare Palace Hotel conceptualised the hotel as the fundamental type for the organisation of the metropolitan condition.7 A plinth in the base of the structure contained collective or public facilities, while the towers above contained the living cells and more private shared facilities. Both were social housing projects and their living cells were conceived as hotel rooms.8 In both projects, the notion of collective living is radically different in relation with any other conception presented here. The projects expressed the alienation and anonymity of the metropolis, as well as “the culture of congestion” as it has been analysed by Koolhaas in Delirious New York.9 The design proposals of this dissertation go beyond the conceptualisation of the collective living building as a typological adaptation of the hotel. Therefore, from a typological point of view, the collective space is designed not to be isolated from the living cells, but physically and conceptually as the connecting point, the medium between them, and therefore the medium among the inhabitants’ lives. Physical proximity between the living cells and the collective space means proximity and interpenetration of the private domain

120

From domestic coexistence to collective living

1. Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Ibid, p. 154

2. Aureli, Pier Vittorio, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, Ibid, p. 215

KAREL TEIGE AND THE MINIMUM DWELLING

3. Aureli, Pier Vittorio, “In Hilberseimer’s Footsteps”, afterword in: Hilberseimer, Ibid, p. 339

4. Teige, Karel, Ibid, p. 323

HOTEL SPHINX AND WELFARE PALACE ZENGHELIS & KOOLHAAS

5. Ibid, p. 325. Teige claimed that this process of the socialization and centralization was to take place in parallel with the dissolution of the traditional family form as an economic and social unity. His approach implies that collective living cannot be distinguished from the wider social transformations towards socialism; but is an integrated part of this process. As such , as he claimed, it could not be seen as an isolated housing form. Ibid, p. 325 - 9 6. Frampton, Kenneth, Modern Architecture, a Critical History, [London: Thames and Hudson, 1980] , pp. 155 - 6, 226 - 7 7. Aureli, Pier Vittorio, “In Hilberseimer’s Footsteps”, Ibid, p. 357 8. Ibid, p. 215-218

BEYOND THE HOTEL TYPOLOGY

9. “The Culture of Congestion proposes the conquest of each block by a Single structure. Each Building will become a “house” - a private realm Inflated to admit houseguests but not to the point of pretending universality in the spectrum of its offerings. Each “house” will represent a different lifestyle and different ideology. On each floor, the Culture of Congestion will arrange new and exhilarating human activities in unprecedented combinations. Through Fantastic Technology it will be possible to reproduce all “situations” - from the most natural to the most artificial -wherever and whenever desired. Each City within a City will be so unique that it will naturally attract its own inhabitants. Each Skyscraper, reflected in the roofs of an endless flow of black limousines, is an island of the “very modernized Venice” - a system of 2,028 solitudes. The Culture of Congestion is the culture of the 20th century.” In Koolhaas, Rem, Delirious NewYork, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, [New York: The Monacelli Press, 1994], p. 125

Im. 17: The Hotel Sphinx


122


10. This dormitory for eighty employees of a Japan company is designed exclusively for women in their first year with the firm. In this case, collective living is perceived as a training period, in order to foster a team spirit and increased productivity. The project is a complete dissolution of the personal space, since privacy does not exist even in the bedrooms, where four women sleep together. The core of the building is a large common room and all bedrooms and other rooms are directly linked to it. Cooking, eating and resting are operated through cooperation in the common room. The fact that the common room is physically and conceptually the core of the building and not separated, constitutes a typological transformation beyond the hotel typology and the historical paradigms of collective living. The proximity of private and collective spaces and the function of the latter as connective element are characteristics which are adopted by the dissertation in order to transfuse collective living with the possibility of direct cooperation between the inhabitants. Saishunkan Seiyaku Woman’s Dormitory, in Kazuyo Sejima, “Living Space”, JA The Japan Architect, vol 99, Autumn 2015

11. Teige, Karel, Ibid, p. 32

and the collective domain.This is the concept of the Women’s Dormitory, designed by Kazuyo Sejima in 1991, and function as a paradigm for the this typological transformation proposed by this research.10 This design concept emerges so as to support the constant interaction and possibility of direct cooperation among inhabitants. However, this cooperation is not directly centralised but appears in different scales.These scales imply the gradual collectivisation of domestic facilities in different layers of publicness and cooperation, so as to support the gradual shift to collective living. THE LIVING CELL AS PERSONAL SPACE

DR. pp. 124-5 (UK living cells)

FIG. 25, p. 126 (proposed living cell)

Room for 8 women

Fig. 24: Shaishunkan Seiyaku Women’s Dormitory Kazuyo Sejima, 1991

This intention begins from the design of the living cell, which is for only one person or a couple and defines in a clear way the existence of a personal life. In most of the case studies examined, living cells were spacious and consisted of (at least one) bedroom, living room and bathroom, while in some cases they also had a kitchenette.The reasoning for this was to maintain the idea of home as a structural element for the organisation of personal or family private life, and consequently to maintain its existence. Pursuant to this reasoning, the proposed designs conceive of the living cells as spaces that can provide a comfortable individual life, which would not be restricted by the lack of necessary facilities. This is also connected with the perception of collective living not as a forced action of sharing, but as a process that pertains to people’s will and the gradual maturation of their conscience. The perception of collective living as a paradigmatic mode of living and the living cells as spaces which are able to support the existence of a personal life is of utmost importance in order to project collective living, not as a temporary but as a permanent mode of living. This was also the outcome of Karel Teige’s view about the minimum dwelling and had nothing to do with the concept of miniaturisation.11 If in the social and political context of the Textile Institute the miniaturisation of the living cell was related to the immediate establishment of communal living, in the present context of metropolitan London - whatever the intentions are - the final result could not be considered separately to the extreme efforts for speculation on housing that define the closets under the stairs as rooms. Therefore, in the context of London, radicalism is not the search for the smallest space a person can sleep in and to define this as a room or living cell, but on the contrary to define the general provision of living spaces which can accommodate the full spectrum of individual experience and decent living as the principal housing strategy and as an unquestionable human right.

Domestic Conflicts

123


Living Cells: Cooperative Housekeeping Movement (UK)

Bedroom Sitting Room Bathroom Kitchen Others

124


1872

1874

1892

1901

1905

1908 1909

1920

1923 1924 1925

125


second level

first level

126


DOMESTIC SPACE AS A COLLECTIVE SPACE

12. As Amos Rapoport has argued, “any given city can be seen as a selected set of subsystems of varying degrees of publicness and privacy”. These subsystems are linked and separated in various ways by different barriers and mechanisms, as well as by variable numbers of steps or gradations among them. The threshold between the private and the public can be defined in different ways, either by a sharp and abrupt or a vague and permeable transition. Therefore, in this case the question regards the nature of the transition between the private and the public. For Rapoport, the house should be considered not as isolated part which belongs strictly to the private domain, but as part of a broader settlement system. As such, “the house-settlement system links these orders, the private and public domains and, in a way, determines them”. Rapoport, Amos, Human Aspects of the Urban

URBAN IMPORTANCE OF THE COLLECTIVE SPACE

Form. Towards a Man-Environment approach to Urban Form and Design, [Oxford: Pergamon

Press, 1977], pp. 289 - 295. See also: Daunton, Martin James, Ibid, p. 11

13. Although collective space’s increased importance reduces the significance of the private space, it does not affect in the same way the public space. On the contrary, it aims at intensifying the significance of the public space by connecting it with the domestic and by enriching it with the collective character of the house.

GRADUAL COLLECTIVISATION

Fig. 25: Proposed Project A living cell

The collective space is organised through the gradual collectivisation of the housing facilities and services and gradual levels of publicness thus marking an incremental transition from the private to the public sphere. In this way, the notion of the house is maintained as a structural urban element, but loses its characteristic as the end of publicness and becomes a part of it. This does not intend to create a domestic replica of the public space, but to go beyond the conventional binary division of private and public that characterises the relation between housing and the urban.12 In this sense, collective living does not simply involve placing collective sphere between the private and public domain but the re-determination of the house as a collective domain.Thus, the living cell becomes the most private space of the house, while the collective space stands between the strictly private and the public domain. The collective sphere and consequently the collective space are therefore meant not only to appear as a threshold which connects the private and the public, but moreover as an organisational element of both personal and public life. It is a threshold that stands autonomously in between the other parts that it connects. This threshold becomes the most important part of the house and is transformed into an autonomous entity; the “protagonist” of the urban role of housing.13 In this sense, and by transforming Hilberseimer’s idea which postulates the living cell as the single tool which defines the overall organisation of the city, the collective space and its gradual levels of publicness appear as the fundamental element of the organisation of the city and its life. Personal life extends from the collective space to the private space of the cell to find moments of retreat and seclusion and to the public space as a political and labour power. The distribution and exposure of the housing facilities to gradual levels of sharing, with different modus operandi, constitutes a transformation of Teige’s idea about the complete centralisation of the domestic facilities. The gradual collectivisation and the creation of different levels of cooperation and publicness in the domestic space can foster, and sometimes coerce, the possibility of direct cooperation between the inhabitants. Thus, the gradual levels of sharing are intended to facilitate the gradual and bottom-up formation of the collective domestic life. This occurs as a typological transformation that tries to project in a different way Narkomfin’s concept about the gradual maturation of people’s conscience towards communal living. In typological terms, this means that the living cells and the gradual levels of the collective space interpenetrate each other, and they are

Domestic Conflicts

127


in physical proximity. The idea of gradual collectivisation is a concept that appeared both in England and the Soviet Union, but not with this interpretation. In the cases of the York-street Chambers or the Dom-Communa, the living cell for two or more inhabitants contained a number of shared facilities, except from the centralised collective services.This idea is transformed here in two ways: first as the possibility of providing minimum facilities between different living cells - such as a kitchenette or a working space - and second as the possibility of creating direct connections between the living cells through movable partitions.14 In this research, housesharing has been conceptualised as a condition of domestic coexistence in a shared domestic space. However, the inception for the design of the proposals is not housesharing per se, but domestic coexistence as the fundamental historical base for the emergence of collective living. As such, each design proposal initiates from this base and uses the previous typological analysis in order to explore the shift to collective living. This procedure is not linear but dynamic and can fluctuate back-and-forth; by oscillating between coexistence and collective living. Therefore domestic coexistence as the foundation for collective living is not used only as the beginning point but also as a stage which each time can project the possibility of collective living. The fact that collective living is perceived as a dynamic process and not as a stable form of living arguably constitutes the most important transformation that this dissertation proposes. This process is at the core of the typologies created so as to facilitate the shift from individual living to collective living.The core of this shift is the role of domestic labour. The fundamental idea of collective living is not the individual elaboration of domestic tasks and activities but on the contrary their collective processing. This implicates the planned and formal cooperation of inhabitants for the organisation of their domestic life. Therefore, domestic labour in collective living transcends individual responsibility and becomes a collective matter. This appears as a target and protocol, which defines the agreement of living collectively beyond mere coexistence. This protocol is initially defined by the design and typology of the projects, and its adaptation and operation depend exactly on the procedure of shifting from domestic coexistence to collective living.

128

From domestic coexistence to collective living

FROM DOMESTIC COEXISTENCE TO COLLECTIVE LIVING

14. These ideas are not applied necessarily in parallel or fit to all the projects. They are initial typological guidelines and are adapted in parts regarding the form of collective living in each project.


A

B

C

LIVING CELLS COLLECTIVE SPACES CONNECTING CORRIDOR

129


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London

130


PART B: DESIGN PROJECTS ON COLLECTIVE LIVING

131


Hyde Park

Regent’s Park

Green Park

Oxford Street

British Museum

Victoria Park

Tottenham Court Road

1 Marylebone / Fitzrovia - Westminster / Camden

Regent’s Park

Highbury Fields

Shoreditch Park

2 Kingsland - Islington & Hackney

Hackney Downs

Victoria Park

Wick Woodland & Mabley Green


Introduction

POLICY FOR COLLECTIVE LIVING

1. Wainwright, Oliver, “The radical model fighting the housing crisis: property prices based on income”, Guardian Cities, The Guardian, 26/01/2017

The locations of the proposed design projects

The design projects address housing as a mass social problem, and therefore in political terms. In this way, housing is conceived of as a right and the design projects are perceived of either as part of the state’s housing policies through the medium of council housing or as a collaboration between the state and the communities that will be accommodated. The economic feasibility of the projects depends both on the communities’ participation and the state. As an alternative to rents, the inhabitants of each building contribute financially to its maintenance and economic viability with an amount that depends on their incomes. This amount is detached from the speculation of the property market but is determined individually on the basis of the monthly wage of each inhabitant. Therefore, the individual contribution has a twofold nature; first regarding the state and the construction of the building, and second regarding its viability and maintenance. In that way, housing is not considered as a profitable investment but as a civil right. This idea derives from the idea of subsidised rents as a claim of urban movements, particularly in London. The East London Community Land Trust puts housing in community ownership, with houses sold or rented at an amount which is linked to local wages and provides open membership for anyone connected to the area. This model takes housing out of the property market, and places it on the “labour market”.1 This research proposes an alteration and combination of both the models of council housing and the Community Land Trust. The main difference proposed is that there is no “right to buy”, since the housing property belongs to the community of inhabitants, while the land is conceded by the state.

Domestic Conflicts

133


Fitzrovia - Projects A & B

2. A keyworker is person employed in the public sector in a crucial role delivering an important public service, where there are recruitment and retention difficulties, in professions including health, education and public safety. These people are eligible for affordable housing schemes with subsidised rents, according to the official housing polices. For more information, see: keyworkeraccommodation.org.uk 3. Guibourg, Clara, “Londoners spend an entire working week commuting - every year”, City A.M., 11/09/2015. See also: Boniface. Susie, “How long does it take you to get to work?”, Daily Express, 29/06/2014

The first and second project are located, in Fitzrovia, in central London. Both projects provide accommodation for low-income workers and professionals who work in the local area, but who cannot afford to live nearby due to the extremely high rents of central London. This strategy emerges as an extension of the housing regulations for keyworkers2 with subsidised rents, in order to render them affordable housing in the areas they work, so as to minimize their commute to and from work.3 Moreover, the location of two dense housing projects confronts the strategy that perceives city centres as mainly working areas, by pushing housing out of them. The selected area in that way can obtain a balanced multifunctional character, with housing as its fundamental element. This also pertains to the design strategy for the collective space. The part of the collective space that connects the housing with the urban is the open collective space. The open collective space occupies a previously private space ascribing it now to the public. This space functions as an extension of the public space, as a penetration into the collective domain. It incorporates all the functions and services that are necessary for the viability of housing, such as markets and stores, while it supports working and leisure facilities. Pertaining to these functions, the open collective spaces of both projects complement each other and create an initial network that supports housing in an autonomous way. Moreover, the vertical penetration of public space into the buildings aims at decreasing the isolation of domestic life from the urban.

Domestic Conflicts

135


Project A

the building

typical floor

the mixed-use elevated square

the groundfloor and first level

136


4. This space can be either an atelier, a music or home cinema space, an informal or a professional office, a workplace for handmade works, a study or a library. However, it can be even a children’s room, for those inhabitants who have children before the adolescence. All the inhabitants that are eligible for this housing projects, are connected with the local area either due to their work, or for other social reasons.

In the first project, the open collective space includes in the groundfloor leisure and culture facilities, stores, a kindergarten and a nursery, working spaces in the first level, and a public square on second level which includes additional leisure and public functions, mixed with clusters of living cells. The form of collective living in the first project constitutes a transformation of housesharing and uses domestic coexistence as its base for the informal shift to collective living. Each inhabitant has a living cell that includes all the conventional housing facilities, and an additional spare space, mainly for those working at home.4 The initial living cell is a square, divided into two parts. The first part is an enclosed glass cubical that has the bedroom and the bathroom on the second level, and the kitchen and the additional space on the first level. The second level and the spare space in the first level can be isolated with glass doors and curtains; however, the kitchen is completely open and functions as an open passage to the living cell. The second part of the square has double height and is a combined sitting and dining room. This part is not enclosed, but connected with the similar spaces of the other living cells.Thus, this part, as well as the open kitchen, has an increased publicness in relation to the enclosed cubical. This open space can be isolated from the others only with a heavy curtain. The purpose of this is to go beyond domestic coexistence, by providing a comfortable individual living space that will be not isolated. As such, it offers increased privacy in some parts of domestic life, while in others it fosters the inhabitants to share activities such as cooking, dining, resting or entertainment. Every two adjacent living cells can combine either their kitchens or their additional spaces, so as to create further fields of cooperation. This practice can be expanded to all the cells, by finally centralising the basic domestic facilities in the open spaces provided in each floor. As such, the design can embrace the transition to collective living. However, the most important characteristic towards this shift is the easy transformation of the sitting and dining rooms to an open linear hallway, which can be the core of the collective life.The informal character of this evolutional process requires a low number of inhabitants and intimacy and consequently the creation of small communities on the different floors and towers of the project. These towers are planned to accommodate different subjectivities, by differentiating the function of the spare room. As such, small communities of people related by profession or status can be created. The towers are designed in such way as to provide natural light and ventilation to all the living cells, while in parts are connected.

Domestic Conflicts

137


0 1

5

10

50

Level 0


0 1

5

10

50

Level 1


0 1

5

10

50

Level 2


level 2

level 1 level 0


Elevated Square (level 2)


Type 1: Closed

Type 2: Open Glassbricks

1m

Dtail: Facade

Msx Height: 95 m

Volume and Materiality


second floor

first floor

Typical Living Cell 1/100

0

1

5


Typical Living Cell


Typical Living Cell, Axonometric


Typical Living Cell, Exploded Axonometric


Domestic Coexistence 0

1

5


Collective Living 0

1

5


Domestic Coexistence, Typical Floor (Proffesionals) 0

1

5

10


Domestic Coexistence, Typical Floor (Proffesionals) 0

1

5

10


0 1

5

10

50

Typical Living Cell, Exploded Axonometric


Curculation

typical floor


Project A, View from the open Atrium

154


View to the Collective Space

155


Project B

the building

typical floor

the first level

the groundfloor

the groundfloor and first level

156


On the groundfloor of the second building, a central food market for both projects is located, and moreover infrastructure for street food. On the first level, an open hallway with a flower market is placed, together with a cafĂŠ. Regarding particularly housing, the two projects are designed utilising a different form of collective living, suitable for the different subjectivities they address. The second project addresses cooperative living in a much more organised and formal way, and in conditions of overcrowding. The typical living cell is designed as a strictly personal space, including bathroom, bedspace, and sitting space. The partitions between adjacent cells can open, thus creating linear connections. This also implies that in some cases, the inhabitants can change living cells in order to create these private connections. However, the most important connection between the cells happens through the linear hallway that connects them and allows their access. This hallway includes a small kitchenette, a fridge and a sink for each set of two adjacent cells. The hallway and its facilities constitute a primary collective space, and the first part of the gradual collectivisation of the housing services. The building consists of two towers, and every four opposite slabs are unified, creating an entity, which is the fundamental repetitive unity of the building. In between the towers, the open collective space is located as a spine. The core of this unity, apart from the open collective space, is the single floor of the main collective space. This space includes the central kitchen and a multipurpose space, functioning as a dining room, sitting room, working and leisure space. This space is initially empty and the inhabitants are meant to organise it with furniture according to their needs. It is designed in order to have an appearance of a public space. Whereas in the first project, the low number of inhabitants and intimacy are crucial for the viability of domestic coexistence and for an informal transition to collective living, in this project of cooperative living the controlled anonymity and diversity of the inhabitants is equally necessary. Cooperation is perceived as the combination of multiple households and the division of domestic labour in rotation between inhabitants. Domestic labour in this sense emerges as a collective activity, while the inhabitants who collaborate can be seen as a domestic labour force. The large number of inhabitants involved is for two reasons. The first is that negotiation regarding domestic tasks becomes not an individual, but a collective matter. In this sense, limited anonymity secures that the assigned tasks are perceived as labour and not as a concession.The second regards the viability of the cooperative mode. The large number of individuals

Domestic Conflicts

157


50

10 0

Groundfloor, Section and Elevations


5. Caló, Susana, “The Grid”, Axiomatic Earth, Tecnosphere Issue, Anthropocene Curriculum & Campus, House of World Cultures (HKW) 6. Ibid

involved can ensure that each person participates in the domestic tasks once or twice a week, in different tasks and in rotation. For this reason, each community should involve participants with different working routines and day schedules. Thus, the inhabitants are low-paid precarious employees, working in central London. The arrangement of tasks constitutes one of the tasks in rotation, performed by a non-permanent committee that changes continuously and plans the weekly schedule. This idea derives from Félix Guattari’s and Gilles Deleuze’s “grid”, which they developed for the self-managed psychiatric clinic La Borde.The grid was a rotational work schedule, which listed the names of people rotating tasks and activities and the amount of time each person would spend per week.5 The grid’s division in tasks and activities according to a characterisation of the duties as “more or less pleasant”6 is retained in this design project. However, their evaluation is subject to be negotiated in situ and through bottom-up experimentation between the inhabitants.

Domestic Conflicts

159


0 1

5

10

50

Level 2


level 1

level 0

level 1 level 0


Typical Living Cell 1/100

0

1

5


Typical Living Cell, Axonometric


Connections between Living Cells


Connections between Living Cells, Axonometric


The Hallway as a Primary Collective Space

0

1

5

open platform

seat

fridge - storage

open window

sink - kitchenette

balcony


8 Slabs for 1 technical and 1 working-space floor

The Repetitive Slab of Living Cells 0 1

5

10


0 1

5

10

50

Typical Floor: Standard Plan


0 1

5

10

50

Hypothesis: Collective Living


Private

Public

Gradual Levels of Sharing and Publicness Design like a Public Square


Typical Floor, Axonometric


Project B, Interior Space (The Central Kitchen in the front)

172


Project B, Interior Space (The Collective Space)

173


176


Kingsland - Project C

The different Family Clusters of the Urban Block

The third design project emerges as a typological transformation of terraced houses in a homogeneous area in Kingsland.The design concerns an existing urban block of terraced houses. Rather than demolishing them, the project design pertains to their typological transformation for collective living. Therefore, this project is an effort to transform existing urban structures beyond housesharing. Collective living in this project concerns the collective rearing of children. The houses are offered to families with children up to eighteen years old, and for a minimum period of five years in order to ensure the community’s coherence. The project begins by creating independent family clusters in the whole urban block. Although families within these clusters are not spatially isolated (since the different houses are connected), cooperation happens only between two or three families.The houses have a kitchen in the basement where the inhabitants cook cooperatively or in rotation for all. The sitting room and an additional room are located on the ground-floor. Parents and children’s rooms are located on different floors and are connected vertically with stairs. On each floor, the different rooms of the cluster are connected with a corridor, whilst the children’s rooms also have opening partitions. In design terms, the horizontal circulation across families becomes stronger than that between parents and children. The intention is not only to connect all the different clusters together in a short span of time, but to occupy the internal yard of the block, thus creating a multifunctional intergenerational space. This interior space is therefore created gradually, together with the gradual formation of the inhabitants’ community. This happens through the creation of a structural system for a glass canopy with atriums, which follows the previous division of properties that gradually appertain to community’s management. This interior space is designed as a playground and as landscape, hosting the needs of inhabitants in a mixed way. Domestic activities such as dining, studying, playing, working or leisure can be transferred there, by gradually devitalising the houses and restricting them to retreat and seclusion. This evolutional process begins from cooperation between families and aims to approach communal living.Through this procedure, the importance of family as the principal model of children rearing tends to be decreased, while the importance of community is increased. In this sense, collective living can smoothly be adopted by future generations, but additionally deeply rooted in people’s conscience. Although the creation of communal life around children rearing is a stage of collective living that has created the most intense debates diachronically, it probably constitutes the most important and radical contribution that collective living can make.

Domestic Conflicts

177


0

1

5

10

20

Basement - Kitchen The 2 Open Clusters


0

1

5

Basement - Kitchen (1:100) Direct Cooperation between Families

10


0

1

5

10

20

Groundfloor - Sitting Room & Spare Room The 2 Open Clusters


0

1

5

Groundfloor - Sitting Room & Spare Room (1:100) Direct Cooperation between Families

10


0

1

5

10

20

First Floor - Children The 2 Open Clusters


0

1

5

First Floor - Children (1:100) Direct Cooperation between Families

10


0

1

5

10

20

Second Floor - Parents The 2 Open Clusters


0

1

5

Second Floor - Parents (1:100) Direct Cooperation between Families

10


The Gradual Formation of the Multigenerational Collective Space


100 50 20 10 0

TheUrban Block - Groundfloor


0

1

5

10

20

Basement - Collective Living as Target


Expansion as an Urban Paradigm


Conclusion: Domestic Conflicts and the Conflict for the Domestic

THE HISTORICAL CHARACTER OF COLLECTIVE LIVING

The intersection of the historical cases analysed can be found in the origins of collective living in the expanded phenomena of overcrowded housesharing. Collective living emerged as a social and economic response to the poor living conditions and the housing crisis. This happened initially in an informal way, before the architects targeted the formalisation and institutionalisation of collective living, as a medium to provide affordable housing for the working-class. The collectivisation, centralisation and professionalisation of domestic labour and spaces proved that collective living could be an efficient economic measure towards the improvement of living conditions. However, only in the case of the Soviet Union this became an official housing policy and additionally adopted a strong political character. This political character came to overshadow the economic dimension of collective living, despite that its widespread development is attributable to its economic justification. This fact determined its character as a political instrument towards the evolution of people’s conscience diachronically. However, the political character of collective living does not appertain only to this. In England, architects perceived their projects (even those for the middle-class) as paradigms for the efficiency of collective living, in order to prove that their expansion on a mass scale for the working-class was feasible. Additionally, in the Soviet

Domestic Conflicts

193


Union, not only the institutionalisation of collective living but moreover the projects’ scale, indicate that it was postulated as the dominant way of living. Therefore, in both cases, collective living conceived housing as a mass problem and as a right, and therefore as a political problem. Collective living, as its primary informal emergence proves, should not be perceived as a stable condition but as a dynamic procedure. Not as consolidation of relations or living forms but as a historical tendency, that under specific social circumstances can emerge from domestic coexistence as an evolved form of living. The housing crisis, the poor living conditions and economic pressure can force not only extended phenomena of housesharing, but moreover their transformation into collective living in an informal way. The reason why collective living in the Soviet Union was formalised and became widespread - unlike England - is mainly political, and pertains both to people’s will and state intentions.1 Therefore, a historical and evolutional tendency can be identified between housesharing and collective living. This tendency is not linear but depends on - and it is a product of - the desire and struggle for radical social and political transformations. The demarcation of this historical tendency and the delineation of the possibility for its appearance in the context of contemporary metropolitan London, constitute the most important contribution of this dissertation to the discussion about the forms of living nowadays.

COLLECTIVE LIVING AS A

Although the context of contemporary London is radically different from that of the case studies, the shift from housesharing to collective living can be justified in both economic and social terms. Collective living, as an economic tool, can reduce the cost of housing and its operation. Housing density has a crucial role in this. Housesharing increases the density of existing housing in an attempt to confront the housing shortage. Collective living, as a distinctive housing strategy, can address the increase of density in a more efficient and structured way, through the creation of new housing typologies.2 Furthermore, when this increased density is not addressed by creating self-sufficient housing units but through the collectivisation of domestic spaces, facilities and services, it can reduce not only the construction costs but additionally the operational costs of housing and living expenses. This is a resilient argument through the history of collective living. In this sense, collective living returns back to its origins as the most affordable way to accommodate a large number of people in the same domestic space. If housesharing

COLLECTIVE LIVING IN THE

194

Domestic conflicts and the conflict for the domestic

DYNAMIC CONDITION

1. An account of the reasons collective living was or was not expanded can be found in the Chapters A & B for England and the Soviet Union correspondingly.

PRESENT CONTEXT

2. This, by default in the context of low-density London can reduce the expenses of housing.


3. The economic justification of collective living, that begins from the use of land through the increase of the density and extends to the construction technics and the collectivisation of specific housing facilities and services, is a subject that belongs to the intersection between architecture and economic science. The current research studies mainly the social and political characteristics of collective living, while in parallel it analyses the economic base upon which they have been defined. Collective living, in order to be economically supported requires further investigation, which exceeds the purpose of the current research. However, it is the factor that is capable of establishing collective living as a realistic alternative to the context of the housing crisis in London.

emerges as the most affordable accommodation in London, then its properly designed evolution into collective living can reorganise the chaotic domestic conditions and address the housing shortage in a more reasonable and efficient way.3 DIVERSITY OF THE COLLECTIVE

4. In a similar way, Rem Koolhaas at Delirious New York proposes to address congestion with congestion: “The paradoxical intention to solve congestion by creating more congestion suggests the theoretical assumption that there exists a “congestion barrier.” By aiming for a new order of the colossal, one would break through this barrier and suddenly emerge in a completely serene and silent world, where all the hysterical and nerve-wracking activity that used to occur outside, in the subways, etc., would now be completely absorbed within the buildings themselves. Congestion has been removed from the streets and IS now swallowed by the architecture.” In Koolhaas, Rem, Ibid, p. 177

DOMESTIC CONFLICTS

However, the high density housesharing creates in the domestic space leads in cases to congestion and overcrowding. In the context of metropolitan London, the problem of congestion cannot be addressed by decreasing the density, but rather by increasing, organising and hierarchizing it.4 The diversity of people, cultures and living approaches that characterise housesharing cannot be confronted through their separation and categorisation, but ultimately through their emancipation to act and interconnects in a multifaceted and free environment, which interrelates them according to their desires and needs. The latter is the most crucial factor in order to define the potential existence of a domestic community and its character. In the historical cases analysed, the unifying characteristic of individual persons was their class status, which implies that they shared common needs. This is arguably the most crucial characteristic for the creation of a domestic community and refers to collective living both as a housing strategy for the metropolitan environment and as an evolution of housesharing. Therefore, collective living should address the subjectivities that exist in housesharing, by using its analysis as an economic based phenomenon and as an inevitable response to the economic characteristics of the metropolis. This implicates mainly the working-class in the creation of the domestic communities. The diversity and plurality of these communities aim at creating not closed and isolated groupings, but on the contrary open communities which interact in a dynamic way and create a domestic microcosm and a reflection of society. The potential differences in age, culture, gender, sexual orientation and occupation are able to create both fields of interaction and conflict and the harmonic symbiosis among the inhabitants will always be under consideration and in a constant oscillation. Since these differences appear in the social structure of the domestic subjectivities, their harmonic coexistence and cooperation inside the domestic space is a question. Therefore, the domestic collective space is designed to address this matter. Since it is the core of the idea of collective living, it has been conceived as the core of the home and the epicentre of domestic life. The primary role of the domestic collective space is to accommodate the collectivised domestic facilities in such

Domestic Conflicts

195


a way as to foster the organisation of domestic life collectively. The fundamental idea of collective living is not the individual use of common spaces and facilities, but instead their collective utilisation through the planned cooperation of the inhabitants for the organisation of their domestic life. The shift from the one stage to the other is the fundamental concept behind the design projects proposed, and the most important characteristic of the perception of collective living as a dynamic procedure, which can potentially cover the whole spectrum of domestic life with the creation of common routines among the inhabitants Collective living appears thus as a constant and omnipresent possibility. Essentially, the collective space is organised around a collective domestic agenda that perceives domestic tasks as domestic labour. Domestic labour is no longer an individual responsibility but a collective matter and thus the collective domestic space and the protocol that organises it obtain characteristics of social interaction. The protocols proposed for each project are a generic agreement on rules for the collective organisation of the domestic life. However, the research chooses not to specify these rules, since this is a subject that pertains to the autonomy of the domestic communities. As such, domestic life becomes a subject of negotiation among inhabitants and the agreement to live collectively obtains complex social characteristics. Due to its character as the centre of interaction between different people in situations of domestic congestion, the domestic collective space becomes a space of encounter, negotiation and finally conflict. These conflicts created through the process of organising domestic life is the only productive way towards collective living, as a dynamic procedure for the formation of a new conscience. Though this procedure, the domestic collective space obtains an educational character that pertains to the configuration of domestic life not as an individual but as a collective matter and social issue. The interpersonal interactions and relationships that can emerge through the creation of a collective domestic life, are able to mutate the extended alienation of the social relations in the metropolitan environment, challenging the social structure by projecting a different way of living. Thus, the collective domestic space is capable of intervening in the process of the creation of subjectivity, through the transformation of one of it crucial factors, the form of living. The creation of domestic fields of encounter, interaction, negotiation and conflict regarding the organisation of domestic life, can, therefore, create the potential for the emergence of

196

Domestic conflicts and the conflict for the domestic

THE COLLECTIVE SPACE AS POLITICAL SPACE


new subjectivities.5 However, this intention cannot be fully achieved in the present social and political context, as long as it remains detached from wider political efforts for radical social transformations. Therefore, collective living emerges as a target and as the projection of a social imaginary. As such, it does reveal a paradox. Collective living is not the end of a social procedure but it is the procedure itself, and the collective space is a symbolic place. This place denotes what it is meant to be in the future and therefore what it cannot be in the present context.Therefore, the collective space is not only an opposition to its present but a projection of what it is meant to be; what it symbolises and represents. The collective space cannot be thus the product of a designer’s imagination, and if it is, this cannot be anything more than speculation. If collective space is truly collective, it is unpredictable. It is a product of “what people do, feel, sense, and come to articulate as they seek meaning in their daily lives.”6 To paraphrase Harvey, its conception delineates a liminal social space, a space of possibilities, where something socially different and antagonistic is not only possible but also crucial for radical trajectories.7 Domestic life no longer belongs strictly in the private domain but gradually becomes exposed into different levels of publicness. The way personal life appears in domestic space is not anymore a private but a social and political matter. Conserving, therefore, collective living in political terms, domestic collective space can be perceived of as a liminal political space; an incubator of the main social and political space, the public. The collective space is thus a space where social experimentation can acquire the absolute degree of radicality. In this sense, collective space is a heterotopic space, a space of possibility for collective action in order to create something radically different and antagonistic to its social and political context. The research does not imply that collective living can address the social, political and economic reasons causing housesharing and the housing crisis in London. This is not only unrealistic but moreover exceeds the limits of what architecture can achieve. However, the aim of the research was not to bypass the dominant role of the economic interests in the metropolis and the way speculation defines the city and the forms of living. On the contrary, it revealed the irrational logic which defines the way people have to live, and to targeted to think beyond and against the economic realism of the current metropolitan condition; not by ignoring it, but dealing with it in social and political terms. It did not claim that can resolve the origins of social problems,

198

Domestic conflicts and the conflict for the domestic

5. This is based on the hypothesis that architecture has the ability to influence social behaviour. This premise is not different from the perception of the built environment of the house as a “social condenser”, through which the Soviet architects defined their architectural efforts to transform the way people live by transforming how housing operates in a communal way. Kopp, Anatole, Ibid, pp. 96, 98, 101-2, 109-16

6. Harvey, David, Ibid, p. 18

7. Ibid See also, Lefebvre, Henri, The Production of Space, Translated by Nicholson - Smith, Donald, [Oxford: Blackwell, 1991], p. 366 See also, Lefebvre, Henri. The Right To The City. In: Kofman, E., Lebas, E. (Ed.) Writings on Cities, [London: Blackwell, 1967], pp. 63 - 184


but to take advantage of their internal contradictions, in order to create breaches which are able to delineate alternative social realities. The proposed designs are therefore meant to appear as antagonistic - to their context - paradigms; as islands of a different way of living that can project their logic in the city and in this way to intervene to by manifesting a different social reality. The feasibility of these paradigms in the present political context is definitely questionable. What is unequivocal, is that they are products of the necessity for better living conditions and different human relationships, and not of the fake pragmatism of the supposed “there is no alternative� which governs our cities and lives nowadays. These paradigms are claims and subjects for struggle and assertion, and as such, they cannot be seen as isolated architectural efforts. Otherwise, they will end up as utopias and not as what they are meant to be: polemic tools towards a different social model.

200

Domestic conflicts and the conflict for the domestic


201


Instead of an Epilogue

The time will come when we will begin from the side roads / with the crazies and bastards / with thieves and whores / because we are the Others / the Others are us / we will cross the metropolis / our metropolis / colonized city / because it is the place of our desires / and we’ll never leave / because we left / our sorrow in the walls / our rage in the streets / our soul in the square / the laugh that will bury them / a power forwards / a hope from the past / it can / the air of the metropolis stifles us / but we will take in breaths / deep breaths / the air of the metropolis stifles us / but we will not leave / and if we need to / we will migrate inside the same city / because we are strangers in the world of bosses / we are strangers wherever there is a stranger / and the city will change constantly / since it is potentially everything / and as it follows the circles of our expatriation / all the cities of the world will be housed there / so as to destroy the ghosts that haunt it Fabrika Yfanet Squat, Thessaloniki, 20 March 2004 Part of the text from the first poster the day of the squatting1

1. Θα έρθει η ώρα που θα ξεκινήσουμε από τους γύρω δρόμους/ με τρελούς και με μπάσταρδους/ με ληστές και με πόρνες/ γιατί εμείς είμαστε οι Άλλοι/ οι Άλλοι είναι εμείς/ θα διασχίσουμε τη μητρόπολη/ τη δική μας/ αποικημένη πόλη/ γιατί αυτή είναι ο τόπος των επιθυμιών μας/ και δε θα την αφήσουμε ποτέ/ γιατί αφήσαμε/ τη λύπη μας στους τοίχους/ την οργή μας στους δρόμους/ την ψυχή μας στην πλατεία/ το γέλιο που θα τους θάψει/ μια δύναμη προς τα εμπρός/ μια ελπίδα από το παρελθόν/ μπορεί/ ο αέρας της μητρόπολης να μας πνίγει/ αλλά εμείς θα πάρουμε ανάσες/ βαθιές ανάσες/ ο αέρας της μητρόπολης μας πνίγει/ αλλά εμείς δεν φεύγουμε/ κι αν χρειαστεί / θα μεταναστεύσουμε μέσα στην ίδια πόλη/ γιατί είμαστε ξένοι στον κόσμο των αφεντικών/ είμαστε ξένοι όπου υπάρχει ένας ξένος/ και η πόλη θα αλλάζει διαρκώς/ αφού είναι εν δυνάμει τα πάντα/ κι όσο ακολουθεί τους κύκλους της αποδημίας μας/ όλες οι πόλεις του κόσμου θα κατοικούν σ’ αυτήν/ για να αφανίσουμε τα φαντάσματα που την στοιχειώνουν. Τranslation by me.

202


203


Domestic Conflicts: Forms of Collective Living in Metropolitan London

204


APPENDIX BIBLIOGRAPHY IMAGES’ SOURCES

205


Appendix - Typological Guidelines for the Design of the Living Cells and the Primary Collective Space

*

A

B

**

C

A’

90

*

B’

206

90

**


207


LIVING CELLS A1 [& A’1] Typological Guidelines - Primary Collective Space

0

0.5

1

2

3

0

0.5

1

2

3

*

L.C. A1

L.C. A’1 [complementary]

L.C. A2

**

208

** Secondary Shared Space View Directions of growth

* The Typological Guidelines of the LIVING CELLS A1 & A’1 are also applicable to the L.C. A2 & A’2.

L.C. A’2 [complementary]


CATALOGUE MAP

P.S.S. with kitchenette

P.S.S. with kitchen & dining room

organisation according to the exterior space kitchen on the back

kitchen on the middle kitchen on the edge

two floor cases

mainly individual cases & combinations

minimum unity

doubling of the minimum unity

CATALOGUE NOTES 012 5

10

4 1

2

7

8

13

14

3

6 5

12 9

10

11

15

16

17 18

24 19

20

21

22

23

209


1

4

14

20

012 5

10


2

5

3

6

7

8

10

11

9

12

13

16

15

17

18

19

21

22

23

24


Bibliography

1969], Available online: marxists.org/archive/marx/works/ download/pdf/condition-working-class-england.pdf, Last visited 11/07/2016

Books

Engels Frederick, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1975)

Arc En Reve: Centre D’architecture, New forms of collective housing in Europe, [Basel: Birkhauser, 2009]

Engels, Friedrich, The origin of family, [Sychroni Epohi, Athens, 2013]

Agamben Giorgio, Metropolis, Transcribed and translated by Bove, A. from Uninomade audio files, [2005], available in generationonline.org/p/fpagamben4.htm

Engels Frederick, The Housing Question, [Moscow: Progress Publishing, 1970]

Agamben, Giorgio, “What is a Paradigm?”, in The signature of all Things, [New York, NY: Zone Books, 2009]

Esposito, Roberto, Communitas: The Origin and Density of Community, [Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010] Fernández Per, Aurora, 10 Stories of Collective Housing: Graphical Analysis of Inspiring Masterpieces, [Vitoria-Gasteiz: a+t architecture

Aureli, Pier Vittorio, Less is Enough: On Architecture and Asceticism, [Moscow: Strelka Press, 2013]

Publishers,2013]

Aureli, Pier Vittorio, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, [Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011]

Frampton, Kenneth, Modern Architecture, a Critical History, [London: Thames and Hudson, 1980]

Aureli, Pier Vittorio, Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture within and against Capitalism, [New York, NY: Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008]

Ginzburg, Moisei, Style and epoch, [Cambridge, MA / London: MIT Press 1982]

Benevolo, Leonardo, History of Modern Architecture, Volume one, The tradition of Modern Architecture, [Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1971] Burnett, John, A Social History of Housing 1815-1970, [London: Methuen, 1980] Chadwick, Edwin, Report On The Sanitary Condition Of The Labouring Population and on the Means of its Improvement, [London, 1842], available in: deltaomega.org/documents/ChadwickClassic. pdf, last accessed in: 10/04/2017 Crane, Walter, Ideals in Art, [London: George Bell & Sons, 1905] Daunton, Martin James, House and Home in the Victorian City, [London: Edward Arnold (Publishers), 1983] De Meyer, Dirk and Kristiaan Versluyn, ed., Urban Condition: Space, Community and Self in the Contemporary Metropolis, [Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1999] Dogma and Realism Working Group, Communal Villa: Production and Reproduction in Artists’ Housing, [Leipzig: Spector Books, 2015] Engels Frederick, Condition of the Working Class in England, [Moscow: Panther Edition and Institute of Marxism-Leninism,

212

Goodman, Percival, and Paul Goodman , Communitas: Means of Livelihood, [New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1960] Harvey, David, Rebel Cities, [London, UK: Verso, 2012] Hilberseimer, Ludwig, Metropolisarchitecture, [New York, NY: GSAPP BOOKS, 2012] Hildner, Claudia, Future Living: Collective Housing in Japan, [Basel: Birkhauser, 2013] Howard, Ebenezer, Garden Cities of To-morrow, [Eastbourne: Attic, 1989] Ikonnikov, Amdrei, Russian Architecture of the Soviet Period, Translated by Lyapin, L., [Moscow: Raduga Publishers, 1988] Komossa Susanne, Meyer Han, Risselada Max, Tomaes Sabien, Jutten Nynke (ed), Atlas Of The Dutch Urban Block, [Bussum: THOTH Publishers, 2005] Koolhaas, Rem, Delirious New York, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, [New York: The Monacelli Press, 1994] Kopp, Anatole, Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning 1917 - 1935, Translated by T. E. Burton, [London: Thames and Hudson, 1967], and: Kopp, Anatole, Town and Revolution, Translated in Greek by Lazarides, P., [Athens: Livanis publications, 1975]


Lander, H. Clapham, “The advantages of co-operative dwellings, pp. 61-8”, in The Garden City Conference at BoumvilIe 1901, Report of Proceedings, Garden City Association, London Lefebvre, Henri, The Production of Space, Translated by Nicholson Smith, Donald, [Oxford: Blackwell, 1991] Lefebvre, Henri, “The Right To The City.” in: Kofman, E., Lebas, E. (Ed.) Writings on Cities, [London: Blackwell, 1967] Luxemburg, Rosa, The Russian Revolution, [New York: Workers Age Publishers, 1940], available online in: https://www.marxists. org/archive/luxemburg/1918/russian-revolution/index.htm, last accessed: 07/04/2017 Maak, Niklas, Living Complex. From Zombie City to the New Communal, [Munich: Hirmer, 2015] Manoochehri, Jamileh, The politics of social housing in Britain, [Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012] Marx, Karl, and Engels, Frederick, Manifesto of the Communist Part, [Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1969], pp. 31 - 33, available in: marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf Marx, Karl, The German ideology, [Mocsow: Progress Publishers, 1967] Muthesius, Stefan, The English Terraced House, [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982] Neal, Edward Vansittart, Associated Homes: A Lecture, [London: Macmillan & Co, 1880] Khan-Magomedov, Selim, O., Pionners of Soviet Architecture, The search for New Solutions in the 1920s and 1930s, Translated by Lieven, A., [London: Thames and Hondson, 1987] Pearson, Lynn F., Architectural and Social History of Cooperative Living, [London: The Macmillan Press LTD, 1988] Perks, Sydney, Residential Flats of all Classes, [London: Batsford, 1905] Purdon, Charles Benjamin, The Garden City, [London, Temple Press and J. ML Dent & Sons, 1913] Rapoport, Amos, Human Aspects of the Urban Form. Towards a ManEnvironment approach to Urban Form and Design, [Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1977] Rigby, Andrew, Communes in Britain, [London: Routledge, 1974] Sennett, Richard, The Fall of Public Man, [New York; London: W.W. Norton, 1996]

Stavrides, Stavros, ‘Heterotopias and the Experience of Porous Urban Space’, in Franck, Karen and Quentin Stevens, (ed.), Loose Space: Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life, [London: Routledge, 2007] Stavrides, Stavros, The City as Commons, [London: Zed Books, 2016] Stavrides, Stavros, Towards the City of Thresholds, [Italy: professionaldreamers, 2010], Available online (last visit: 21/06/2016): http://www.professionaldreamers.net/?p=1980 Swenarton, Mark, Homes Fit for Heroes. The Politics and Architecture of Early State Housing in Britain, [London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1981] Simmel, Georg, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” in The Sociology of Georg Simmel [New York, NW: Free Press, 1950] Teige, Karel, The Minimum Dwelling, Translated by Bluhosch, Eric, [Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002] Unwin, Raymond, and Parker, Barry, The Art of Building a Home, [London: Longmans, 1901] Journals Building News, 24/04/1874, pp. 457-60 Caló, Susana, “The Grid”, Axiomatic Earth, Tecnosphere Issue, Anthropocene Curriculum & Campus, House of World Cultures (HKW), available in: anthropocene-curriculum.org/pages/ root/campus-2016/axiomatic-earth/the-grid, last accessed in: 03/05/2017 Dyos, Harold James, “The slums of Victorian London”, Victorian Studies Vol. 11, No. 1 (Sep., 1967), pp. 5-40, p. 27 available in: jstor.org/stable/3825891, last accessed: 11/04/2017 Jacoby, Sam, and Christopher C.M. Lee, (ed.), “Typological Urbanism”, Architectural Design No 209, [2011] Kazuyo Sejima, “Living Space”, JA The Japan Architect, vol 99, Autumn 2015 Morley, Ian, “City Chaos, Contagion, Chadwick, and Social Justice”, Yale Journal of Biology and Health, 2007 June, vol. 80(2), pp. 61–72 Stewart, Matthew, “The Collective is Not a New Way of Living – It’s an Old One, Commodified”, Failed Architecture, 2/12/2016, available in: failedarchitecture.com/the-collective-is-not-a-newway-of-living-its-an-old-one-commodified/, last accessed in: 21/04/2017 The Health Foundation, “Edwin Chadwick’s Report on the

213


sanitary conditions”, available in: navigator.health.org.uk/ content/edwin-chadwicks-report-sanitary-conditions-labouringpopulation-great-britain-was-published

Guibourg, Clara, “Londoners spend an entire working week commuting - every year”, City A.M., 11/09/2015, available in: cityam.com/224140/londoners-spend-entire-working-weekcommuting-every-year, last accessed: 04/05/2017

Newspaper Articles Addley, Esther, “Cohousing: It makes sense for people with things in common to live together”, The Guardian, 16/02/2015, available in: theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/16/co-housing-peoplethings-common-live-together-older-people, last accessed in: 21/04/2017 Boniface. Susie, “How long does it take you to get to work?”, Daily Express, 29/06/2014, available in: express.co.uk/life-style/ life/493116/Commuting-facts-from-around-the-world, last accessed: 04/05/2017 Braw, Elisabeth, “Communal living projects moving from hippie to mainstream”, in The Guardian, 11/05/2015, Available in: http:// www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/11/ communal-living-projects-moving-from-hippie-to-mainstream, last accessed in: 21/06/2016 Bridger, Jessica, “Don’t Call It A Commune’, in Metropolis Magazine [May2015], Available online in: http://www. metropolismag.com/May-2015/Dont-Call-It-A-Commune/, last accessed in: 21/06/2016 Brignall, Miles, “Tiny and £1,100 a month: corporate answer to flatsharing in London”, in The Guardian, 27/04/2016, Available online in: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/apr/27/ corporate-answer-to-flatsharing-london-collective, last accessed in: 21/06/2016

Hatherley, Owen, “Communal living – forget stereotypes, it could solve the UK’s housing crisis”,The Guardian, 30/10/2012, available in: theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/30/communalliving-answer-uk-housing-crisis, last accessed in: 21/04/2017 Heawood, Sophie, “A communist collective is not the same thing as a cult”, The Guardian, 26/11/2013, available in: theguardian.com/ commentisfree/2013/nov/26/commune-not-cult-charismaticleader-sex, last accessed in: 21/04/2017 Morrison, Sarah, “Come together: Could communal living be the solution to our housing crisis?”, in Independent, 13/11/2011, Available online in: http://www.independent.co.uk/property/ house-and-home/come-together-could-communal-living-be-thesolution-to-our-housing-crisis-6260020.html, last accessed in: 21/04/2017 Norwood, Graham, “Co-housing: a lifestyle with community spirit built into the foundations”, The Guardian, 24/02/2013, available in: theguardian.com/money/2013/feb/24/co-housing-lifestylecommunity, last accessed in: 21/04/2017 Shpancer, Noam, “Child of the collective”, The Guardian, 19/02/2011, available in: theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/ feb/19/kibbutz-child-noam-shpancer, last accessed in: 21/04/2017

Collinson, Patrick, The Guardian, “The other generation rent: meet the people flatsharing” in their 40s, 25/10/2015, available in: theguardian.com/money/2015/sep/25/flatsharing-40s-housingcrisis-lack-homes-renting-london, last visited: 03/04/2017

Spittles, David, “London’s new live-work flats: ‘co-living’ is the capital’s new property trend as shared spaces slash costs”, in Homes & Property, 16/03/2016, Available online in: http://www. homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/buying/new-homes/ londons-new-livework-flats-coliving-is-the-capitals-new-propertytrend-as-shared-spaces-slash-costs-a99931.html, last accessed in: 21/04/2017

Cox, Hugo, “Communal living moves upmarket in London, New York and Hong Kong”, in Financial Times, 26/04/2016], Available online in: https://next.ft.com/content/637dda40-07b0-11e69b51-0fb5e65703ce#axzz4C7ic8XWk, last visited: 03/04/2017

The Guardian, “More people cohabiting without being married”, 02/11/2012, available in: theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/ nov/02/more-people-cohabiting-without-married, last accessed in 03/04/2017

Deech, Ruth, “Couples don’t need the law to tell them how to live together”, The Guardian, 22/11/2009, available in: theguardian. com/commentisfree/2009/nov/22/ruth-deech-marriagecohabitation-children, last accessed in: 21/04/2017

Horton, Helena, “London flatshares offer ‘Harry Potter’ style rooms under-the-stairs for up to £900 a month”, The Telegraph, 30 Sep 2015, available in: telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/ renting/11901339/London-flatshares-offer-Harry-Potter-stylerooms-under-the-stairs-for-up-to-900-a-month.html, last accessed in: 06/04/2017

Daily Mail, “The high price of a single life... £3,500 a year more than if you are hitched”, available in: dailymail.co.uk/news/ article-2011668/Being-single-costs-3-500-year-hitched.html, last accessed 21/04/2017 Elledge, Jonn, “Collective living’s fine for students but for everybody else it stinks”,The Guardian, 28/04/2016, available in: theguardian. com/commentisfree/2016/apr/28/collective-living-studentslondon-housing-crisis, last accessed in: 21/04/2017

214

Wainwright, Oliver, “The radical model fighting the housing crisis: property prices based on income”, Guardian Cities, The Guardian, available in: theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/16/radical-modelhousing-crisis-property-prices-income-community-land-trusts, last accessed in: 03/05/2017


Williams, Zoe, “Living alone is pricey, but all households have their cost”, The Guardian, 06/07/2011, available in: theguardian.com/ commentisfree/2011/jul/06/living-alone-a-price-worth-paying, last accessed in: 21/04/2017

Fig. 15: The Narkomfin Kitchen Alcove, Anatole Kopp, Town and Revolution, Ibid, p. 126

Websites

Fig. 24: http://www.wellscoates.org/plans.htm

Fig. 16: The F Type pf the Stroikom Units ,Anatole Kopp, Ibid, p. 132 Fig. 20: Wall-attachable single beds, CA Contemporary Architecture No 1 / 1927 Fig. 23: http://www.archdaily.com/222881/the-share-rebita

chg.org.uk/residents/tenants/rent-a-home/ The Collective Old Oak, available in thecollective.co.uk/coliving keyworkeraccommodation.org.uk/learn_more/ www.2.southwark.gov.uk/info/200052/looking_for_a_ home/971/different_types_of_housing/6 Image Sources Im.1: thecollective.co.uk/coliving/old-oak Im.2: thecharnelhouse.org/tag/communal-house-of-the-textile-institute/ Im.3:opendemocracy.net/od-russia/clementine-cecil/narkomfin-building-life-after-luzhkov Im.4: marklascellesthornton.com/thehappinessmachine/ Im.5: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3254727/ Im.6: pinterest.com/pin/43368263908922 8206/ Im.7:wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/gallery/Industrial%20revolution%20public%20 health.html?f=33&vf=1 Im.8:petapixel.com/2013/02/19/cramped-apartments-in-hong-kong-shot-from-directlyabove/ Im.9: hyperallergic.com/200035/coffin-beds-and-penny-sleeps-an-exhibition-on-victorianhomelessness/ Im.10: sciencemuseum.org.uk/hommedia.ashx?id=11183&size=Large Im.11: Lynn F., Architectural and Social History of Cooperative Living, [London: The Macmillan Press LTD, 1988], p. 40 Im.12: emaze.com/@ACRWQOZF/ww2-background-causes Im.13: aleksandra-koneva.com/html_en/kommunalka_en.html Im.14: khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/later-europe-and-americas/modernityap/a/stepanova-the-results-of-the-first-five-year-plan Im. 15: plparchitecture.com/the-collective-old-oak.html Im. 16: http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-collective-londons-co-living-space-2016-5 Im. 17: http://www.archdaily.com/222881/the-share-rebita Im. 18: hotelroomsearch.net/greece/hotel-sphinx Fig.1: amayahharvey.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/65/ Fig.3: Lynn Pearson, Ibid, 30 Fig.4: Building News, 24/04/1874, pp. 457-60 Fig.5: Lynn Pearson, Ibid, 166 Fig.6-8: Unwin, Raymond, and Parker, Barry, The Art of Building a Home, [London: Longmans, 1901], Chapter 7, “Co-operation in Building”, Raymond Unwin, pp. 91 - 108 Fig. 9-10: Perks, Sydney, Residential Flats of all Classes, [London: Batsford, 1905], pp. 158160 Fig. 11: Lynn Pearson, Ibid, 97

215

Domestic Conflicts  

Collective living is not a stable but dynamic form of living; it is a procedure and a tendency. Its ambition is to create a common life betw...