Discourse within the field of architecture has traditionally been limited in scope to debates on style, form, and morality. Going beyond this superficial level requires understanding the processes by which the built environment is socially produced. Drawing on Manuel Castells’ theory of urban social change, and a wide variety of primary and secondary source research this thesis investigates housing architecture in Denmark since the end of the Second World War. Specifically, it seeks to address a fundamental question about the character of Danish housing: how have the processes of social and spatial production in Danish housing architecture resulted in the notable penchant in Denmark for designing for community?
The chapters of this thesis are organized around this relationship between social structures and the built environment. In order to provide context for the chapters that follow, the first chapter discusses the long history of Danish vernacular architecture, from 3000 B.C. to the start of industrialization and early planned housing developments in the late nineteenth century. The second chapter investigates the connection between the Danish Welfare State and social housing, from the beginning of the Social Democratic movement to the advent of market-oriented policies in the early twenty-first century. The third chapter focuses on the emergence of co-housing as an alternative housing form during the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s in Denmark. The fourth and final chapter examines housing architecture in the context of the twenty-first century Danish Welfare State, as the country grapples with neoliberal influence and the need to build a sustainable future. A brief conclusion discusses the findings of this thesis and the implications for the field of architecture.
Stoll, Peter, "Designing for Community: The Social and Spatial Construction of Danish Housing Architecture" (2015). Architectural Studies Honors Papers. 4.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.