Academic views on the economics of construction french variations 1920 1970
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ACADEMIC VIEWS ON THE ECONOMICS OF CONSTRUCTION FRENCH VARIATIONS (1920/1970) PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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ACADEMIC VIEWS ON THE ECONOMICS OF CONSTRUCTION FRENCH VARIATIONS (1920/1970). 1) Public housing of the 1920’s in France. Short presentation of early built garden cities in the outskirts of Paris : - Les Lilas (1921-1923 and 1930-1931) - Stains (1921-1933). LES LILAS.

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ACADEMIC VIEWS ON THE ECONOMICS OF CONSTRUCTION FRENCH VARIATIONS (1920/1970)

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ACADEMIC VIEWS ON THE ECONOMICS OF CONSTRUCTIONFRENCH VARIATIONS (1920/1970)

1) Public housing of the 1920’s in France.

Short presentation of early built garden cities

in the outskirts of Paris :

- Les Lilas (1921-1923 and 1930-1931)

- Stains (1921-1933)


LES LILAS

  • Developer : Office public d’HBM du département de la Seine

  • Architects : Pelletier (Paul), Teisseire (Arthur)

  • Ground area : 6 hectares

  • Programme and dates of construction (two phases) :

    1921-1923 : 212 dwellings, in one- and two-family houses, (destroyed 1971-1973, and replaced by housing blocks)

    1930-1931 : addition of approx. 100 dwellings in housing blocks (northern part of the ground area, still existing)


Les Lilas : project design (1921)One- and two-family houses


Les Lilas : project design (1921)One- and two-family houses


Les Lilas, how it was built (photo 1927)

Source : Henri Sellier, Une cité pour tous

(Texts presented by Marrey (B.), Ed. du Linteau, Paris, 1998, p. 118).


Les Lilas : how it looks today (spring 2009) Small housing block (4 apartments)


Les Lilas : how it looks today (spring 2009) Housing blocks


Les Lilas : how it looks today (spring 2009) Housing blocks


Les Lilas : how it looks today (spring 2009) Tall buildings in place of one-family houses


Les Lilas : how it looks today (spring 2009) Projects of the1970’s instead of one-family houses


Les Lilas : how it looks today (spring 2009) Garden-city spirit preserved by private property


Les Lilas, how it looks today (spring 2009).

Garden-city spirit preserved …by private property.

Architect’s house (1933), at the corner of the alley shown in the previous photo.


STAINS

  • Developer: Office public d’HBM du département de la Seine

  • Architects : Gonnot (Eugène), Albenque (Georges)

  • Ground area : 28 hectares

  • Programme : 1700 dwellings, of which 460 one-family houses and 300 rooms for bachelors

  • Dates of construction : 1921-1933

    At the period it was built, the garden city accomodatedone third of the population of the municipality.

    It still represents 15% of the dwellings in this municipality where social housing in a whole accounts for 69% of housing.


Stains : project design (1921)One-family houses


Stains : project design (1921)Housing blocks


Stains : how it looks today (spring 2009) Single family houses


Stains : how it looks today (spring 2009) Single family house


Stains : how it looks today (spring 2009) Single family houses


Stains : how it looks today (spring 2009) Housing blocks


Stains : how it looks today (spring 2009) Housing blocks


ACADEMIC VIEWS ON THE ECONOMICS OF CONSTRUCTIONFRENCH VARIATIONS (1920/1970)

2) Construction costs : academic approach of the comparison between single-family houses and housing blocks.

- The thesis by Henri Sellier (1921)

- The thesis by Claude Olchanski (1945) and what follows until the 1960’s


The thesis by Henri Sellier (1921)

  • A view based on a public developer experience.

  • At given volume and finishes, single family houses are cheaper than apartments in block houses (even including cost of public networks).

  • Therefore, construction in the suburbs has to favour a city of houses project.

  • Architecture and composition : reference to Raymond Unwin and the principles of garden cities.


The thesis by Claude Olchanski (1945)

  • Economic denunciationof garden cities, « particularly expensive given the extensions of roadways, pipework, the large number of foundations, structural works and roofs ».

  • Therefore, construction has everywhere to favour housing blocks, whose « reduced cost [permits] to improve comfort ».

  • As for the cost of construction itself, assertion is only based on arithmetic evidence, without any reference whatsoever to observations : a very questionable approach.

  • As for the cost of public networks, another arithmetic evidence, that will become recurrent… but is equally questionable.


Drancy : what was built in-between(Second programme by the Office de la Seine,1935)

Source : Henri Sellier, Une cité pour tous

(Texts presented by Marrey (B.), Ed. du Linteau, Paris, 1998, p. 203).


And later ?Academic views of the 1950’S and 1960’s

  • The Faculty of Law and Economics continued to crown doctoral works without these being based on facts.

  • The source of such an attitude is not to be found in the sphere of economic thinking.

  • References cited by economic authors prove that they matured their views under the influence of an understanding of modernity propagated by architects and town-planners.

  • The kind of profession of faith that held sway hereafter perfectly reflected professional interests of specialists involved in construction.


Conclusion

  • Two opposite views : the first favouring the city of houses project, the latter favouring housing blocks.

  • The lack of factual bases did not prevent the latter from contributing to real effects…

  • …but it resulted in a gap between construction culture sought by the elites and the popular perception of the problem.

  • Similar gaps would undoubtedly happen if, for whatever reason, we once again cultivated views of project economics subject to a doctrine rather than to observations.


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