Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Horizontal Densification - Living Quality at a Low Cost

17.01.2005


Courtyard houses and terraced houses are the central topics of a newly released publication on the forms of horizontal densification in domestic architecture. Besides the history of these building types, the various types, quality criteria and their implementation within the purview of the numerous concepts of urban development are dealt with in detail. The book, published in German with the aid of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), thus offers a unique review of a residential building type that - once again - assumes increasing significance in our society.



Forms of horizontal densification are accommodation units constructed side by side in which rooms that lie on top of each other belong to the same unit of flats. They are also an answer to the increase in uncontrolled development of one-family houses in rural areas and an alternative to vertical forms of densification - e.g. high-rise buildings - in the cities. In his newly published work "Low Rise - High Density. Horizontale Verdichtungsformen im Wohnbau" [Forms of horizontal densification in domestic architecture], Dr. Helmut Schramm of the Vienna University of Technology examines this variform domestic architectural type in detail.

Long Established, but Newly Discovered


Forms of horizontal densification are in their two most well-known types – the courtyard house and the terraced house – not new domestic building types.

The courtyard house, whose living quarter encloses a central open space, already has a 5000-year-old tradition. It originated in India and China and soon spread to large parts of the Middle East and Southern Europe. The origin of the terraced house is significantly more recent. Its first types already existed in the 16th century, but the great breakthrough only came in the 2nd half of the 19th century in the form of factory settlements for workers of large industrial companies.

Stop the Urban Sprawl and Retain the Quality of Life

Both housing types experienced a comeback at the beginning of the 20th century. Helmut Schramm explains the causes: "The rising desire for property, self-realisation, privacy and distance created ever-enlarging residential units that increasingly destroyed the rural space. Therefore, forms of horizontal densification became alternatives for new urban models.

The reason was that solutions were sought which fulfilled the personal requirements and at the same time enabled a densification of the housing unit." But the saving of costs also made this method of construction favourable. It was possible to construct infrastructural facilities such as streets, drainage, electricity and water more concentrated and standardise the components. These forms of construction offered a high quality of life and economic advantages.

In his richly illustrated book, Helmut Schramm depicts the success especially of the terraced house through numerous European examples from the 1920s and 1930s. These include the workers’ settlement Kiefhoek built in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Les Quartiers Modernes Fruges in Pessac, France, planned by Le Corbusier, and the settlements of Törten or Dammerstock built by Walter Gropius in Germany, in Dessau and Karlsruhe respectively, in the same manner as the Werkbund Housing Estate in Vienna, Austria and the Weißenhof Housing Estate in Stuttgart, Germany.

In addition, Helmut Schramm elucidates by means of a comprehensive typology eight fundamental types of the courtyard house and six types of the terraced house. Interestingly, in his book Schramm also dares to determine the quality criteria of settlements and buildings that can be counted among the forms of horizontal densification. Schramm explains: "It is difficult to judge objectively the quality of a building. Not only is it perceived subjectively, but also altered by comprehensive influences. Nonetheless, I have defined such criteria also for better comparability of various types of domestic architecture." These criteria are flexibility and variability, passage, spatial structure, privacy, the integration of garages and low energy concepts.

A chapter on the use of horizontal densification in the framework of urban development concepts and another one on strategy to cope with modern developments, like for instance communication technology, complete the impressive work. With the support of the FWF, Helmut Schramm was able to conclude the findings of his postdoctoral thesis appealingly and to present it to a large audience.

Dr. Helmut Schramm | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/press/living_quality.html
http://www.wohnbau.tuwien.ac.at

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>