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Marieke van Rooy: "Public housing at a turning point; The Netherlands, 1960-1980"

The transition from a Fordist to a Postfordist society was heralded in the Netherlands, like in France, by social and cultural change. The Seventies were a period of transition in which battles for individual freedoms were paradoxically incorporated into the institutional framework. An area where this could clearly be seen is public housing that has always been one of the main pillars of the Dutch welfare state. During the 1970's a top down policy approach was exchanged for regulated bottom up construction. This change in focus, where the individual demands became predominate, transformed the machinery of public housing - in program, design process, construction and architecture. In an attempt to make a more `human' housing environment in contrast to the modern city, architects and urban planners began to adapt their projects to a ‘human’ size, which radically changed the urban landscape of the period.

This paper examines the shift in the design of public housing and the consequences of this for the urban landscape in relation to the Fordist / Postfordist transition in the Netherlands.

About the Author

Marieke van Rooy graduated in 2000 as an architectural historian at the University of Amsterdam. Currently she is a PhD candidate at the architectural history and theory department at the Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Eindhoven (NL). Her research focuses on the relationship between social transformation and the architecture of public housing in the sixties and seventies in the Netherlands and specifically Amsterdam.

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