Advertisement

Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 297–313 | Cite as

Alexander Klein and the Existenzminimum: A ‘Scientific’ Approach to Design Techniques

  • Marco Giorgio Bevilacqua
Research

Abstract

The urgent need for housing for the working class following World War I led to a search to determine new standards for housing to ensure that minimum requirements for living, or Existenzminimum, would be respected while costs were kept low. Overshadowed by more famous architects such as Gropius, Taut, and Le Corbusier, Alexander Klein’s important role in this search is often neglected. Klein’s remarkably innovative and mathematically rigorous design methodology began with the comparison of various types of dwellings, aimed at the determination of objective terms for the valuation of the design quality. Klein studied the problem of dwelling in its complexity, even considering the effects induced by conditions of living to the human psyche. His points of reference were the needs of the family and the individual, rather than impersonal hygienicsanitary parameters. Klein’s methodological research may still be considered an important point of reference.

Keywords

housing design analysis design theory Alexander Klein minimal surfaces 

Bibliography

  1. Baffa Rivolta, M. and A. Rossari, eds. 1975. Alexander Klein. Lo studio delle piante e la progettazione degli spazi negli alloggi minimi. Scritti e progetti dal 1906 al 1957. Milano: Mazzotta.Google Scholar
  2. Samonà G. (1959) L’urbanistica e l’avvenire della città. Bari, LaterzaGoogle Scholar
  3. De Fusco R. (1982) Storia dell’architettura contemporanea. Napoli, LaterzaGoogle Scholar
  4. De Fusco R. (1999) Mille anni di architettura in Europa. Bari, LaterzaGoogle Scholar
  5. Le Corbusier [Pierre Jeaneret]. 2008. Towards an Architecture, John Goodman, trans. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd. (1st ed. Vers une architecture, Paris: Fréal & C., 1923).Google Scholar
  6. Griffini E.A. (1933) Costruzione razionale della casa. Milano, HoepliGoogle Scholar
  7. De Carlo, G.C. 1965. “Funzione delle residenze nella cittá contemporanea”. Questioni di architettura e di urbanistica, Urbino: Argalia.Google Scholar
  8. Gropius, W. 1959. Die soziologischen Grundlagen der Minimalwohnung. Die Wohnung fur das Existenzminimum. Frankfurt. (from the Italian translation in Architettura Integrata. 1959 Milano: Mondadori).Google Scholar
  9. Klein, A. 1928. Grundrissibildung und Raumgestaltung von Kleinwohnungen und neue Auswertungsmethoden. Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung 48: BerlinGoogle Scholar
  10. Klein, A. 1931. Zu dem zusätlichen Bauprogramm der Reichsregierung. Gesundheitsingenieur 4. Berlin.Google Scholar
  11. Klein A. (1934) Das Einfamilienhaus – Südtyp. Studien und Entwurfe mit grundsätzlichen Betrachtungen. Hoffman, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  12. Klein, A. 1947. Man and town. In Yearbook of the American Technion Society, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

Personalised recommendations