številka / volume 155-156
april / april 2002
letnik / anno XXXII
stanovanja
housing
vsebina številke
table of contents
Miha Dešman Uvodnik
Editorial
Andrej Hrausky Intervju z Rolandom Rainerjem
Interview with Roland Rainer
Matevž Čelik Vrnitev artikulacije v arhitekturno govorico
The Return of Articulation into Architectural Language
Andrej Hrausky Na novo premišljena palača
Palace Re-thought
Uroš Lobnik Indikator urbanega
The Indicator of the Urban
Matevž Čelik Arhitekturni ali politični problem
Nataša Koselj Arhitekt Ilija Arnautović
Nataša Koselj Montažna stanovanjska gradnja
Prefabricated Construction
Matej Blenkuš Arhitektura dóma
Matej Blenkuš Novi “vzorci” bivanja
New “Patterns” of Dwelling
[+RAMTV] Negotiate my Boundary!
Negotiate my Boundary!
Vlatka Ljubanović Idealni bivalni univerzum
Francesc Munoz Ljubeznivo nasmejana
Dressed up to Smile
  abforum
Miodrag Mitrasinović Provizorična polemika
A Provisional Polemic
Ullrich Schwarz Od “kraja” k “dogodju”
uvodnik

prebivam, torej stanujem; stanujem, torej gradim

“Prebivanje je način, kako smrtniki na zemlji smo,” pravi filozof Heidegger v paradigmatskem tekstu “Grajenje, prebivanje, mišljenje”.1 Stanovati je po Heideggru naraven način našega vsakdanjega življenja. To, da stanujemo, je torej utelešenje vsakdanjosti in ena temeljnih človekovih potreb. Za zadovoljitev te potrebe skrbijo ljudje predvsem kot posamezniki v okviru družine in sorodstva. Fenomen stanovanja pa presega individualno sfero, opredeljujejo ga tudi socialni, ekološki, zdravstveni, ekonomski in drugi aspekti, ki so v širšem interesu. Zato mora za področje stanovanja skrbeti skupnost oz. država, ki uravnava načrtovanje, vzdrževanje in gradnjo stanovanj, skrbi za pravičnost razmer na stanovanjskem trgu in zagotavlja kakovostno ponudbo stanovanj. Kako država Slovenija skrbi za področje “stanovanjskega gospodarstva”? Za gradnjo, vzdrževanje, prenovo “stanovanjskega fonda”? O tem, se pravi o “stanovanjski politiki”, kritično govori tekst Matevža Čelika “Arhitekturni ali politični problem”. Seveda pa niso politični, socialni in ekonomski aspekti gradnje stanovanj tisti, ki nas predvsem zanimajo, zanimata nas zlasti prostor in arhitektura.

Vprašanja za arhitekte

Ne smemo pozabiti, da večino grajenega prostora predstavljajo stanovanja, individualne hiše in različne oblike večstanovanjskih hiš. Ali se arhitekti danes še zanimamo za stanovanja? Kaj smo sposobni ponuditi, kakšne raziskave, modele, ideje? Ali razmišljamo o stalnih spremembah v strukturi družine? O novih tehnologijah, ki so vse bolj del vsakdanjega okolja? Ali razvijamo metode gradnje, ki so ekonomične, ne da bi izgubili izraznost in pluralnost zgrajenega? In kako razumemo odnos med stanovanjem in okoljem, sosedstvom, mestom?

Odgovori na ta vprašanja obvisijo v zraku. Res je, razmišljamo, ponujamo modele in rešitve, zgodi pa se bolj malo. Stanovanja so vedno manj v domeni arhitekture. Časi, ko so racionalizacija in standardizacija pa tudi večja bivalna kvaliteta izhajale iz arhitektove inovativnosti, o čemer teče beseda v pogovoru z arhitektom Ilijo Arnautovićem so ostali daleč za nami. Danes o sistematični akumulaciji pozitivnih izkušenj pač težko govorimo.

Uspešni, inovativni primeri - nekatere med njimi predstavljamo v tej številki - so žal prej izjema kot pravilo.

Teoretski vakuum

V skoraj vseh disciplinah, ki se danes ukvarjajo s stanovanjem, tarnajo o teoretskem vakuumu, v katerega padajo tako programsko politične kot tudi strokovne, arhitekturne, normativne in druge pobude. Praznina izhaja iz dejstva, da ne obstajajo več povprečne abstraktne skupne vrednote oziroma so se le-te izkazale za zmotne. Vez med stanovanjem in družino se rahlja in deli v nepregledno število različnih oblik, ki jim je skupno samo to, da enopomenska funkcionalna shema ne velja več. Med stanjem stanovanjskega fonda in načini ter potrebami uporabe je velik razkorak.

Ta teoretski vakuum poskuša zapolniti sodobna mednarodna arhitekturna teorija s poudarjanjem dinamičnih aspektov stanovanja - odprtih sistemov nasproti zaprtim kompozicijam, nomadizma, mobilnosti nasproti statičnosti, strateškosti delovanja namesto slavljenja podobe. Če je bila za moderno značilna standardizacija in za postmoderno evokacija oz. podoba, naj bi bila za današnjo kulturo značilna odprta kombinatorika, ki se ne obremenjuje s (preživetimi) ideali arhetipov, socialne pravičnosti ali arhitekturnega programa. Vsaka kompozicijska intenca naj bi bila nostalgična, izhajala naj bi iz arhaizirajoče koncepcije urbanega. Arhitekturna inovacija naj bi temeljila na novi, razpršeni realnosti, na aritmiji. Zanjo naj bi bile značilne tipološka raznovrstnost, prostorska fleksibilnost, rast, interaktivnost. V medializirani in digitalizirani sodobnosti postaja uresničljiv koncept različnosti in pestrosti, ki je prevzel tradicionalno mesto ponavljanja in enotnosti. Sodobnost naj bi bilo mogoče prevesti v gradnjo, torej v realnost brez faznega zaostajanja. Pa se vprašam - ali arhitektura res lahko reši problem stanovanja?

Rezistenca tipa

Vprašanje arhitekturne inovacije je ob temi stanovanja dvoumno. Novost sama po sebi temelji na modelu mišljenja, ki konfrontira staro in moderno kot dve nasprotni vsebini, od katerih je ena usmerjena v prihodnost, druga pa zasidrana v preteklosti. Modeli za prihodnost naj bi nadomestili tiste iz preteklosti, ker naj bi bili boljši in uporabnejši. Logika preloma s preteklostjo postane vprašljiva, če pomislimo na cikličnost zgodovine ter na globlje in temeljne aspekte bivanja. Poglejmo primer. Loft kot oblika bivanja, ki je bila hit v arzenalu mladih arhitektov v 90. letih, se je izkazal bolj za koncept lifestylea specifične populacije mladih samskih yuppiejev kot pa za inovativen koncept za “široko uporabo”.

Različne oblike bivanja niso nekaj popolnoma novega. Meščanska stanovanja iz 19. stoletja pa tudi “normalne gradnje” pri nas do sredine 20. stoletja so s svojo univerzalno zasnovo - hodnik na sredini, iz njega dostopne, razmeroma velike sobe, ki so tudi med seboj povezane z vrati - še danes prilagodljivi za najrazličnejše uporabe. V nasprotju s tem je stanovanje, ki izhaja iz eksistenčnega minimuma in iz racionalizacije površin, veliko bolj rigidno in omejujoče na en sam, predpisan način uporabe. Klasično stanovanje nudi večjo fleksibilnost in svobodo v izpolnitvi individualnosti rabe.

Vrsta prispevkov v tej številki se ukvarja z raziskovanjem tipoloških modelov stanovanja. Zlasti profesor Roland Rainer je prepričan, da je njegov odgovor na problem gradnje stanovanj pravilen in nepresežen. Njegov zgrajeni opus mu daje pravico do takega stališča.

Stanje “na terenu”

Mladi ljudje so pri nas, če so odvisni le od zaslužka, ki jim ga nudi zaposlitev, brez možnosti za nakup stanovanja. Edina dostopna načina za rešitev stanovanjskega problema sta draga najemnina ali samomorilska zadolžitev. Logičen izhod je samogradnja, torej dolgoročno problematična in nezaželena individualna pozidava. Stanovanj za posebne oblike življenja, za kakršne se odloča vedno več ljudi, ni na trgu. Vse sociološke projekcije predvidevajo eksplozijo nedružinskih modelov bivanja. V švicarskih mestih recimo živi v obliki klasične družinske skupnosti (oče, mati, otroci) le še 16% ljudi. Tudi pri nas se situacija naglo razvija v to smer. Ob tem imamo, kot že rečeno, ogromen primanjkljaj stanovanj, ki se še veča.

Nekaj bi morali narediti. Vendar tako pri oblasti kot pri stroki prevladuje strategija laissez faire - tiščanje glave v pesek in čakanje, kaj se bo zgodilo, pač po formuli apres nous la déluge. Politični moto “bolje je biti neopredeljen kot pa tvegati in se izpostaviti” blokira pravo akcijo.

Neopredeljenost je po definiciji šibka v postavljanju programa, v operativnosti. Tako se stanovanja gradijo brez koncepta - edini jasen koncept je tržni interes špekulantsko delujočega zasebnega investitorja. Rezultati so očitni in znani, o njih skoraj ni vredno igubljati besed. Vsak dan lahko beremo v časopisu o otvoritvi kakšnega novega nadstandardnega naselja v neokrnjeni naravi in s prekrasnimi značilnostmi po ceni kakih 400.000 SIT za kvadratni meter ali pa o kakšnem škandalu, v katerega so vpleteni inženiringi in podkupljivi uradniki. Arhitekturna in urbanistična skrpucala na trgu torej stanejo trikrat toliko, kot je njihova realna gradbena vrednost, pri čemer nepovratno onesnažujejo prostor, mi kot družba pa zanje in za mastne zaslužke vpletenih brezvestnežev plačujemo previsoke davke. O, narobe svet!

Stanje urbanizma

Gradnja stanovanj je tudi eden od ključnih elementov urbanizma mest in podeželja. Določa odnos do bivanja v celoti, do krajine, mesta. Določa socialno pa tudi fizično podobo družbe in prostora. Ideal povprečnega Slovenca (enako velja za večino razvitejšega sveta) je brez konkurence - individualna hiša z vrtom.

Kolektivne oblike stanovanja v zadnjih desetletjih nenehno izgubljajo atraktivnost. Teme, kot so tip in tipologija, participacija, soseska pa tudi mestotvornost, so osramočeno izginile iz strokovnih debat. Ali je danes pri nas sploh še živa arhitektura z jasnimi urbanističnimi izhodišči in socialnim smotrom?

Individualna hiša je zelo potraten način bivanja, pri današnji gostoti poselitve skoraj bogokleten. Negativna aspekta sta zlasti dva:

  1. velika poraba prostora, nizka gostota poselitve, posledično uničenje krajine in
  2. velike, trajne in težko rešljive infrastrukturne in ekološke obremenitve, razpršenost, drago in zahtevno vzdrževanje, odvisnost od individualnega prevoza, skratka, množica negativnih prostorskih, ekonomskih in ekoloških učinkov.

Individualna hiša je luksuz, zato bi moral graditelj izpolniti najstrožje infrastrukturne, ekološke in estetske zahteve ter plačati realne stroške.

Prednost bi morali dati različnim oblikam kolektivnega stanovanja.

Mentaliteta

Lastništvo stanovanja ali hiše je ideal, ki ima politične implikacije - za prejšnji režim je bilo sredstvo kontrole in pacifikacije, za sedanjo oblast, ki od deklarativnega v desetih letih še ni prišla prav daleč, pa naj bi bilo dokaz osebne svobode in tržne iniciative. Tržno obnašanje oblasti - občine se obnašajo kot korporacije, ki prodajajo prostor, država pa hoče tak način zapisati v zakon, namreč prodajanje odpustkov - povzroča anomalije. Uveljavlja se nova oblika segregacije po tržnih kriterijih - glede na plačilno sposobnost izbiraš oddaljenost od središč oziroma infrastruktur. Javna kontrola mesta in prostora izgublja pomen. Suburbanizacija se je vzpostavila kot edina stabilna oblika zagotavljanja stanovanj. Pa smo spet pri problemu porabe prostora. Načenjamo nov prostor, obstoječi pa je slabo izkoriščen. Pojavlja pa se tudi drugačen trend, ki prav tako ne prispeva h kvaliteti stanovanj. Predeli v mestih s pretežno individualno gradnjo “vil z vrtovi” se prekomerno zgoščajo na račun vrtov. Tako zgoščevanje stanovanjskih naselij, ki je posledica visoke cene zemljišč, pa niža kvaliteto in končni učinek bo padec vrednosti.

Predlogi za izboljšave

Arhitektura mora izpolniti nekatere potrebe. Osnovna je potreba po zgrajenemu prostoru. Toda očitno je izjemno težko povezati željo arhitektov po naprednosti in inovativnosti z ekonomijo, politiko in predstavami uporabnikov. Arhitekt se mora zavedati te odgovornosti. On je tisti, ki tu brani abstraktnejši interes stroke in splošni javni interes.

Cilj razmišljanj je iskanje možnosti približevanja stanovanjske politike in gradbene prakse nastajajoči novi realnosti. Predlagali bi radi konkretne aktivnosti, metode in postopke, ki bi vodili v to smer. Smisel vidimo v povezavi skupnega in individualnega interesa - stanovalcev, iskalcev stanovanja, potencialnih graditeljev na eni strani, arhitektov, gradbenikov, izvajalcev oz. stroke na drugi, potencialnih investitorjev, bank, skladov kot kapitalskega dela na tretji in države kot zastopnika skupnega interesa na četrti strani.

Zdravljenje nastale nezavidljive situacije bi moralo biti večplastno, predvsem pa bi različne ravni morale delovati usklajeno. Ravni aktivnosti so zlasti:

  • urejena regulativa, položaj arhitekta,
  • natečaji, študije, eksperimenti, pilotski projekti,
  • izobraževanje, državna podpora,
  • zakonodaja, davki,
  • organizacije uporabnikov, interesi, krediti, zadruge,
  • participacija uporabnikov.

Organizacija gradnje: participacija

Sodelovanje bodočih stanovalcev bi moralo biti predvideno zgodaj v planskem procesu, in to tako v smislu financiranja kot pri snovanju posameznih stanovanj oz. hiš. Država (stanovanjski sklad) oziroma občina bi se v proces vključila s podporo v obliki kreditov, oprostitve prispevkov, kot delni investitor itd. Ljudje bi dobili jasne vhodne podatke - lokacijo, tipologijo hiš ter pripadajočih privatnih in skupnih površin, površine in cene za m2, pogoje udeležbe, pomoč arhitektov in predvsem možnost sodelovanja pri nastajanju njihovega bivalnega okolja.

Skratka, šlo bi za organiziran način stanovanjske gradnje od “ključa v roke” za posamezne hiše in stanovanja do kompletne zunanje in hortikulturne ureditve. So takšna razmišljanja utopična ali predstavljajo realen družbeni, strokovni, ekonomski in politični program? Nekatere lastovke pričajo o tem, da bo prišla pomlad.

In urbanizem?

Kot sem že napisal, je ključno prizadevanje za večjo gostoto. Pa ne le zaradi ohranjanja nepozidane narave. Le tako se lahko razvijejo urbane oblike življenja in nastane kritična masa, ki je potrebna za javni transport in gradnjo infrastruktur. Za naše razmere je idealen finski model, ki predvideva satelitska naselja z mešano strukturo ob primarnih infrastrukturah. Tako je ob Helsinkih nastala Tapiola in tako še danes nastajajo satelitska mesta ob avtocesti in primestni železnici.

Potrebna je kompaktna urbanizacija. Za to bi bili potrebni projekti v velikem merilu v mestnem središču, na njegovem obrobju in v infrastrukturno opremljeni periferiji znotraj mestnega teritorija. Zajeziti bi morali nekontrolirano razlivanje gradnje nizke intenzivnosti v obmestnih območjih.

Pri zasnovi novih naselij pa bi morali zagotavljati kompleksnost in sočasnost realizacije “podaljškov bivanja” ter infrastruktur - oskrbe, šolanja, kulture itd. Z reafirmacijo urbanizma in arhitekture bi poskrbeli za kvaliteto prostora in njegovo artikulirano večplastno živost, ko se privatni prostor širi v skupnega, sosedskega in naprej v javnega - proces pa poteka tudi v obratni smeri.

Arhitektura in urbanizem si prav pri gradnji stanovanj, pri tej najbolj vsakdanji in normalni nalogi, lahko ponovno zgradita svojo uporabnost in pomen. Kultiviranje normalnosti stanovanja se zdi pri tem primarni cilj.

Opomba

1 Martin Heidegger, “Bauen, Wohnen, Denken”, v: Vorträge und Aufsätze, II. del, Günter Neske Verlag, 1954. Gl. slov. prev. v: ab, 141-142, str. 78.

editorial

I am, Therefore I Dwell; I Dwell, Therefore I Build

“Dwelling is the way mortals on Earth are”, says the philosopher Heidegger in his paradigmatic text “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”.1 According to Heidegger, dwelling is thus a natural form of our daily existence. To dwell is thus the embodiment of everyday life and one of the basic human needs. People primarily provide for the satisfaction of this need as individuals within family and other relatives. However, the phenomenon of dwelling extends beyond the sphere of individuals, it is also defined by the social, ecological, health, economic and other aspects of wider interest. Consequently, the area of housing must be taken care of by the community or the state, regulating the planning, maintenance and construction of housing, ensuring that the housing market situation is fair and securing a quality range of available housing. How does the Slovenian state take care of “housing management”? Of the construction, maintenance and renovation of the “dwelling stock”? This, i.e. “housing policy”, is the subject of the critical text by Matevž Čelik entitled “An Architectural or Political Issue”.

Clearly, it is not the political, social and economic aspects of housing construction that are of our main interest, we are above all interested in space and architecture.

Questions for architects

We must not forget that most constructed space is taken up by apartments, detached houses and various forms of multi-unit houses. Are we, architects, still interested in dwellings today? What are we able to offer, what studies, models, ideas? Do we consider the ongoing changes to the family structure? The new technologies that are increasingly becoming part of the everyday environment? Are we developing cheap construction methods without losing the expressiveness and plurality of what we construct? And what is our understanding of the relationship between a dwelling and its environment, neighbourhood, the town?

The answers to these questions are left hanging in the air. It is true that we are deliberating, offering models and solutions, but relatively little actually happens. Dwellings are less and less the domain of architecture. Where are the times when rationalisation and standardisation as well as higher dwelling quality arose from an architect’s innovativeness, as discussed in the interview with the architect Ilija Arnautović? Today, it is difficult to say there is any systematic accumulation of positive experience.

Unfortunately, today the successful, innovative examples - we present some of them in this issue - are more of an exception than the rule.

Theoretical vacuum

Almost all disciplines dealing with dwelling today complain about the theoretical vacuum soaking up political programme initiatives as well as professional, architectural, normative and other initiatives. The void results from the fact that there are no longer any average abstract common values, or these turned out to be wrong. The tie between dwelling and family is becoming loose and dividing up into an unsurveyable number of various forms, with the only common point that the single-meaning functional scheme is no longer applicable. There is a large gap between the situation of the housing fund and the methods and needs of usage.

Contemporary international architecture is endeavouring to fill this theoretical vacuum by emphasising the dynamic aspects of dwellings - open systems as opposed to closed compositions, nomadism, mobility as opposed to a stationary condition, strategic actions instead of glorifying images. While modernism was characterised by standardisation and postmodernism by evocation or image, today’s culture is supposed to be characterised by open combinatorics that do not trouble over the (outmoded) ideals of archetypes, social justice or architectural programme. Any composition intention is supposed to be nostalgic, originating in an archaising concept of the urban. Architectural innovation is to be based on a new, dispersed reality, on arrhythmia. It is to be characterised by typological variety, spatial flexibility, growth and interactiveness. The medialised and digitalised contemporaneity is making feasible the concept of diversity and variety, taking over the traditional position of repetition and unity. It is said to be possible to translate contemporaneity into construction, that is reality, without a time-lag. So my question is: can architecture truly resolve housing issues?

Type Resistance

On the subject of dwelling, the issue of architectural innovation is ambiguous. A novelty itself is based on the model of thinking that confronts old and modern as two opposite elements, one being oriented to the future, the other anchored in the past. The models for the future are to replace those from the past because they are supposed to be better and more useful. The logic of breaking up with the past becomes questionable if we consider the cyclicality of history and the deeper and fundamental aspects of dwelling. Here is an example. A loft as a form of dwelling, which was a craze in the arsenal of young architects in the 90s, turned out to be a lifestyle concept of the specific population of single yuppies than any real innovative concept for “mass consumption”.

Different forms of dwelling are not completely new things. Bourgeois apartments from the 19th century as well as “normal buildings” in Slovenia constructed until the mid-20th century can, due to their universal concept - corridor in the middle, from where one can access relatively large rooms, also connected with each other by doors - still be adjusted to various needs. As opposed to this, a dwelling based on subsistence level and the rationalisation of space is much more rigid and restricted to a single way of application. The classic dwelling offers greater flexibility and freedom in exercising the individuality of application.

Several articles in this issue deal with studying the typological dwelling models. Especially Professor Roland Rainer is convinced that his answer to the problem of housing construction is correct and unsurpassed. His constructed lifework gives him the right to such a view.

Situation “in the field”

Young people in Slovenia, if they can only depend on income provided by employment, cannot afford to buy an apartment. The only accessible way of resolving the housing problem involves expensive rent or suicidal borrowing. A logical way out is self-construction, i.e. an undesired individual construction problematic in the long run. The market does not provide dwellings for special lifestyles, as requested by an increasing number of people. All sociological projections envisage an explosion of non-family models of dwelling. In Swiss towns, for instance, only around 16% of people still live in the form of the classic family unit (father, mother, children). In Slovenia, the situation is also rapidly developing in this direction. Besides, as mentioned before, we are facing a huge lack of housing and this keeps growing.

Something should be done. However, the prevailing strategy of both the authorities and profession is laissez faire - hiding one’s head in the sand and waiting for something to happen, according to the formula apres nous la déluge. The political motto of “better to be undecided than to take risk and expose oneself” blocks any real action.

By definition, undecidedness is weak in setting up a programme, in operativeness. Thus, housing is built without a concept - the only clear concept is the market interest of speculative private investors. The results are obvious and well known, almost not worth wasting any words on them. Every day, one can read in the newspapers about an opening of a new higher-standard residential area in amongst intact nature and with wonderful characteristics costing around EUR 2000/m2, or about a scandal involving engineering organisations and corrupt officials. In the marketplace, architectural and urban bungles thus cost three times their realistic construction value, with them irreversibly polluting our space and we, the society, paying excessive charges for them and for the exorbitant earnings of the unconscionable people involved. Oh, the world turning on its head!

The situation in urbanism

Housing construction is also one the key elements in the urbanism of towns and the countryside. It defines the relation to dwelling as a whole, to the landscape, the town. It defines the social as well as the physical image of society and space. The ideal of the average Slovenian (the same is true of most of the more developed world) is unrivalled - a detached house with a garden.

In recent decades, collective dwelling forms have constantly lost their attraction. Subjects like type and typology, participation, neighbourhood and also town-formation have, now disgraced, vanished from professional debates. Does Slovenia today still have any architecture with clear urbanistic starting points and social targets at all?

A detached house is a very lavish lifestyle; almost blasphemous given the current population density. There are two prime negative aspects:

  1. large use of space, low population density, consequential destruction of the landscape, and
  2. large, lasting and hard-to-resolve infrastructural and ecological burdens, dispersion, expensive and demanding maintenance, dependence on individual transport, in short, a multitude of negative spatial, economic and ecological impacts.

A detached house is a luxury, therefore, the constructor should fulfil the strictest infrastructure, ecological and aesthetic requirements, and pay realistic expenses. Priority should be given to various forms of collective dwelling.

Mentality

Owning an apartment or house is an ideal with political implications - for the past regime it was a means of control and pacification, while the present authorities, which in ten years have not come very far in terms of what was once declared, consider it proof of personal freedom and market initiative. The market-oriented behaviour of the authorities - municipalities act as corporations selling space, and the state wants to enact such a method of selling indulgences - causes anomalies. A new form of segregation by market criteria is gaining ground - one chooses the distance from the centre or infrastructures with regard to his or her payment capacity. Public control of the town and space is losing ground. Suburbanisation has been established as the only stable form of securing housing. Well, here we go again encountering the problem of using space. We are starting to use a new space, while the existing one is poorly exploited. There is also a different trend appearing, that also does not contribute to housing quality. Areas in towns with prevailing detached structures of “villas with gardens” are gaining excessive density on account of the gardens. Such increasing density of residential areas, which results from high plot prices, reduces quality, and the final effect will be decreased value.

Proposals for improvements

Architecture must satisfy certain needs. The basic one is the need for constructed space. But obviously it is extremely difficult to connect the architects’ desire for progressiveness and innovativeness with economy, politics and the ideas of users. The architect must be aware of this responsibility. He or she is the one to defend the more abstract interest of the branch and the general public interest.

The target of considerations is searching for ways of bringing housing policy and construction practice closer to the emerging new reality. We would like to propose specific activities, methods and procedures leading in this direction. We see the point in connecting common and individual interests - of residents, dwelling-seekers, potential constructors on one side, architects, professional constructors and experts on the second side, potential investors, banks, funds as the part providing the capital on the third side, and the state as the representative of the common interest on the fourth.

Rectifying the existing unenviable situation should be a multi-layered effort, but above all the different levels should act in harmony. The activity levels are primarily:

  • well-organised regulations, the position of architects;
  • competitions, studies, experiments, pilot projects;
  • education, state aid;
  • legislation, taxes;
  • user organisations, interests, loans, co-operative societies; and
  • user participation.

Organising construction: participation

The co-operation of future residents should be envisaged early on in the planning process, both in terms of financing and in designing individual apartments or houses. The state (housing fund), i.e. the municipalities, would join the process with its aid in the form of loans, tax deductions, as a partial investor etc. People would obtain clear input data - location, typology of houses and related private and shared areas, floor surfaces and prices per m2, conditions of participation, aid by architects, and above all an opportunity to participate in the creation of their new dwelling environment.

In short, this would be an organised method of housing construction from “key in hand” for individual houses and apartments to the entire exterior and horticultural arrangements. Are such considerations Utopian or do they represent a realistic, expert, economic and political programme? Certain swallows are showing that spring will arrive.

And urbanism?

As mentioned above, efforts for higher density living are of key importance. But not only in order to preserve non-built-up nature. This is the only way to develop urban life forms and the critical mass needed for public transport and the construction of infrastructure. For the circumstances in Slovenia, the ideal model is the Finnish one, envisaging satellite residential areas with mixed structures at primary infrastructures. In this way, Tapiola emerged near Helsinki and satellite towns thereby keep emerging along the motorways and suburban railways.

What is needed is compact urbanisation. This requires large-scale projects in the town centre, its margins and in the developed periphery within the town territory. We should dam up the uncontrolled overflow of low intensity construction in suburban areas.

And in designing new residential areas, we should secure complexity and simultaneity of realising “dwelling extensions” and infrastructure - supply, education, culture etc. By reaffirming urbanism and architecture, we would take care of space quality and its articulated multi-layered aliveness, where private space extends into the shared spare, into the neighbourhood and further into the public space - with the process also taking place in the opposite direction. In housing construction itself, this most common and usual task, architecture and urbanism can rebuild their usefulness and significance. In this, cultivating the normality of a dwelling seems the prime target.

Note

1 Martin Heidegger, “Bauen, Wohnen, Denken”, in: Vorträge und Aufsätze, part II, Günter Neske Verlag, 1954.