On the Career of the Postwar Swiss Construction Boom

House-biographies of large housing complexes from the period between 1950 and 1980

The SNSF-supported interdisciplinary research project investigates large housing complexes that were built during the so-called construction boom period between 1950 and 1980 in Switzerland.

In four in-depth "House-biographies," the social practice of inhabiting the residential buildings, the modes of appropriation and use, and the judgments and estimation of a large settlement in the course of its life cycle by various groups of stakeholders are under study: the owners, the planners and architects, the residents and the public. Central research dimensions are the structural features, the construction and renovation history, the uses, the socio-demographics of the residents, and the changing discourses on and tied to these selected housing complexes. The synopsis of all qualities, potentials and problems throughout the lifecycle of a building results in a specific setting of quality. The concept of the House-biographies enables differentiated historical, ethnographic and architectural analyses to visualize permanence and change and to identify specific potential of the housing complexes of this period. The aim is not least to make a contribution to the critical appraisal of the large residential buildings from that era.

Duration: 
2011 to 2014