Modern By Nature Labor, Provisioning, And Leisure In Viennese Settlements And Allotment Gardens, 1904-1954

by Sophie Hochhaeusl

Institution: Cornell University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Settlements; Austria; Modern Architecture
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065117
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/41021


This dissertation examines the intertwined histories of modern settlements and allotment gardens in the first half of the twentieth century in Austria. Settlements, or Siedlungen, have been granted a central place in the historiography of modern architecture, particularly in Germany, where cities like Frankfurt and Berlin have become famous as testing grounds for the technical advancements of interwar modern architecture. This dissertation argues, however, that settlements in Austria were involved in broader struggles that characterized urban Modernity, including the advancement of health, food provisioning, and employment in the city of Vienna, because of their dependence on productive gardens in times of crisis. The dissertation therefore explores the wider economic, political, and socio-cultural implications of settling along with the processes of designing, constructing, and inhabiting modern homes with gardens in Vienna between 1904 and 1954. In doing so, the dissertation takes a long view of the modern settlement, accounting for its history both prior to and following its avant-garde heyday in the 1920s. It shows that settlements and allotment gardens were critical locales where national and nationalist ideological shifts first unfolded in the domestic sphere, rooting a history of Austria in the realm of everyday built environments. In addition, the dissertation also investigates the modes in which politicians, architects, and landscapes designers contributed to these processes alongside allotment garden and settlement cooperatives as well as municipal development agencies. The dissertation thus illustrates the alliances among seminal architectural figures such as Adolf Loos, Josef Frank, Grete Lihotzky, Franz Schuster, and Roland Rainer, and their collaborations with cooperatives and municipal bodies. Critical concepts in the historiography of modern architecture, the dissertation argues, resulted not only from avant-garde discourse, but also from popular debates spearheaded by allotment gardeners and settlers. Crucial achievements such as access to 'sun, light, and air,' the application of 'functional' design, as well as the creation of new so-called housing 'types' therefore can and should be credited not to architects alone, but to a great variety of actors, including developers and cooperatives. Advisors/Committee Members: Goldsmith,William W (committeeMember), Morris,Mark (committeeMember), George,Alys X. (committeeMember).