Scale comparison of the 18 selected case-studies. OS maps 1:5000 and drawing oriented as true north (upright). © Authors, 2022.
Evaluation & Criticism

Transversal Comparative Approach to Middle-Class Mass Housing


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Inventory, Comparative analysis, mass housing, neighbourhood, policies, interdisciplinarity


The COST-Action (CA 18137) on Middle Class Mass Housing in Europe (MCMH-EU) has established a transnational scientific network to document the productions of middle-class mass housing built in Europe since the 1950s in order to investigate this specific topic and share knowledge. Considering that middle-class mass housing dominates most of our cities, the research translates into the study of the extensive development of cities in Europe after World War II. The breadth of the theme and the differences between the countries make it difficult to construct a systematic and unified criticism of middle-class mass housing, albeit concentrating on the post-war period. The COST-Action has the goal to build a network to gather research representing the pooled knowledge and experiences from the network of multidisciplinary researchers. So, transversally throughout the Working Groups, an inventory of case studies, a collection of articles, and studies on the policies were produced. This paper elaborates on the collected and produced material and data in order to trigger comparisons and reflections on the approaches and methodologies to face the complexity of middle-class mass housing topic. The comparison was built by using different methods intersecting multiple points of view and following specific thematic tracks that seek to deconstruct the complexity of the middle-class mass housing topic into singular aspects. This paper presents the results of data analyses, visualisation techniques and comparative studies to identify massification processes, morphological structures, demographic and policy developments. It shows a combination of several methods to build a cross-sectional and systematic approach to the diverse knowledge envisioned to develop a methodology for future research. This can be especially useful for future developments and insights towards joint or individual European guidelines, laws and policies to improve the dilapidated housing stock, current housing situation and to compete the housing crisis in general.

How to Cite

Benbernou, A., Como, A., Harea , O., Pottgiesser, U., Singhal, K., & Smeragliuolo Perrotta, L. (2023). Evaluation & Criticism: Transversal Comparative Approach to Middle-Class Mass Housing. Docomomo Journal, (68), 76–88.




Author Biographies

Ahmed Benbernou, École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-Val de Seine

Is an Architect-Urbanist, Ph.D. Student at Paris-Nanterre University. He is attached to the Center of Research on Housing (CRH-LAVUE) at the School of Architecture of Paris Val-de-Seine where he teaches. He works on the issue of Mass Housing in Algeria. He was published in a collective work: La ville d’Alger à l’heure du « Plan de Constantine ».

Alessandra Como, University of Salerno

Is an Associate Professor in Architectural and Urban Design at the University of Salerno (Italy). She studied at the University of Naples, where she also received a Ph.D. in Architectural Design. She began her university career in the U.K. and the U.S.A. Research topics focus on the relationship between Design Process and History & Theory.

Olga Harea , Technical University of Moldova

Is an Assistant Professor, dean of the Faculty of Urban Planning and Architecture, Technical University of Moldova (TUM). She awarded degree in Architecture and Urban Planning at TUM, and Ph.D at the Doctoral School of Landscape Architecture and Landscape Ecology at SIU, Hungary. Besides her scientific and didactic activity, she is a project manager at the Moldavian architectural company.

Uta Pottgiesser, Delft University of Technology

Is Professor of Heritage & Technology at TU Delft and Professor of Building Construction and Materials at OWL, University of Applied Sciences (TH OWL). She studied Architecture at TU Berlin and holds a doctorate from TU Dresden and is chair of DOCOMOMO International, also board member of DOCOMOMO Germany. Her concern is with the protection, reuse and improvement of the built heritage and environment.

Kritika Singhal

Is an associate strategic planner with the Water & Habitat Unit at the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva. She holds a Bachelors in Architecture from DCRUST Murthal, India and a Masters in Sustainable Urban Design from LTH Lund, Sweden. She has a diverse portfolio of professional experience in the field of built-environment and international research collaborations.

Luisa Smeragliuolo Perrotta, University of Salerno

Is an Assistant Professor in Architectural and Urban Design at the University of Salerno (Italy). She graduated in Architectural and Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture of SUN (2nd University of Naples, Italy) “cum laudem and dignity of the press”. Ph.D. at the doctoral school at the University of Salerno (Italy) within the Program of Engineering and Architecture.


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