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1(19)/2006, p. 19

Wanda Kononowicz
Between tradition and modernity. A contribution to the development of rational forms of habitation buildings in Wroc³aw in the years of 1874–1930

    The housing estate square called Wohnhof – a form of rational dwelling architecture frequently applied in the central quarters of Wroc³aw in the between-the-war period of the 20th century – in fact derives from the 19th century. It is a rationalized form of a building quarter from which outbuildings have been removed and are replaced by courtyards with communal greenery. Such dwelling complexes were realized in Berlin at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Already similar ideas were applied in the 70. of the 19th century in Wroc³aw. The most interesting of them, although not realized, was the Wilhelmsstadt project (1873), a representative quarter planned in the ¦widnicki suburb as a result of pride due to the rebirth of the empire, with quarters in the form of apartment-houses surrounding communal courtyards filled with plants. No less interesting were alternative projects of managing municipal Pond Fields (1876). In their programme the bordering habitation buildings, with no outbuildings, occupied an important place.
    The following habitation complexes of the Wohnhof type should be included in the period of the Waimar Republic: Am Sauerbrunn (1926) in Gajowice, the project of H. Wachlich, the Westend housing estate (1925–1929) in Szczepin, the project of Theo Effenberger with the participation of H. Lauterbach, and the Tebbenjohanns-Hof (1929–1930) in the Piaskowy suburb – for workers of the post. All these postulations are inherent between tradition and modernity. Tradition is manifested in the quarter-like arrangement of blocks adjusted to the street network, and occasionally in the architectonic forms.
    Modernity, however, is manifested in the new principles of shaping space bound with function, hygiene and infrastructure; also through spacious courtyards filled with plants, within the blocks, functionally planned flats, access to light, air and sun, and also central heating, and modern laundries. Modernity also means new, currant architectonic and forms.