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2(8)/2000, p. 31

Agnieszka Tomaszewicz
The effect of building regulations on the manner of shaping multi-family housing architecture in 19th century Wroc³aw

    The history of urban development of Wroclaw begins in 1807 - then the demolition of the town's fortifications began. A year later Wroclaw suburbs were incorporated into the town, the for­tress grounds were parcelled out and sold to private investigators. In the first half of the 19th century a homogeneous building law was not created - requirements relating to new tenement-houses constructed in the historical centre of Wroc³aw were defined by the Austrian building statute of 1668, while the manner of shaping building development in the suburbs was regulated by the Common Prussian National Law (AIIgemeine Preussisches Landrecht) which was enforced in 1794. The new building law was passed in 1851. According to the new rules, buildings assigned for habitation were to be situated along the line of development defined by the Police Presidium. Ali newly planned apartment- or tenement-houses could have not more than four storey, of a minimum hight of the storey of 8 feet, of the inside diameter (2.5 m). In the mentioned set of law acts, the principles of planning housing architecture were treated in a very general way, special emphasis was layed on the aspects of fire protection of the buildings.
    The problems with which building of the first half of the 19th century had to grapple we re reflected in further Wroclaw building law regulations, which came into being in 1864. The increasing building compactness within one property exacted on the legisla­tor the determining of the minimal back-yard surface which should be maintained between buildings constructed on the same plot of ground. The hight of the buildings was delimited by subordinating it to the width of the street in which the house was situated. Whereas, the form of the fasades depended on the width of the pavement. These regulations, most probably, were to contribute to the uniform­ity of housing constructions raised, more or less, at the same time, in neighbouring properties. The next building law was passed in 1883. Its regulations related to planning of multi-family buil­dings, basically repeated the recomendations of the 1864 act - only few regulations were amended, while all required dimensions were re-counted from measurements in feet into meters. An im­portant supplement to the building regulations was the entry, for­mulated in 1884, in which were defined the requirements referring to the relations between buildings situated in neighbouring proper­ties. The demand was to raise houses at a minimum distance of 3 m. from the neighbour's border or direct1y by it. Fundamental changes came in a consecutive, the last 19th century building law, published in 1892, in which the legislators undertook the first attempt at "zoning" the regulations, adopting them to different urbanistic conditions which existed in the historic centre of the town and beyond it. For the first time, in this act, attention was payed l0 aspects of health in the shaping of housing architecture.