Cooperative Housekeeping in English Garden Cities

Three cooperative quadrangles were built in two garden cities - Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City in the early 1900s.

Similarly to Central Kitchen Buildings in Finland, whilst these perported to be socially progressive, they sustained conventional class, gender and social relations.

It is argued in Borden's paper that cooperative housing is a complex, variable ideology rather than a static set of material arguments. Although intended to bring a more just ordering of society, 'these were always connotations rather than real properties'.

Harold Clapham Lander, architect of both Homesdarth and Guessens Court, noted that 'man's social relations had developed from the individual, tribe, valley, and state to that of the nation in an ecer increasing awareness of fraternity. However this principle had yet to pass into hte home, and Lander attacked the wasteful construction, planning and cooking arrangement of the small self-contained cottage.' Private spacess would be limited to sitting, living and bedrooms, with public dining, kichen, recreation and reading rooms.

Raymond Unwin, an inflencial planner of the time, argued that 'while terraces of individual houses represented the inordinate desire for individual independence now that society was beginning to realise that independence was no end in itself...architecture should once again express cooperative social relations by taking the form of the cooperative quadrangle'

References

  • SOCIAL SPACE AND COOPERATIVE HOUSEKEEPING IN THE ENGLISH GARDEN CITY, Iain Borden
  • Last update: 04-03-2022 15:49