urban theory and design of public space code 7W580

19th century theory



J.J.Moll ‘Ideal City for 100.000 inhabitants’ 1809


J.J.Moll plan for an ideal city with 100.000 inhabitants 1809 To be situated in Bretagne (France). This is exemplary for the numerous ideal plans that were produced during this period. They reflect the growing concern about the growth of cities and the form of most existing cities. Strict geometry and a rational organization are the antithesis of the labyrinth of medieval streets and alleys in older cities. It reflects the ideas of the enlightment that history is a process that moves forward to an ever 'higher' level, that rationality is the way to progress and that 'new' represents 'better'. Ideas that persist until the present day. UTOPISTS Throughout the nineteenth century there have been theorists that can be classified as utopist. A utopist is a theorist that makes images of the future -be it as designs or as written text - that represent a radical break with common practice and are not based on extrapolation of the present situation. In stead certain ideals form the basis. Utopist ideas are aimed at making a giant leap in either social or technical developments. They also tend to be one sided, looking only at a limited number of aspects and ignoring others or use unrealistic prepositions for them. Many utopist city designs claim te be technical or rational but most of them implicitly or explicitly presuppose radically different forms of society or idealized forms of human behavior. At the beginning of the 19th century most theory on urban design can be classified as being utopian.


Fourier Phalanstère 1814

Charles Fourier Phalanstère 1814 In the nineteenth century there were several utopists plans for completely new forms of settlements consisting of several large buildings with collective housing in a rural setting. These always presupposed an idealized form of collective living. The growth of cities sparked an anti-urban movement that had not existed before, in fact op until the end of the 17th century most theorists had rejected the idea of the garden city as being 'non urban'. The anti-urban movement was fed by ideas about the supposed qualities of social live outside the city and the positive influence of nature. The rise of romanticism gave rise to the idea that cities were 'unnatural' and thus undesirable.


New Lanark is by no means the idealistic community Owen propagates in his books. Almost always this is the idea of the 'docile law obeying model citizen'. However there is a gap between theory and practice.and upper-class virtues. 'Harmony' in this and in other utopies up until the pleasant day represents the idea of people that conform to the ideas of the makers of the utopy. Owen extends his real life actions into a theory. In 1813 he publicizes the book 'A new view of society'. In 1817 a brochure on the idea of new settlements in the countryside. a projection of middle. Indiana Robert Owen 1817 Around 1800 Robert Owen had built New Lanark for his factory workers.Brochure 1817 New Lanark 1800 Robert Owen 4 Harmony. This settlement incorporated all kinds of improvements in living conditions that attracted much interest. it is led autocratic by him and everything is geared towards productivity. Stedman Whitwell later elaborates Owens ideas in his design for the community 'Harmony' in Indiana. 4 .

Perhaps it could be said that he introduces the idea that one could talk about the design of cities as a form of organization. And Corresponding Buildings of the Present Day" The image tries to convey the message that modern cities are degenerated esthetically and mutatis mutandi also morally. However Howards idea is very abstract. in fact originates from later designers. he has no idea how the urban fabric and public space will look. independent of the way it would be materialized. Again a theory that idealizes rural life.Pugin 1841 5 August Welby Pugin 1841 "Contrasts: Or. The romantic urban form associated with Howard. This idea became an important aspect of planning in the middle 20th century. Parallel between the Noble Edifices of the Middle Ages. Garden Cities of Tomorrow Ofcourse the most well known utopian theory of the 19th century is Ebenezer Howards 'Garden cities of tomorrow'. 5 . Howard himself later on even was a member of the modernist CIAM movement. with all negative consequences attached to it.

Port Sunlight. Almost always these villages fall into the non-urban category. partly out of humanitarian reasons. Other examples in England: Copley 1847 Saltaire 1850 Akroydon 1859 Examples in The Netherlands: Agnetapark. partly because they believe it will improve productivity. attracting international attention. Enkhuizen 1895 Both examples still exist as monuments. Snouck van Loosenpark. Workers enjoy nice surroundings and facilities but are also controlled.William Hesketh Lever. 1888 6 William Hesketh Lever: Port Sunlight 1888 Philanthropist employers form a seperate category. During the 19th century several industrialists build model villages for their employees. partly because they want to attract good workers by offering attractive living conditions. This was exceptionally spacious. Delft 1884. 6 .

Port Sunlight.William Hesketh Lever. large communal areas in the centre of the blocks. 1888 7 Two building blocks in Port Sunlight Spacious streets with trees. 7 . Broken building lines.

at its worst without any planning at all.‘White Cities’ Columbian Exposition Chicago 1893 Nashville 1897. there was a curious similarity. Omaha 1898. 8 . Both movements favored white as the color of preference for buildings. Although exactly this kind of over elaborate architecture became the focus of the criticism of the modern movement. Most American cities were layed out in a pure functional way. after the famous French school of architecture that dominated current ideas about 'good architecture' in the 19th century. Buffalo 1901. St. at its best with a grid giving some order. The esthetic ideas were based on the type of architecture called 'beaux arts architecture'. had an extreme plasticity and was heavily decorated figuratively and literally. In their eyes the American towns lacked esthetics and needed an ordered approach to be able to cope with the rapid growing economy and growing wealth. This is why the exhibitions became known as 'white cities'. The first of these exhibitions was the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Louis 1904 (illustrated above) 8 White Cities 1893 and later At the end of the 19th century in the United States groups of architects and citizens started to promote the idea of an artistically designed city. They started to promote their ideas on a grand scale by building life size idealized urban situations in the form of pavilions for several great exhibitions that were a sign of the emerging industrial power of the USA. made out of 'cardboard and plaster'. This became known as the 'City beautiful movement'. Looking at photographs like the one above one has to keep in mind that all visible structures are temporary. The propagated style was eclectic.

footpaths and roads for local traffic on both sides. Size of the blocks: 300 x 500 meters. the idea has a high utopian content. Although it look very feasible. Cuidad lineal 1894 The concept of linear cities was based on the idea that a rational and technical approach could be the solution for the problems of expanding cities. 9 . Tramways were also an expensive way of transport. its width determined by maximum walking distances to the tramway stops. The city was to be grouped around a tramway.60 m 300 m 300 m Soria y Mata ‘Cuidad lineal’ 1894 500 m 9 Soria y Mata. Up until the middle of the 20th century the fares were to high for the lower classes in society. Maximum walking distance to the tramway line 5 minutes Width of the main street 60 meters with a central zone of 20 meters for trams and horse carriages and zones with trees. this is contra dictionary to public transport that needs to have a high population density to be profitable. The plan proposes very low building densities. So Soria y Matas plan presupposes a dramatic drop in fare prices. It relied heavily on the electrical tramway as a means of transportation. just as modern day environment utopists presuppose a dramatic drop in the prices of alternative energy.

The explosive growth of cities rises the awareness that urban design has to cover more subjects than symbolic value. It is not without reason that the first handbooks on urban design and planning have a flavor of strong civil engineering. 10 . experiencing space and beautification of the city. the demands of industry have to be met. This is reflected in publications.Publications 10 Publications In the 19th century urban design becomes a seperate issue. just as technical aspects were part of any architects work. Fast and mass transport become important. This had led some to believe that theory on urban design in the 19th century was dominated by civil engineering. large number of people have to be housed. more and more public space is also used at night. At the beginning of the century there are public debates and discussions in architectural magazines. The demands on public space change. However one has to keep in mind that at that time esthetics were considered to be a matter of course that needed no further explanation.

To emphasize the non-artistic and more technical approach he develops his own vocabulary. Blijkbaar is dat besef weg want de invoering van de spelling 'stedenbouw' door stompzinnige en ter zake onkundige taalhervormers is zonder slag of stoot geaccepteerd. omdat het in het vak gaat om stede (= woonplek) en niet om steden.1876) had a background as an army engineer with an extensive knowledge in the field of mathematics . This immediately shows the differences with all previous theory. juridical matters and economic aspects. which really stuck in languages all over the world as did the use of the word 'urban'. size and the light situation of the building blocks. In his eyes traffic is the most important issue in designing cities. use and regulation. regulation • Urban design = engineering – Traffic central issue in design – Process of ‘Urbanisation’ 11 Idelfonso Cerdà. Building blocks are called 'inter-roads'. 11 . use. The circumstances in 1850's Spain partly explain his approach.Ildefonso Cerdà ‘Teoriá General Urbanizacón’ 1867 • Aimed at organisaton. *For Dutch students: Dat is ook de reden waarom Nederlandse professionals na uitvoerige discussie besloten tot de spelling 'stedebouw'. Cerdà (1815 . It is a clear indication that his emphasis is on public space and foremost on traffic. the Spanish equivalent of Boulevards. 1867 The first book on urban design was publicized in 1867. He preferred using the word 'urb' for settlements to emphasize that the new discipline was about cities ánd villages*. However he keeps a keen eye for details and the relation between the detail and the whole. This is often the case when new disciplines try to distinguish themselves from 'the rest'. Around 1860 he introduces the word 'urbanización'. According to Cerdà urban design/planning should become a field of engineering. This word is used by Cerdà to emphasize that the network of roads determines the form. Opinion among the ruling classes was very much against any government interference that exceeded stimulating the economy to their advantage. In 1848 he starts his own practice as an urban designer/planner. In Spain Cerdà is considered to be the godfather of Gran Vias (Grand streets).this is reflected in his works. As a practicing urban designer/planner he was not in a position to realize autocratic 'artistic' plans. ground politics. Teoriá General Urbanizacón. On the other hand he pays a lot of attention to parcellation. He even is a kind of expert in architectural detailing. It is not without reason that in Cerdà's plans the architectural elaboration is restricted to examples. Remarkable for the time! It might well be that he was the first specialized professional in the field. Its writer. His plans in principle are a kind of organizational schemes. Cerdà's way of working is strongly oriented towards organization.

However he had no say in the building types. did nothing to improve the housing situation. regulation • Urban design = engineering – Traffic central issue in design – Process of ‘Urbanisation’ • Survey as a basis for design • Hygiene / health: green in the city. In the course of the 19th century these are becoming some of the most important incentives for improvements in the urban environment and for the development of the profession. ‘Rurification’ 12 Continued Cerdà considers systematic survey to be the basis of design. Cerda's book is based on his experience in urban design/planning.Ildefonso Cerdà ‘Teoriá General Urbanizacón’ 1867 • Aimed at organisaton. His figures on average street widths and sizes of building blocks all over the world are still interesting today. Cerdàs plan foresees a large new areas for housing in situations that in principle offer far better living conditions than the old town. His approach to design is encyclopedic: he compares a lot of situations all over the world to draw conclusions on the most best possible solution given the circumstances and also uses statistics. use. This plan was executed and is by for the largest 19th century plan in Europe. lower densities. six fold the size of the existing city. With health in mind Cerdàs plans are aimed at what he calls 'rurification' of the city: more green. especially in Barcelona where he was able to make a plan for an extremely large city extension. Hygiene and health are important considerations in Cerdàs work. as the one in Paris. Whereas a large scale reconstruction plan. the days of social housing are still a long way away. 12 . This can be considered to be the true start of modern planning.

13 . it becomes clear that Cerdà wanted to make a greener city. Plan for Barcelona 1859 13 Cerda. plan for Barcelona 1859 In this original colored version. This was to be achieved by large gardens in the building blocks.Cerdà. that is far less known than the black and white versions of the plan. a number of public parks and trees in the streets.

14 Hierarchy in roads The plan was layed out rational. The width of the streets adapted to the expected intensity of traffic. a matrix that can be accessed from all points. 14 . The city remains a 'rhizome'. A big difference with later modernist plans is that the hierarchy of streets is not translated into a 'tree structure'.

15 .Parishes 15 Parishes The clean. almost mathematical systematics of the division in neighborhoods foreshadow later modernist plans and modern day systematic planning.

16 .Jurisdiction districts 16 Juridical districts Parisches and disctrict are demarcated by the directions of the buildings in the building blocks.

Many building systems are based on the same principle. 2. A combination of blocks that marks the corner of a district.17 Making public space Cerdà creates different public spaces by playing with a few types of standard building blocks. 17 . The problem is that the diversity claimed by their designers is only a very limited diversity. Blocks organized in different ways to achive variation in a route. Lower Left: 3. 4. Blocks along a railway line. but making real useful objects is a different matter. Upper Right: Composition of building blocks in relation to a Gran Via (double blue line). This is type of 'standardisation' typical for many technical innovations over time. This can be a metaphor for the pitfall of thinking in terms of systems. You can make things that remind of cars. planes or houses in Lego. Lower Right: Super blocks. Upper Left: 1. created by the disposition of buildings in four normal blocks. Reversed blocks to form a large square.

he even could or would not fix building heights. 18 . Cerdà of course had no influence on the architecture. Varying the plan would have been another option. One could ask one self if this is enough variation given the fact that the mathematics do not vary. A straight street with variations in architecture most of the time is much more pleasant than a street with the same type of architecture. so his effort is understandable within the logic of his plan. It is doubtful that varying building masses in an urban design achieves a varied environment. be it with some variation in the building line and height. This can be seen in many modern plans where urban designers have tried to achieve variation by varying the position and height of building masses without considering the architecture.Variation of building pattern per parish 18 Variation in parishes Cerdà tries to achieve variation in the built environment by varying the disposition of buildings within each block for each individual parish. but this was out of the question within his rational ideas.

Many of the blocks in Cerdàs design for Barcelona only have buildings on two sides to allow for more green space. 19 . It shows a kind of maximum situation.19 Building block A typological drawing by Cerdà showing his ideas about the building blocks. Others have buildings in an Lshape.

Gran Vias 50 meters. It was already a great achievement that the Cerdà had managed to implement the plan at all an to incorporate public services that were owned by and were the responsibility of the local gouvernment. Cerdà did not define building height for two reasons. just as Le Notre already had recommended. This was for the invention of the lift. This is seperated from public space by a gate. The inside of the block contains gardens for the houses on the loewer levels and a central communal green space. 20 . It also contains two houses four the keepers of the central space. including public space. This was a revolutionary idea in a time when it was the habit that the only involvement of local gouvernment in urban plans was to give permission to build while everything.20 Idem with dimensions Normal streets were 20 meters wide. The trees in the streets are an inherent part of the plan is as is the idea of using traffic islands to facilitate crossing the streets. The blocks are beveled. first of all it was not considered approriate to interfere with individual descions. Cerdà gives as a reason that carriages could turn more easily if the street corners were wide. A second reason for not restricting building height is that at that time no ordinary building was higher that five or six stories and nobody expected them to be higher ever. was made by private interrests. modern steel constuction and the high rise building.

Calculating the usabable floor space in two building blocks in the plan. 21 . This had directly to do with the exploitation of the plan.21 Calculations by Cerdà From a later English translation of his work.

Traffic in big cities around 1860 was already so crowded that it was hard for pedestrians to cross safely. Left: Showing the arguments for beveling the building blocks to facilitate traffic. or if Cerdà really believed in the combination of functional and artistic arguments. However Cerdà also refers to the theories of LeNotre and Patte. Right: Six examples of designs for traffic islands. In many designs Cerdà incorporates pavilions so pedestrians can wait protected from the sun. 22 . that provide artistic reasons for the beveling. These are mend to allow a save passage for pedestrians. Pamphlet 1863 22 Street crossings From a 1863 pamphlet by Cerdà Before publishing his book.Cerda. Cerdà made several pamphlets to show his ideas. It is not clear if this was just to get the idea accepted on the grounds that famous forerunners were in favor of it.

23 Ideal cross section of a secondary street Cerdà distinguished between two types of streets: main streets 50 meters wide and secondary streets 35 meters wide. 23 . It is also clear that Cerdà is no landscape architect. althoug Patte already had suggested to equip cities with modern sewerage. It is clear that sewerage was an important part of his plan. He also wanted to integrate rail traffic into the streets. but apparently more for freight traffic than as a means of public transport. Perhaps he had not heard of the newest form of urban rail transport: the tramway. The trees could not survive if they were planted the way he suggests. This was indeed an important innovation of the time. In all streets there would be seperate lanes for different types of traffic.

24 . Most space is reserved for carriages. In a second step of economizing the seperate traffic zones are reduced to two type: carriages and pedestrians. In Barcelona the width of the secondary streets is reduced to 20 meters and the rows of trees to two.24 Adaptions of the ideal street In practice Cerdà is forced to adapt his ideal profile.

not by idyllic rural utopies. In his eyes streets should provide the shortest possible connection between parts of the city.25 Gran Via Barcelona approx. 1930 Talking about streets Cerdà remarks: "Let the streets of new urbs be as long and straight as possible. but he sees possibilities to overcome these by new urban forms. but a marvelous centre of activities and the reality of life." (All quotes of Cerda in this part of the lecture are from the English translation of his 1867 handbook on urban design). So he agrees with the antiurban movement about the undesirability of sinful side of the city. He remarks that some find long straight streets dull or bad for the mind. but the city should never be subordinate to the demands of those that have a weak mind. 25 . According to Cerdà a city is not a place for recreation where people go in search of illusions and pleasure.

Cerda was looking for what he called 'railway urbanization'.26 Integration of railways into the urban fabric Reconstruction of the ideas of Cerdà about the integration of inter-local railways (local railways would be integrated into the streets). 26 . but his ideas did not materialize in the plan.

public latrines Left: design of a gully. Covered galleries and pavilions to protect against sun and rain. Cerdàs plans had aspects that in a later period would have been called 'futuristic‘. It had become very popular in a short period of time and was the cause of much nuisance because the carriages stopped in random places and blocked the roads. This was a new phenomenon in Barcelona at the time. Right: design of a hydro pneumatic system to empty latrines. 27 . This is a new thought that has become normal praxis in the 20teh century. Places were carriages can stop outside the main road lanes. He emphasizes that trees are also beneficial for health and that they are decorative. Drinking fountains. Among them: • • • • • • Public benches. In general these meet the demands of pedestrians. Cerdà is specifically referring to taxis.27 Gullies. Public latrines and toilets. When it is not possible to make galeries: lines of trees to protect agains the sun. STREET FURNISHING Cerdà plans 'A great variety of objects that protrude and have a direct influence on the road itself' . Cerdà suggests that the street furnishing should be financed by dividing the costs between all ground owners and taxing them.

2. Taxi stands in regular distances at the sides of the building blocks to minimize nuisance. Keeping in mind the traffic function of the streets he devises the following standard furnishing: • • • • Trees every 8 meters Lanterns every 28 meters. At all costs it must be avoided that street furniture hampers the flow of traffic. Lanterns are important according to Cerdà because streets should be able to function day and night. Much of the cargo was still carried by persons on their back in stead of by carriages. Extra space for the stands could be provided to make the street extra wide by setting back the buildings. Cerdà has two main principles for the positioning of the fitting out of the street. Stone benches built into the wall at each front door. like in many older towns.Street furnishing 28 Fitting out of the streets Note the central pedestrian crossing in the street. Benches on all four edges of pedestrian crossings. On the other hand he rejects any private infringement of public space by over hanging buildings or even by balconies. • 28 . About statues he remarks that he has nothing against them but they should not be in the way because public transportation is the primary need of a city. because streets should contain trees. There should be a strict division between public and private space. Cerdà specifically mentions that private owners may not be forced to allow public arcades under their buildings. He says for instance 'Trees beautify the aspect. offer shadow to urban pedestrians and in particular contribute to healthy air' but in narrow streets 'despite their good services they obstruct the flow of traffic'. Meant for heavy laden pedestrians to put their cargo on to rest for a while. He uses this argument as a plea for wide streets. 1.

Only the balcony must be a later addition because Cerdà rejected the intrusion of public space it represented. 29 .29 Facade designed according to the principles of Cerdà Although he did not make rules for the architecture in his Barcelona plan. Cerdà had his own ideas about what would be the ideal architecture: Flat and sober facades. This is one of the few buildings in present Barcelona that conforms to his ideas.

30 Street with trees in the Cerdà plan in Barcelona 30 .

Left: general idea for the pavement of a street with 7 zones. Bottom left: design for the entrances to stables for carriages. He sees the pavement as a source of information for the user." The sidewalk around the building blocks is important for an other reason. it facilitates harmoniously the transition of movements between them. "Without the shadow of a doubt the side walk originally was not so much an addition as well as an integral part of the design of buildings. The side walk plays an important role as a link between building and public space. 31 . The function of isolating the buildings from the busy and noisy streets is permanent and is determined by the width of the side walks.. The extensive motivation by Cerdà reflects his interest in fundamental aspects of the use of public space. niches. Right: a pedestrian crossing.is something like an intermediate between the space it circumscribes (meant are the building blocks) and the roads. windows..31 Designs for pavement Cerdà pays a lot of attention to the design of pavements. gates.. It is also inspired by the necessity to convince policy makers that investing in public space is important in a time hardly any money was spend at all for public space. The pavement is used to emphasize the potentially dangerous places were carriages cross the zones for pedestrians and horse men. An innovative design reflecting the innovative character of Cerdàs ideas Cerdà extensively occupies him self with the relation between street and building. walls and fences. It is the meeting point for two apparently contradicting concepts: 'to connect' and 'to isolate'. Example of a combination of bench and lantern that can be found in the Cerdà plan at pedestrian crossings. The function of connecting buildings to public space is determined by the architecture: the design of doors. without it they could not exist" The sidewalk ". In this respect he talks about the 'transversal functioning of buildings'.

A free standing awning. Ananymous. Awnings and galleries were very much in fashion at that time. 1858. but he is in favor of making awnings.32 Public awnings Cerdà is opposed to arcades under private houses. centrally in the street. 32 . He distinguishes between several types of awnings and lists their pro's and con's. Lower illustration: diagram from a manuscript by Cerdà for his 1958 Barcelona plan. Upper illustration: project for glass awnings for a square in Madrid.

meant for the inhabitants of the upper floors of the buildings that do not have a private garden. 33 . Access to the common garden by a gate with a width of 4 meters. The two small keepers houses intended specifically for social control to prevent that the inside of the block becomes a no mans land.Common garden 25 m Entrance (via fence) Private gardens 51 m 33 Common space inside the building blocks A common garden of 51 x 25 meters.

He certainly would have had objections against it on the grounds of health. 34 .34 Cerda grid 1975 In present day Barcelona nothing remains of the idea of 'rurification'. Later developments also lead to a building height Cerdà did not forsee. making the streets darker than he intended.

35 .35 Building block in the Cerda Grid 1975 Like in many densely built cities a roof landscape with terraces and lofts has evolved.

It showed the big dimensions of Paris boulevards. Alphand was the head of the department of civil works in Paris. He designed several parks and was responsible for many ensembles of trees in urban space.Adolphe Alphand ‘Les promenades de Paris’ 1867-1873 36 Adolphe Alphand 'les promenades de Paris' A book in two parts that had a big influence on urban designers. 36 . modern sewage and above all the extensive use of urban green. including the planting of the Place de 'l Etoile that was very important for the spatial effect of this vast square.

1876 ('City extensions in the light of technique." Note that this would be a popular statement again in our age. regulations and economy'. 37 . Baumeister (1833 . baupolizeilicher und wirtschaftlicher beziehung'. 1876) The first systematic handbook on urban design/planning. for the rest free unfolding of private forces and preferences: this will ensure that city extensions will be realized in a more succesfull way than has been the case in many instances up until now. It shows Baumeister was oriented towards planning. It contains hardly any illustration. good basic principles to ensure public interests.1917) was a professor in engineering at the Karlsruhe Polytechnicum.Reinhard Baumeister ‘Stadt-Erweiterungen in technischer baupolizeilicher und wirthschaftlicher beziehung’ 1876 37 Reinhard Baumeister 'Stadt-Erweiterungen in technischer. He held the first chair in stedebouw (urban design/planning) in the world. In the introduction of his book he writes: "Good plans.

General characteristics of the city Population. regulations. hygiene 3. Public tasks Authority. growth 38 Structure of the book 1. Population growth. status of the plan 2. General characteristics of the city. squares. disposition of buildings 4.Baumeister ‘Stadt-Erweiterungen’ 1876 1. The tasks of public services and public works Legal authority. well-being. building regulations. expropriation. building lines. finances. finances. roads. hygiene 3. building lines. trafic. water. traffic problematics. Economics Ground exploitation and ground expropriation for planning purpouses (a novel idea and a hotly debated question at the time). Technical aspects Streets. Economics Ground. disposition and aesthetics of buildings 4. roads. The most important elements of the plan from a technical perspective. water. economic growth 38 . squares. public well-being. Streets. plan 2. housing. dwelling. fire fighting.

based on quantitative models. .Baumeister advocates a rational approach of stedebouw (urban design/planning) Survey should form the basis.The traffic of the city as a whole should be radial concentric. This is a good principle because it provides the shortest possible routes (Cerdà claims that the grid with diagonals provides the shortest routes).There should be a difference in structure and design between the inner city centre and the suburbs. Just as the width of pipes can be calculated from the desired transportation capacity.Baumeister advocates the seperation of functions (50 years before it becomes a modernists dogma). he writes. it is also the natural way in which cities grow. . Stedebouw is considered to be a technical and organizational problem. . 39 . industy. . one for industry and one for housing.Baumeister ‘Stadt-Erweiterungen’ 1876 • Rational approach • Zoning of functions trade.Each district should have a hierarchical network of streets consisting of main streets and secondary streets along with railways. The city should be devided into three districts: one for trade. drainage and locations for public buildings and promenades. Modern day computer programs to calculate traffic are based on this principle. This is certainly against the grain of his time.Baumeister rejects government interference with most aspects of the city except for main infrastructure. This is a truly modernist thought. An example of this way of thinking: Baumeister compares the flow of traffic in streets with the flow of water in pipes. The approach should be largely quantitative. the width of streets can be calculated. He makes one exception: government should play a roll in housing. housing • Hierarchical road network • Distinction centre – suburb • Gouvernment has a role in housing radial-concentric 39 Main issues of the book . This is in line with the ideas of his time. . He argues that housing is a seperate category and therefore cannot be just a matter of the free market.

green is highly desirable. However the flow of traffic should always have priority in the design of streets. In this regard he talks of the 'poetry of the forrest'. Green .In the city. Green is important for physical health but Baumeister states that its mental health is still more important. In those streets trees would block light and air and obstruct the visibility of the architecture. The suburbs should have sinuous streets and a rural characteristic. it calms the nerves in a noisy and busy environment. 40 . decorative gardens and grass fields can improve the effect of building enormously. The only exception are ordinary streets with a width of between 20 and 25 meters. especially that of the future.Difference between centre and suburb: The centre should look urban with straight streets and closed building blocks. many green squares. . forests Green around big buildings (free standing) Not in small streets Suburb: rural 40 Public space .Baumeister also pays attention to what he calls 'the aesthetic relation between architecture and green'. Although it is not specifically mentioned this seems to be a step towards the free standing building in a green setting and free flowing green space. it represents the unification of man and nature. Natural elements are most effect in spaces and vistas and when they surround architectural groupings and provide backgrounds for them. public parks and gardens should be provided in a city. Church yards and forests just outside the town could augment the green provisions. The ground surface of a city should be approached in a natural way.Baumeister Stadt-Erweiterungen’ 1876 Public space • Centre: urban • Green Public parks. Trees.

numerous small squares and setting buildings back from the building line (this seems to be contradictory to what he writes about the unity of streets).Baumeister Stadt-Erweiterungen’ 1876 Public space • Centre: urban • Green Public parks. However he also pays attention to the esthetic aspect. It is not true that he forgets esthetics. This should be achieved by the architecture of the building facades not by fancy varying of the building line. artistic principles 41 Streets Baumeister orders streets under 'technical aspects'. etc. but it is clear it plays 'second fiddle' to functional considerations. The properties of the terrain as a starting point. Nowhere he mentions the perception of the street or experiencing the spatial environment. The principle is that 'a good feeling for esthetics and practice make the master'. As esthetics cannot be captured in rules it is useless to make specific esthetic rules. Other means to enliven streets are prominent buildings that can be the focus of attention. According to Baumeister the picturesque effect of a street is pleasant and asymmetry forms its basis. So for him the craftsmanship of the architect is the most important criterium. as a motive to enliven streets with curves and variations. 41 . forests Green around big buildings (free standing) Not in small streets Suburb: rural • Streets Traffic is primary function Variation desirable. According to him the most important esthetic principle for a street is 'unity in diversity'. relief. streams. For instance: irregularities. However the artistic principles are still useful to enliven the environment. Older valuable buildings should be preserved. as some later writers claim. He further remarks: The charm of old cities cannot be reproduced in new towns because the working of time is missing. For him traffic clearly is the main function of a street.

42 . Baumeister distinguishes between: . . as does making old churches free standing .Baumeister Stadt-Erweiterungen’ 1876 Public space • Squares / parks 42 Squares Illustrations from Baumeisters book. fire safety and good air. The smalles form being the beveling of street edges. He specifically mentions Paris and the Notre Dame in this respect.Small squares as widened street intersections. The form should be based on traffic considerations as well as esthetics. He emphasizes that squares are no luxury but a necessity for traffic and health. According to Baumeister most public buildings can best be free standing. This is favorable for traffic. In general in plans there should be enough surface for public space.Big squares .Squares as widened sections of a street. this is what gives cities a beautiful appearance.

On the contrary. The symbolism of the book prevailed and most modern architects did not even bother to read it and still called it 'reactionary'.can not really be translated because of its cultural meaning. be it of a different kind). more than 100 years after the first publication. It is certainly the publication that was most fiercely debated. However even in the text of his first book it becomes clear that Sitte was well aware that urban design was about more than making pleasant spaces. be it with a limited scope beacuse the emphasis is on esthetics.'Stedebouw' in Dutch . The book appeared just before the advent of modernism and for them it became the symbol of 'wrong urban design'. * As has been stated before the word 'Städtebau' . This is not because Sitte only had an eye for esthetics. he had planned a second book City design according to its fundamental scientific and social principles'. 43 . a well known pattern in the case of so called 'offensive books'. leaving critics with an easy shooting target to project their anti-esthetic anger on (and thus covering up that there own views where highly esthetic. Either because they thought it had gone too far or because they thought it had not gone far enough. This never materialized. because it appeared at a time many people felt uneasy about current urban design. Only in the period of post modernism in the 1980's some started to read it. the first Dutch translation dates from 1991. It turned out to be an interesting.Camillo Sitte ‘Der Städtebau nach seinen Künstlerischen Grundsätzen’ 1889 43 Camillo Sitte 'Der Städtebau' Translation: 'City design* according to its fundamental artistic principles' This is arguably the most famous publication in the history of urban design theory. pleasant and still relevant book. condemning 'empty esthetics'. For instance he emphasized the importance of the program.

German: Städtebau Dutch: Stedebouw Can not be translated into English 44 44 .

German: Städtebau Dutch: Stedebouw place building / making / constructing ‘making places’ Urban Design and Planning 45 45 .

Wien Camillo Sitte (1843 . He was most annoyed be the vast and weakly defined spaces with public buildings. His own academy is not the worst case.1903) was an architect who from 1883 until his death was head of the art academy of Vienna (illustration above).46 Akademie der Kunsten. This was situated in the Ringstrasse zone and that is perhaps why he was so eager to show that its design in his eyes was flawed. 46 . because it forms a complete building block in line with other building blocks.

47 Squares from Sittes book Sitte book contains a great number of plans of squares. He uses this to show that in the middle ages and the following periods the high quality of public space was achieved be certain design principles. 47 .

it also shows Sitte was concerned about the 3D appearance of public space. Brugge Sittes book had many prints in short succession. 48 . This illustration is often used as it is perhaps the first examples of the idea of a picturesque sequence as the basis for the design of public space.48 Steenstraat. In later additions more illustrations were added as was a part about green in the city. More than in the first prints. that only contained plans.

Streets should be sinuous for an enclosed effect. He criticizes Baumeister: His model squares are just traffic nodes. of course he means the 19th century urban design and not what would later be called 'modern'. as he calls it.Studying the qualities of squares form the past should form the basis of the design of new squares.Public space should be enclosed space and it should have the correct scale.successively the parcelation plan of the new city quarter can be made by even the lowest ranking administrative employee or courier" A situation that some planners even today see as desirable. is very important. However this should not be the esthetics of the drawing: .. The making of the walls is left to chance by Baumeisters suggestion that it should be allowed that people set there individual building back from the building line (although we have seen that Baumeister is ambiguous in this respect). In particular it should not be too big. .Monumental buildings should be part of the walls of squares and should not be free standing.Public space should be designed according to artistic principles. for variation and to achieve the effect of a sequence. There only purpose often seems to be to divide space into blocks that can be build over profitable. Talking about the normal practice of his time he states that everything is decided on the basis of project development. correct scale • Monuments should be well placed • No free standing buildings • Winding streets 49 Principles Sitte Sitte opposes what he calls 'the poverty of the modern'. . that also was beneficial for the esthetics. For Sitte the 'perspective effect'. His main objections are that plans are made on the drawing board as abstract schemas with stiff geometry and random forms. According to Sitte this is because they were placed outside the lines of traffic over the square. . Sizes of blocks and streets are predetermined in some meeting of the developers and policy makers and ". abstract figures that draw no lessons from the past. In contrast to these rejectable habits Sitte poses: . In the middle ages monuments were never placed in the centre of the square.Sitte on public space • Artistic principles basis for design • Experience of space is starting point • Learning form the past • Enclosed space.It is important that monument are well placed. a kind of 'natural' position. In his case this equals a 'picturesque effect'. .The experience of space must be the starting point. 49 . .

On the basis of this research it should be established how many public buildings are necessary and what locations would be best for them. These could provide good motives to make the plan interesting. 50 . related to a program 50 Continued Plans should be coherent . This should cover probability calculations of the growth of the population.Sitte on public space • Artistic principles basis for design • Experience of space is starting point • Learning form the past • Enclosed space. No plan without a program (A kind of 'form follows function'!). growth of traffic and other statistics. Sitte explains how a good plan could take shape: First of all there should be a survey and preliminary research. According to Sitte the lack of a program is one of the causes of the lack of substance of urban designs. correct scale • Monuments should be well placed • No free standing buildings • Winding streets • Coherent plans. As a matter of course the design should then be made according to artistic principles formulated by Sitte. The location of squares could then be based on this. But he adds that also climate should be taken into consideration in the design as should be the irregularities of the terrain.

He notes that the biggest squares in old cities are about 57 by 143 meters and recommends 137 meters as maximum size. However he hesitates to give concrete recommendations on the form because the way a form is experienced is so much dependent on human perception. especially when they approach a triangular form. .Sitte on squares Two main types: 1.The minimum proportion between the width of a square and the height of the dominant building should 1:1 and the maximum 2:1. 2. 51 Sitte on squares Sitte distinguishes between two main categories of squares: 1. He states that squares with a one axle symmetry can be acceptable but only if they are very well designed and rectangular or almost rectangular. the number of streets leading to it should be limited. . Winding streets also are a means of achieving an enclosed effect. . but no strcikt recommandations possible due to possible visual effects • Proportions for groundplan that do not work 1:1 or >1:3 • Single axle symmetry could be acceptable. made up of several interlinked square spaces. Length squares Third type: grouped squares • As enclosed as possible. With the emphasis on the short side and the dominant building on the long side. Not te many entrances. They should not be too wide and should be layed out in such a way that it is never possible to look along many streets at the same time. depth squares 2. For instance a small number of high floors gives the impression a building is smaller than it actually is. A third category are grouped squares. but no slanted walls or beveled edges.Sitte emphasizes the qualities of an irregular form for squares. depending on the architecture of the building. E with square seems to be more tolerant to an elongated form than an length square.Sitte points to the fact that many historical squares have irregular forms and still look attractive. Width squares. changing the impression of space. Meaning the emphasis is on the length and the dominant building is on the short side of the square. .To make a square as enclosed as possible. Symmetrical squares with slanted walls or beveled edges never work. .Examples show that the only proportions for squares that do not seem to work for the groundplan of a square are 1:1 or proportions of more than 1:3.Maximum size 137 meters • Width:height of dominant building 1:1 > 1:3 • Irregular form is pleasant. 51 . . Depth squares.

52 Illustrations of some of Sittes ideas 52 .

Firenze 53 Pizza Santa Maria Novella. Our brain expects a square to be rectangular. so all incoming visual information is interpreted in that way. Its plan is a pentangle. If we are on the square and turn around the brain has deformed our first impression in such a way that it is adapted to the image we see at that moment. This is caused by the fact that we cannot oversee the square at once. but everybody experiences the square as being rectangular with four corners.Piazza Santa Maria Novella. A remarkable piece of early perception-psychology by Sitte. 53 . Firenze (drawing from Sittes book) Sitte illustrates his point about the impossibility to give absolute recommendations for irregular squares this with the Piazza Santa Maria Novella in Firenze. based on modern scientific insights we could also say: the largest part of what we think we see is based on what we know.

the famous church by Alberti. Alberti of course being a fore runner of Sitte as regards theory.54 Piazza Santa Maria Novella Looking towards the dominant building. 54 .

55 55 .

56 . Sitte illustrates his ideas by making designs for improvements of the Ringstrasse in Wien. The church drowns in its surroundings.56 Wenen. dwarfing it. He considers the disposition of the Votivkirche to be a good example of bad urban design. The space itself is not very pleasant. despite fancy garden design one feels lost. Votivkirche as depicted on the design of the Ringstrasse Votivkirche alongside the Ringstrasse as depicted on the design of the Ringstrasse.

An argument still very much valid today. present 57 The present situation Illustrates Sittes point. it leads to a lower density of use and less people per square meter. He also remarks that making to much public space has the effect of 'thinning it out'. If this falls below a certain level space becomes 'dead'. 57 .Wenen. Votivkirche.

The building blocks G and H should be so high that the buildings behind it cannot be seen from the new atrium. . . it should fit the architecture of the Ringstrasse as well as that of the neo gothic church.Situating another building block alongside the church (J) could divide the remaining space in such a way that two squares of good proportions and dimensions are created.Old examples show that a square in front of a church has roughly the same surface as the church itself. The vicinity of the big Ringstrasse justifies this largest size. The arch can form a break of style. redesign Sitte. .The arcade performs the double function of creating a quiet area. Votivkirche. See the illustrations in the lectures about the renascence and the baroque (Piazza San Pietro) that demonstrate the effect. . Enclosement could be achieved by narrowing the passage (as shown on the left above block G) and by using arches (as shown above 'E'. The most imposing and biggest possible square should be maximal about three times the ground surface of the church. This can be overcome by placing a sizable monument in it (K in the drawing). 58 . seperated from the Ringstrasse. The narrow passage makes the transition because: 'what can be seen at the same time must fit together.The front of the atrium on the side of the Ringstrasse should be designed carefully.Framing the church by means of a square with arcades (Sitte talks about an atrium) makes it look much better and also more imposing.The arcade should be detailed in the style of the church and it should be slender and high to set off the church. It could for instance be a quiet green area. says Sitte .The remaining space is still large. 1889 58 Sittes design to improve the situation D = Atrium . . this makes it much more usefull.Wenen. . we don't have to bother about things that cannot be seen together'.

Sitte apparently saw them as representatives of hectic society. From the point of city design his proposal to 'behead' the Ringstrasse is a bad one. All aimed at limiting the vast spaces and making less megalomanic public spaces. He even suggests that the tram lines should be diverted to this aim. He is however right when he remarks that urban design should contribute to the feeling of attachment of citizens to their city by not alienating them form their environment and by being specific for a place. The idea is to create a kind of 'forum like' area with public spaces for public life with the emphasis on the qualities as places to stay. On the level of a city these kind of structures play a very important role in the mental image. Continuity is paramount to achieve this. 59 .59 All of Sittes proposals (red) Projected on to the original design of the Ringstrasse. While in modern days trams are seen as some of the few means of transport compatible with public space for pedestrians (See for example the Leidschestraat in Amsterdam) because they are quiet and clean and have predictable paths.

1904 Present name of this town: Ostrava-Marianské Hory 'Regulating plan' is the old name for what we would call a zoning plan or a structure plan. The design for the church square is by Camilo Sitte and his son Siegfried Sitte. The Italians still use the name 'Piano Regolatore‘ Because of the focus on his book and the fact that he was director of an art school is often forgotten that Sitte also made plans himself and was an advisor for other plans.Camillo Sitte ‘Regulating plan’ Marienberg (Ostrava-Maranské Hory). 60 . 1904 60 Camillo Sitte: 'regulating plan' for Marienberg. The example of Marienberg shows an ambitious plan to turn a small settlement into a town based on artistic principles.

notably in Belgium. inlcuding the Hohenstaufenbad and the St. He also worked internationally. but the other books have been more or less forgotten. 61 . His book 'Der Städtebau' from 1890 is the first lavishly illustrated handbook on urban design. including plans for Koblenz (1889) and Kiel (1901) and several buildings. His biggest project was the design of the Ringstrasse and the Neustadt (new town) of Köln. Stübben has seen enough of the real world in design to withstand the tendency to prescribe 'recipes' and although he mentions numerous good examples of good urban design he is of the opinion that it is hard to transfer them easily to specific situations.Joseph Stübben ‘Der Städtebau’ 1890 61 Joseph Stübben 'Der Städtebau" 1890 Joseph Stübben (1845 . In consequence he is a lot less absolute in his opinions than Baumeister.1933) was an architect who became Stadtbaumeister ('city building master') of Aachen and Köln. In fact it was part of a series of books on architecture. Michael church in Köln. but it means something like: the city according to good bourgeois principles'). The general atmosphere of his book is that of the 'Gutbürgerliche Stadt' (hard to translate. He made numerous other plans.

Building blocks 4. Expropriation 4. Annexes Content: Part 1: basic principles of stedebouw 1. The ordering of the plan in general 2. Traffic 3. Green 6. streams. ponds.Joseph Stübben ‘Der Städtebau’ 1890 CONTENT 1. Examples of cities and city quarters Part 3: Implementation of the plan 1. etc. Implementation of the plan 4. Water: canals. Street crossings. Parcellation 5. Housing 2. Public squares from an artistic point of view 10. their width and length 5. multiple intersections 8. the local government and private parties 2. Financing city expansions 6. widenings. Longitudinal and cross sections of streets 6. Basic principles 2. Railways and tramways 12. Break through streets and widening of old streets 7. Building regulations 62 62 . Public squares and their meaning for the plan of the city 9. Regulating the freedom to build 3. Streets with a special character 7. Functions of the state. Structures beneath and in the street 5. The use of public streets by inhabitants for private purposes 8. The grouping of the parts of the city 3. The several types of streets. Design of the ground plan of the city 3. Public buildings and their position in the city Part 2: design of the groundplan of the city 1. 11.

Joseph Stübben ‘Der Städtebau’ 1890
CONTENT 1. Basic principles 2. Design of the ground plan of the city 3. Implementation of the plan 4. Structures beneath and in the street 5. Green 6. Annexes

Part 4: Constructions beneath and on the street 1. Water supply and sewarage 2. Lighting 3. Warmth, energy and telegraph lines 4. Signs and signals 6. Small buildings (street pavilions) for commercial activities, recreationa and traffic 7. Monuments 8. Decorations for festivities Part 5: green 1. Trees in streets 2. Trees on squares 3. Parks Annexes: Examples of laws, regulations and guidelines, in particular guidelines for hygiene.


Location of public buildings (example)


Location of public buildings
All illustrations in this and the next slides from Stübbens book.

Beauty is an important factor in locating public buildings. Preferably they should be in line with the axle of a street. In this way they also facilitate orientation in a city. Another consideration is the unobstructed flow of traffic.


Streets (examples)


Streets Left.: The benefits of beveling the edges. Right: Galleries. Two of the many examples in the book. The galleries in Berlin and Rotterdam both do not exist any more due to the same historic circumstance. Stübben uses the following rather curious typology of streets: • • • • • • • • • • Alleys Closes Passages and galleries Lanes, rows, terraces, places Urban 'Lobbies' Canals and city former defenses Covered secondary lobbies Allee (German for wide road with a 'rural' character), Boulevards, Rings, Avenues Corso, Cours Largo, Viale


The width and lenght of a street should be in proportion to each other.He does not write about the architecture along side the street. According to Stübben a good average is that 35% of a plan should be public space. but he ads that this may vary considerable.Straight streets are good for traffic but bad for climate (wind.The ratio between public space and private grounds. For example: a street 50 meters wide should not be longer than 1000 meters. 66 .Sunlight . . health and esthetics. The table above gives the relation between width and height for existing streets in several cities. Stübben suggests a ration of 1:25 is an optimum. When a street is well articulated with several changes in cross section the ratio could be as large as 1:40 to 1:50. Esthetic considerations: . Practical considerations are: . Stübben provides lots of measures from a financial point of view but also from an esthetical point of view. In a curved street the concave side is dominant.Street width and building height 66 Street width and building height These are dependent on traffic. These proportions only apply to straight streets. In sinuous streets the line of view is restricted creating a totally different situation. dust) .

This can be corrected by making a bend at the top to create an enclosed effect or by situating a monument at the highest point. 67 . Esthetical considerations: . etc.Length sections of streets (example) 67 Development of the length of streets Again a lot of practical considerations such as maximum inclines for pedestrians and carriages. .A concave profile is ugly because the streets seems to disappeare into thin air.According Stübben concave longitudinal profiles provide the most beautiful results. He is almost lyrical about the effect of lanterns in these type of streets.

68 .Correctie optisvh probleem door monument 68 Correction by a monument at the highest point Examples of one of Stübbens own designs in Köln.

There could also have been the practical reason that he got his measures from existing drawings that had no sections. This could suggest either that Stübben only was interested in use (although he mentions esthetics).69 Cross sections Stübben provides sections of many streets all over the world. 69 . or that he thought that for experiencing the cross section the lower part of the buildings was the determining factor (because people in a street tend to look ahead and not in the air). however these sections do not include the height of the buildings.

Trappen en hellingen 70 Stairs and inclines 70 .

He is right that the roads are dominant in this square but it was mend to be a baroque type of classic square. Students tend to forget this when the use examples to justify their designs. it just means the designer was not expelled. The fact that this did not work out very well does not make it a good example. The fact that something exists can be no justification to make the same mistake. 71 . afb pag 130 Right: widenings. Here we see a problem often associated with examples. He mentions the Schwarzenberg Platz in Wien as an example.Crossings and streed widenings 71 Crossings and street widenings Left: small squares at cstreet rossings by making them slighly wider. imprisoned or executed. Stübben remarks that many squares are no more than widenings in streets.

-Architectural squares with the sub categories: -Fore courts -Squares with buildings on them (for classical theoristst this would be a contradictio intermini) -Squares surrounded by buildings designed as a whole. This category -contains most famous classical squares -Monument squares -Double squares He devotes a paragraph to each category with many examples and compares the sizes of different squares. festivities. English squares would fall into this category. 72 .Squares • Traffic squares • Functional squares • Garden squares • Architectural squares – Forecourts – Squares with buildings – Squares surrounded by buildings – Monument squares – Double squares Separate chapter ‘Artistical aspects’ 72 Public squares and their meaning in the groundplan of the city. The artistic aspects are covered by a seperate paragraph. Squares where most of the surface is empty to facilitate traffic. Stübben distinguishes between: -Traffic squares. -Functional squares. etc. meant for markets. This in contrast with squares where traffic is kept out. exhibitions. -Garden squares.

The style is sometimes referred to as 'Biedemeyer'. named the 'Flora'. Stübbens work environment for many years.Voorbeelden ‘tuinpleinen’ 73 Example: some garden squares With designs of flower beds typical for the late 19th century. 73 . an example of this type of garden has been preserved. In Köln.

they just lacked the judicial and financial means to accomplish it. It is a good idea to enlarge squares and to make monumental buildings free standing. flowers. He does support the view that squares should be sufficiently enclosed. on paper that is. They do however show that strict unity is not necessary per se. trees. publication pillars. there should be divisions the design of these should be playful and interesting combining geometry. The furnishing of a square is very important. The dimensions of a square follow from its function but the height of its walls must be based on artistic considerations. He refers to classical examples and classical design principles and to Meartens theory (covered in the lecture about the Baroque). decorative columns. newspaper stands. This could be due to the idea that a multitude of examples is better than few good examples. Large undefined areas of pavement should be avoided. Also Stübben is of the opinion that medieval squares are too small for modern cities. fountains. Sittes book was publicized only one year earlier. The zoning of the surface of a square is of the utmost importance. Stübben destinguishes between: -'domestic furniture': lanterns. Stübben refers to it. statues. He also emphasizes: The surface of a square should preferably be concave. Besides that a medieval atmosphere cannot be imitated artificially. he devotes a seperate chapter to the subject. The form of a square should be such that it can be experienced as a unity. but of course there can be discussion about what is 'adequately enclosed'. art and nature. but it must also not be of 'military' strictness 74 . According to Stübben free standing monumental buildings where also a medieval ideal. An empty square space is like a room without furniture and decoration. -'elements for weell being': plants. calling Sittes proposals for Vienna 'very interesting' but unrealistic from a functional point of view. decorative masts. because many of the examples in his book are very open. The totality of street furnishing should not be a random collection randomly placed. -'art objects'.Artistic aspects of squares • A square should be enclosed • A square should form a unity • Dimension based on functions • Proportions based on optical principles • Monumental buildings freestanding • A lot of attention for the furnishing of the square 74 Kunstzinnige aspecten: Public squares are an important artistic assignment according to Stübben.

The amazing array makes for interesting reading. overhead wiring for trams and in big cities underground railways and subways (in the English meaning of the word). 75 . This section of Holborn Viaduct in London shows how the technique of cities had evolved during the 19th century leading to a complex underground structure. telegraph cables.75 Under ground In this and the next illustrations examples of the fitting out and furnishing of streets from Stübbens book. Within a few years after the publication of Stübbens book the complexity was raised to a further level by the advent of electricity cables.

76 Pavement Examples of standard paving and decorative paving. 76 .

77 Traffic islands. pedestrian bridges 77 .

78 Furnishing Public drinking trenches for animals Urinoirs Toilet house with a first class and second class department 78 .

79 Candle lanterns. Electric lanterns (not with light bulbs but so called 'carbon light bow' lamps) 79 . Gas lanterns.

80 Clock and weather station Fire alarms Dust bins 80 .

81 Signs Advertizing pillars Publishing boards 81 .

82 . fruit. pastry. magazines. sigars. mineral water. bus passengers and boat passengers. lemonade. Waiting booths for taxidrivers.82 Stalls for newspapers.

83 Ornamental planting. separations.. Public benches 83 . tree root covers.

84 .84 Planting and parks Get a lot of attention.

85 Urban railroads and tramways Stübben presents the newest high tech developments of his time as well as futuristic ideas. 85 . Stübbens publication in a way starts a whole line of futuristic ideas about techological developments for cities that still is so appealing to many The hightech hanging monorails that looked promising only materialized in the city of Wuppertal. we already saw the pedestrian bridges and the electric lanterns.


19th century street furnishing Still to be found in modern public space



19th century futurism The electric Schwebebahn ('Hovering monorail'). Still the core of inner city public transport in Wuppertal. Left: one historic train has been preserved for special occasions. Right:a modern train. The innovative steel construction with a new type of beam was designed by the famous engineer Riepel. The railway as such was the brain child of engineer Eugen Langen. In the time there were numerous designs for comparable unconventional new forms of urban transport, but the railway in Wuppertal was the only one realized. Compared to other systems Langens idea is very clever. The carriages ride on a single overhead rail and can swing freely and thus have an automatic compensation of centrifugal force. Something that in conventional trains can only be achieved by very complex computer controlled tilting systems. Because of the swinging action a ride in the Schwebebahn is a lovely experience that rivals theme park attractions. Langens system makes it impossible for the trains to leave the rails and plunge into the deep. The down side is the steel structure which is expensive to maintain, but probably still cheaper than an underground railway.


Albert Erich Brinckmann ‘Platz und Monument’ 1908


Albert Erich Brinckmann 'Platz und monument', 1908 'Platz und Monument: Untersuchungen zur Geschichte und Ästhetik der Stadtbaukunst in neuerer Zeit'. (Translation: 'Square and monument: research into the history and ethetics of urban design in recent centuries'.) This book is rooted in the 19th century but marks a transition to the 20th century. It is arguably one of the more interesting books on urban design ever published. The title could be a bit misleading, but after having made a trip to the renascence and baroque in this course we know that monuments in these periods are not just decoration. The book is really about the spatial qualities of squares. Brinckmann uses historical examples to develop his arguments. Albert Erich Brinckmann (1881 - 1958) was an art historian. He became professor in Urban Design in Karlruhe in 1912, the same chair as is his predecessor Reinhard Baumeister, but their approach is very different. From 1921 to 1935 he was a profeesor in Berlin and from 1935 - 1946 in Frankfurt am Main. Around the time Brinckmann wrote his book the division between engineering and architecture was widening rapidly. This is reflected in the fact that chairs in urban design/planning were mainly established at technical universities. Brinckmann is not opposed to a modern approach but he rejects urban design from behind the drawing board by people who do know nothing about the making of meaningful and pleasant spaces en the reduction of esthetics to what he calls 'architectural wall paper for dead artifacts'. Urban design has been reduced to schemas, figures on paper, nonsense in reality, 'worthless games on paper'.


architecture and art should be integrated. busstop signs. 'The beauty of a city is not dependent on the number of special buildings but on their location. 'Every effect is an effect in comparison.Brinckmann • Urban design is the highest level of architecture (no architecture without urban design) • Urban design. all depends on the way one does this' 89 . With just a few but well situated buildings one can improve the impression a city makes considerably' (comment: this could be called a plea for 'strategic' urban design or strategic interventions. no exageration 89 The core of Brinckmans ideas -Stedebouw (Urban design/planning) is the highest level of architecture. An urban environment can best be designed as a unity. advertizing pillars. shabby trees and when possible high level and floating railroads that choke public space' . The idea also concures with the results of research that show that people only remember a very limited set of elements of a city). iron masts. Brinckman egrees with Patte in this respect: 'One can imagine how much would he (Patte) be appaled by a street in a modern big city with its tangle advertisements. -Stedebouw. numerous wires. Nothing is gained by random positioning or by randomly building somewhere. stalls. This is a mutual relation: when designing a building the relation with the environment is of primary importance.. He further remarks. Fitting out and furnishing the environment is just as important. architecture and art should be integrated • Carefull choices.Designing public space means making careful choices and no overabundance. This results from the situation. There is no architecture without an environment (even if it claims to be 'placeless') so there should be no architecture without stedebouw.

articulation and details are onlt there to visualize that feeling in material and by artfull creation' It is useless to worry about ornament and style if one does not understand the sense of space that is behind it: 'The relation between sense of space and form is as that between thinking and speaking: one can only express one self poorly in a foreign language is one is not able to think in that language'. just as he opposes the opposite. despite the fact that they claimed to be 'completely different' from their predecessors. Brinckman argues: people copy the forms of the antique period but make no effort to investigate their backgrounds and the way their prepositions can be translated into modern time. Brinckmann writes: 'The primaire of all architectural design is the sense of space that in turn has its origins in the fact that humans have a certain bodily experience. 90 . still by some it is considered to be the guideline for architecture and decoration'. can never be given an artistic and visible form. . no exageration • ‘Sence of space’ is fundamental • Form and function should go hand in hand • Contemporary approach required 90 .Architecture and stedebouw should aim at making wholes that combine beauty and usefulness.1938). This could be seen as an argument against the idea of 'form follows function'.Brinckmann • Urban design is the highest level of architecture (no architecture without urban design) • Urban design. 1859 . (comment: this willingly or unintentionally refers to the theories of phenomenology by Edmund Husserl. a combination of bodily and spiritual state.Fundamental for each period in history is what Brinckmann call the 'sense of space'. 'Ratio. as the vehicle and the result of abstract thinking.Architecture in our time demands an approach that is fit for our time. From and function should go together. He defines this as a 'psychophysical' phenomena. He meant of course the classicistic theoretics of his time. Structure. . He writes 'Some theoretics argue that to make Paris more beautiful one only has to demolish it completely'. Brinckmann opposes an approach that makes form dominant to function and also the idea that form should be the expression of ratio. architecture and art should be integrated • Carefull choices. little did he know that a few years later modern theoretics would claim the same.

urban design does not stop at determining building masses. it is the 'material' of urban design.In a design there must be a balance between order and chaos.Good architecture can counter dull street patterns and weak squares. . A certain form of regularity is necessary to achieve monumentality (he opposes the idea of pure 'picturesque' design). but they meant it in a different way: the disposition of the houses was the prime activity. . however the interpretation of urban design from the past should be related to the specific period it was created. On the other hand too much order is not good. This could also be translated in: architecture is just as important as the disposition of buildings.) . public space was the space left over. Later modernists also advocated that the houses where the 'material' of urban design.One should learn from history. a certain amount of chaos is refreshing. We should not project the present onto the past. 91 . (comment: by the look of it this is a remarkable statement from somebody who focuses on the design of public space on the other hand it could be translated into: you need a lot of built up area or buildings to form good public space.Brinckmann states 'Urban design means: designing with the house material' The house determines the physiognomy of streets and cities.Brinckmann Other principles • Balance between order and chaos • Good architecture can be a compensation of boring urban design • Urban design = sculpturing ‘housing material’ • Historc examples must be seen in relation to their contemporary context 91 In detail In addition to the main points of his Brinckmann describes several principles. .

but urban design should not be 'window dressing'. This is exacly the reason why Brinckmann does not want to make a 'book of examples' but looks for a deeper understanding of the historical examples. It is so much easier the theorize). The opinion on what is 'picturesque' varies over time. (Comment: to the advantage of Sitte one could say: making designs is putting ones neck out. but at least it gives something concrete to talk about. he just opposes his own schema to that of the others. • • 92 . someone hás to do the dirty work and it will always be fallible. Sitte just provides a few 'recipies' for urban design without clear fundamental insights. However it is a point of discussion if this is a bad thing per se). (comment: this is of course exact what happens in recent fake nostalgic plans. He is not better than the 'schematistst'. • • Sitte projects modern thoughts onto the past.Brinckmann Critical comment on Sitte • Sitte projects the present on to the past • Provides only ‘recepies’ leading to ‘schemes’ • Reduces urban design to building décors • What is seen as ‘pictoresque’ varies over time 92 Brinckmann seriously criticizes Sitte Following the good habits of debate Brinckmann praises Sitte for opening a discussion on the spatial qualities of urban design opposing 'designs from the drawingboard' that Brinckman also rejects. Sitte is in favor of a kind of urban design that reminds of theatre effects. In the middle ages people did not think in terms of picturesque images. Architecture should aim at permanence. He then continues with some serious critic on Sittes ideas.

He has in common with modernistst** Urban design is the highest level of architecture it is its fulfillment. An approached fit for our own time is desirable Emphasizing the relation between form and function and the importance of the 'house material'. sees housing as ‘base material’ 93 Position Brinckmanns ideas are positioned between traditionalism* and modernism. Not in favor of the 'garden city'. only a small group of avant garde architects share this vision. symmetric. picturesque). * In this context traditionalism means: architects working according the classic ideas about public space: enclosed public space of certain proportions. This is certainly not a normal viewpoint at the time. He rejects the common practice in 19th century architecture and urban design. city structures designed to some sort of form principle (geometric. 93 . certain building typologies based on either classical or medieval ideas or at least with facades where stone dominates. 'Space' and making spaces is the core of architecture and art. ** In this context: the architects of the so called 'modern movement in architecture' from about 1920-1970. He has in common with traditionalists Learning form the past A preference for enclosed city spaces and an enclose city image.Brinckmann Has in common with traditionalists • Learning from the past • Prefers closed city image Has in common with modernistst • Urban design = highest level of architecture • ‘Space’ is the core of design • Rejects 19th century architecture • Emphasis the relation between form and function. closed building blocks. with early starters around 1910.

But as is so often the case: 'in between' ideas can be more interesting and useful. The traditionalistst made 2-D diagrams that looked fancy on paper but were just abstract schemes. It also was a bit lost in time due to the forceful acting of the modern movement. 94 . For Brinckmann this was one of the cores of urban design. Theay ar just as important and do not follow from each other. although he was regarded by many enlightened modern architects. 94 Differences with traditionalists as well as modernists Urban design may not be a diagram. Traditionalists only talked about form. Brinckmann rejects the dominance of either form or function. often related to creating value in property development.Brinckmann Differs from traditionalists ánd modernists • Urban design may not be a diagram • Neither form nor function may be dominant. The modernists postulated 'form follows function' and in the mean time made random forms that followed their personal tastes. Perhaps because of his in between position Brinckmanns works did not attract overwhelming attention at his time. Propagating some extreme idea with confidence always seems to attract much more attention. For both traditionalists and modernists experiencing the environment played no role in the design. Modernistst added 3-D but only made 3-D schemas: the buildings as abstracts blocks from a toy box placed on abstract drawings.