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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I'm looking foward to study the way europeans used to build their homes. Actually, I'm talking about medium density buildings, as in urban design this may be the best solution for compactness without claustrofobia.
I'm from Brazil and here most of the buildings are in a modern style, standard tall towers surrounded by a Garden and walls also a huge undergound parking lot. But this is destroying our cities. So I'm willing to study the european housing in order to create a new way of housing here.
 

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Cheers!

Good to see you're actually sensible towards the faults of modernist city planning.
Most people just don't care.

New Urbanism and New Classical architecture are key to what you're looking for.

Have a look at this article for some academic options, where you can study classical European urban planning and design (ironically mostly outside of Europe):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Classical_architecture#Education

You'll find various studios of that kind at this thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1715624
 

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Hi Ruffizza,

During your research you will find that there isn't one European way to do urbanism.

You will find US-type suburban sprawl with detached single homes with gardens, making up car-oriented districts. You will also find that historical US residential urbanism (like old Manhattan for example) is a version of what was happening in Europe at the same time.

You will find concrete post-war blocks of flats that are disposed either very airily, with plenty of space around, or very tightly into each other. It has to be said, though, that the former are very rarely "gated" like they are in Brazil.

You will find ultra-high density residential living that does not feel claustrophobic, like Barcelona or Paris. And you will also find pre-modern historical city centres with medium density where living has a lot of issues.

You will find that a lot of the character and desirability of residential areas comes from the kind of proximity commerce and activities there are (and how much of them). And this is not 100% inherent to the way the neighbourhood is built. If the municipality allows a lot of big-box commercial centres at the peripherey, the life in your neighbourhood will be screwed. Also important are the municipality's policies (or lack thereof) for mixity and against ghettoisation. Transport options vs individual cars is another key aspect.

Overall, a lot of knowledge has been gathered in time through trial-and-error and is now applied more scientifically in certain "experimental" neighbourhoods that have been recently built, especially AFAIK in Stockholm, Vienna etc. Maybe some other users can recommend such examples for case-studies.

The best way to investigate is to visit such different places and live in them for at least short periods of time, but given that is quite time consuming and expensive, the next best thing is to spend a lot of time here on SkyScraperCity and look at various threads, especially threads in the Cityscape and General Photography sections. I can also recommend becoming a regular reader of Citylab (https://www.citylab.com/), Guardian Cities (https://www.theguardian.com/cities), Metropolitics (http://www.metropolitiques.eu/?lang=en) and others such.

Good luck!
 

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Obviously he is looking for the traditional European urban planning way, though.
So everything modernist is of no matter here.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Obviously he is looking for the traditional European urban planning way, though.
So everything modernist is of no matter here.
Source: http://www.unjourdeplusaparis.com/en/paris-reportage/reconnaitre-immeuble-haussmannien

Not only urban planning, but also the relation between the buildings and the city.

Example: In post Hausmann European architecture, do buildings have parking lots? Are there apartments on the first floor? What's the medium size of an apartment? In European buildings, there's usually an external storage room?
 

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If you're only interested in traditional urban planing, you should just take a look on brazils or agrentinias old buildings from the same era. They are the same as the european and are as related to their souroudings. Theres not much of a difference!
 

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Obviously he is looking for the traditional European urban planning way, though.
So everything modernist is of no matter here.
That's nonsense. The question was for European living that is not gated towers. There's plenty of that including in modernism architecture and planning. Of all posters here you know this best because you have actual knowledge of the history of architecture, so why you persist in this quest for purposefuly making the confusion between the entirety of modernism and its Le Corbusier subset is baffling. If Rufizza wants to, he (she?) can learn about medium density housing with nice architecture and that generates good public space from the works of the Dutch school, German school, Romanian school etc (of modernism). Which isn't to say that it's not the best idea to start with Barcelona, Paris, victorian planning, etc, because it is.


Example: In post Hausmann European architecture, do buildings have parking lots? Are there apartments on the first floor? What's the medium size of an apartment? In European buildings, there's usually an external storage room?
Cars appeared and spread a means of personal transportation only later, which is why if you see a Hausmannian building with underground parking, it means it was added later. When private parkings appeared, they were shed-like garrages built in open air at the back of the building. This didn't spread much in the city centres because it was using too much space.

The first floors were fit for living indeed. Very often the appartments there were meant for the guardian or certain servants (there are also tiny rooms in the roof that were designed for nannies, nowadays the law does not allow them as habitations on their own because they're too small, just a few square metres).

The typical size of the appartment has changed because in time a lot of modifications have been made. But initially the Hausmannian appartments were spacious by French city centre standards of the time, because they were meant for the middle class or upper class. A three-piece appartment would have, say, between 60 and 70-something square metres, while in non-Hausmannian buildings a three-piece could be as small as 40 square metres.
They could have a storage room but they tended to have basements for storage, and there were also annexes in the courtyard. The latter also tended to get sold off later as office space or as lower quality habitations.

I would recommend getting this: http://www.pavillon-arsenal.com/en/boutique/collections//10581-paris-haussmann.html It's the catalogue of a recent exhibition on Hausmannian Paris, which I sadly didn't get to see, but read raving reviews of. I would suspect the bibliography at the end could help you a lot.

 

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This is a non-academic short overview from the standpoint of a late 19 Century building tenent.
All these buildings in my city (Zagreb) were built as tenant buildings for rent; their layout is quite similar, almost uniform although facades vary quite a lot. In the city center usually, appartments are bigger, in Zagreb usually 2 to 4 spacious rooms meant for middle and high class (state officials, business, bankers, army etc.). Typically 3-room is about 100-130 square meters, 4-room around 150 square meters.
Building owners usually lived on the first floor.
All apartments built before 1930-es in Zagreb are provided with a small maiden room. These women used to live with families taking care of everything. My flat has even two maiden-rooms, in modern terms perfect for children. Researches showed that people changed apartments in average every five years depending on their family needs. My friends family built from late 19th to 1930 three such tenant buildings in late historicism, art nouveau and the last in modernist international style and they make their living by renting them.
It all came to a tragic end in 1945 when communist authorities nationalized their buildings. Today most of these buildings are owned by their tenents.
 

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Perhaps some interesting insights can be learned from the "Plan Zuid" (South-plan) in Amsterdam, which was developed between 1905-1920 by Berlage.

It is perhaps not as old as medieval inner cities or the canals, but it is important for a larger part of the development of the Amsterdam housing stock and can be considered as a starting point for planned city building in the Netherlands. Building blocks are usually 5-6 stories high, with centralized vertical staircases (no elevators) and closed city blocks with relatively small streets and larger avenues. It provides no blueprint for successful city planning, but can give you some hints.

 
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