Bedre Byggeskik was a Danish grassroots organization founded in 1915 to promote better buildings more suitable to the local climate and culture and a higher quality of craftsmanship. A neoclassical inspired vernacular form.
The architects of the organization created plans for all types of buildings, from farmsteads to suburban villas or large estate mansions and anyone could request copies of floor-plans which could then be given to local builders.
The founders were also active in building crafts schools and training of youth in how to build better. The proof of their success can be seen in the many of their buildings surviving in extremely good condition and fetching rather high prices in the Danish real-estate market.
The association also helped entire neighborhoods. A famous example is the "Frederiksberg Kommunale Funktionærers Boligforening", a co-op to provide homes for municipal employees. 100 houses on 14 acres, built 1916 and so wildly successful it was given protected status in 1919.

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More from @wrathofgnon

13 Nov
Everything suggested here is awful and self contradictory. There should be ample opportunity to make something better.
Here is a beautiful station in Stockholm, Sweden:
Here is a beautiful station in Maputo, Mozambique:
Read 10 tweets
5 Nov
A lot of the things that we now like to blame on climate change is really the result of local human actions. For example, the coastal erosion that is plaguing the beautiful Mersea Island (population 6,925) on the coast of Essex, England. Is all coastal erosion really inevitable?
For politicians, "climate change" is a godsend: nothing can be done, no blame can be laid, and no need to investigate further. If action is called for, it comes in the form of a concrete shield that doesn't work and only makes things worse. Meanwhile, the land is disappearing.
In reality, coastal erosion turned out to have human origins: "In the 1920s, Mersea was surrounded by vast, richly biodiverse marshlands. These mudbanks supported meadows of seagrass like eelgrass that played a vital role in reducing the impact of wave energy on the marshland."
Read 9 tweets
1 Nov
2000 years. The longest continually operated overland "railway" was the 6km long Diolkos, of ancient Greece, used to transfer ships from the Aegean to the Ionian, over the Isthmus of Patras, built around the 8th c. B.C. it was last used by the Byzantines in the 12th c. A.D. ImageImageImageImage
The trackway was built to let military and merchant vessels avoid the lengthy and dangerous detour around the Peloponnese peninsula. It would have taken 3 hours to transport a ship, and on several occasions entire military fleets were moved over a couple of days. ImageImage
There would have been local experts that helped the ships across for a fee but the main power was the muscle power of the human crews of the ships. A warship with hundreds of experienced rowers could probably have pulled their ships over in a matter of minutes. Image
Read 4 tweets
28 Oct
Tachikawa Hiroaki's (1933-2016) famous giant "bird's eye view" painting of Edo (now Tokyo) as it would have looked like in 1862, accurate down to individual buildings and outhouses. Tachikawa was a master of the three-point perspective and often worked with modern city planners. Image
Even as renderings became popular his help in visualization of modern projects was much sought after. Here's a close up of the 1862 view of Edo. Each building lot was researched before drawing, through city archives, maps, surveys etc. Image
It was common for cities to commission three-point paintings. Here is one of Okayama City in 1932 by Yoshida Hatsusaburo (1884-1955). You can see barracks, factories, trunk roads, railways, canals, ponds, etc. Industrialization is in full swing. ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
22 Oct
Hassan Fathy's 1980 Murad Greiss House could (overlooking a couple of things) as well have been built in 2020 A.D. or 2020 B.C. for a high ranking government official or land owner. Hand built in local limestone and lime mortar. Animated CGI here:
Minus the swimming pool and the picture windows it is not difficult to imagine how a well to do ancient Egyptian would have instructed his architect and builders on the site. Here are photos from the 1980 construction site. ImageImage
The barrel vaults and the domes were made in slightly stiffer mortar and what looks like fired clay bricks (ancient Egyptians would have used sun dried bricks which probably works just as well). The wood construction beams would have been removed and reused: wood was valuable. ImageImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
The most insidious aspect of modern architecture is how it pretends to be considerate of the common good: a friend of the people. "Modern buildings are so much safer to construct. You wouldn't understand!", "Modern buildings are so much more economical. You wouldn't understand!" ImageImage
But the worst is also the boldest lie: "Modern buildings are so much more beautiful. YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND." ImageImage
"Modern construction and modern ideals are the only way to house the poor: it is called progress. YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND." ImageImage
Read 5 tweets

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