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理性、经济与效率 ——最小住宅的起源与发展
吴俊贤1, 虞 刚2
1.哈尔滨工业大学(深圳)建筑学院,都灵 理工大学建筑与设计系,博士研究生;2.( 通讯作者):哈尔滨工业大学(深圳)建 筑学院,教授、博士生导师,yuarch@hit. edu.cn
摘要:
最小住宅为应对20世纪欧洲的住房危 机而产生,其目的是提供满足家庭生活需求的最 小空间。自出现以来,最小住宅概念的影响不断 扩大,涉及了前苏联、中国等国家的住宅实践,并 在今日的城市中持续发挥着重要作用。理性、经 济与效率是贯穿在最小住宅的起源与发展过程 中的三个要素,透过它们所展现出的最小住宅发 展脉络能够帮助我们重新认识最小住宅的设计 思路,进而为今天的住宅设计带来一定的启发。
关键词:  最小住宅  套型  住区  人居环境
DOI:10.13791/j.cnki.hsfwest.20240223
分类号:
基金项目:国家自然科学基金青年项目(52208018)
Rationality, economy, and efficiency: The origin and development of the minimum dwelling
WU Junxian,YU Gang
Abstract:
The origin of the concept of minimal dwelling can be traced back to 19th-century Europe, where it was originally intended to solve the housing problem in cities, to eliminate slums and to provide housing for the vast working class. Among many countries, Germany pioneered the concept of minimal dwelling in practice. Architects like Ernst May led the construction of residential areas in Frankfurt around 1926, providing minimal living spaces suitable for single-family households. The interiors of these residences featured modernized bathrooms and kitchens, enhancing the efficiency of residents’ lives. Externally, these dwellings departed from the peripheral layout in European cities, adopting a zeilenbau (rows-based layout) to ensure good lighting and ventilation. From this perspective, minimal dwelling emerged as a rational and economic response to people’s basic housing needs, emphasizing efficiency in the spatial layout, and simplifying decoration in design for economic reasons. Such designs improved the efficiency of housing construction and influenced residents’ lifestyles, turning housing into a “living machine”. While the theoretical foundation and early practices of minimal dwelling originated in Western Europe, the concept found extensive application in the Soviet Union, the largest socialist country at the time. In the early 1930s, the Soviet Union engaged in intense discussions regarding socialist urban forms and settlements. During this period, European avant-garde architects, including Ernst May, actively participated in Soviet socialist urban planning and housing design. Although many modernist architectural ideas were halted with Stalin’s call for “building socialist realism” in the 1930s, modernist architecture, especially in housing, experienced a revival in the 1950s under Nikita Khrushchev’s rule. Facing severe housing shortages in the Soviet Union, housing designs during the Khrushchev era largely embraced the principles of minimal dwelling. These so-called Khrushchyovka were designed to compress internal space to the extreme, with the height of the floors and the size of the kitchens and bathrooms all being more tightly controlled. Unlike the Stalinist kvartal pursuit of continuous urban interfaces, completion, and decorative effects, Khrushchyovka adopted free layouts and unadorned facades to further reduce the cost of construction. Due to the better economy and the prefabricated construction methods, this housing type was widely spread in a short period, profoundly impacting mass housing design in socialist countries, including China. Even after countries emerged from the post-World War II housing shortage, discussions and practices related to minimal dwelling persisted. In the context of urbanization and the siphoning effect of big cities, the post-1960s era witnessed two new trends in minimal housing development. One trend moved towards higher densities, exemplified by Hong Kong’s public housing projects. Faced with limited land resources, these projects pushed housing towards higher densities. Simultaneously, they extensively adopted modular design and prefabricated construction methods to expedite construction. At the community level, public housing developments provided comprehensive amenities, including commercial, educational, and public transportation facilities. Another trend explored the interaction between housing and technological innovation, demonstrating the interplay between housing and technological change. Architects like Buckminster Fuller drewinspiration from cars and rockets to conceive the Dymaxion House, while Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa used prefabricated capsule designs for a “growable” Nakagin Capsule Tower. Nowadays, with the development of society and the improvement of people’s living standards, the meaning of minimal dwelling has evolved. While still meeting the basic needs of residents, there is a growing emphasis on well-designed public spaces to enhance the artistic characteristics of residential areas. Improved environmental quality directly affects the quality of life for residents. Carefully designed public spaces can stimulate interactions among residents, promoting community communication. Additionally, as part of the city’s aesthetics, residential areas contribute to the overall landscape quality. In Chinese cities with high-density living environments, recent examples, such as the Bo Yu of Vanke Cloud City project in Shenzhen and Bai Wan Jia Yuan public housing project in Beijing, showcase a new development direction for minimal housing. In conclusion, although the development of minimal dwelling has undergone a lengthy process with continually enriched meanings and increasing diversity in forms, the underlying principles of “rationality, economy, and efficiency” seem to connect different periods of minimal dwelling. Designing and constructing living spaces with rational thinking to achieve maximum economic efficiency has the potential to alter residents’ habits, improve life efficiency, and consequently enhance societal efficiency. This paper follows this thread, starting from the origins of minimal dwelling, focusing on its developmental changes at different stages, aiming to elucidate the concept and development of minimal dwelling, providing relevant references for today’s housing design and residential area planning.
Key words:  minimum dwelling  dwelling type  residential area  human settlement