The New Tenement: Tradition and Modernity
Conference at the Mackintosh School of Architecture
DATE: 10/5/2013
A one-day conference at the Mackintosh School of Architecture on Friday 10 May 2013 Mackintosh Building, Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ

Organised by Miles Glendinning (University of Edinburgh) and Florian Urban (Mackintosh School of Architecture), in partnership with the Mackintosh School of Architecture and DOCOMOMO-International, and with support from the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (University of Edinburgh), the conference will examine the re-emergence of the tenement as an urban building form.

The tenement has been ‘reinvented’ all over Europe since the 1970s. The conference will focus on the renaissance of this widespread and, until recently, very controversial housing type, which for the purpose of this conference will be defined as dense flatted residences on a street block plan. Tenements are particularly prominent in Scottish cities and have been a symbolic battleground in the long-running confrontation of ‘history’ and ‘modernity’ in the built environment. There, and in many other European countries, nineteenth-century tenements inspired a variety of new buildings that adapted features such as perimeter block plans, variations of small-scale design, multifunctional spaces, and regional aesthetics to contemporary uses and preferences – in the process synthesising elements of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity.’ While the New Tenement is now widely accepted as a desirable dwelling-type, the new visions of the city and its inhabitants are subject of ongoing debates. This includes questions of difference and local identity as well as ideas about self-responsibility, civic engagement, and bourgeois values as opposed to the state paternalism and equal living conditions that had been inherent in the ‘high modernist’ formulae of the 1950s and 1960s. Against this background, the conference will contextualize the international ‘tenement renaissance’ since the 1970s and its continuation today.

Other contacts
Ruxandra Stoica (University of Edinburgh) & Ambrose Gillick (Mackintosh School of Architecture)

More info: Tenement