Susan R. HendersonFollow

Document Type

Book Chapter




Silesia, Mart Stam, CIAM, Zeilenbau, Westhausen, Hellerhof, Praunheim, Walter Schwagenscheidt, Franz Schuster, Siegfried Giedion, Anton Brenner, Ferdinand Kramer, Margarete Schütte Lihotzky, Franz Roeckle, existence minimum, Existenzminimum, Joseph Gantner




Architectural History and Criticism | Modern Art and Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies and Planning


Chapter seven, of Building Culture,"Rationalization Takes Command: Zeilenbau and the Politics of CIAM," addresses the New Frankfurt housing and settlement initiative at the onset of the depression of 1929. The shift into decline, saw some initiatives completed, others stifled, and new ones emerge. Thus the 1929 CIAM Congress held in Frankfurt began with performances of experimental music, poetry and dance, and ended with the consecration of the existence minimum as the new housing standard. Meanwhile, Ernst May pushed forward with a revised housing strategy based on the minimal dwelling, the existence minimum, and the superblock (Zeilenbau). The CIAM Congress is organized and brought to fruition amid internal politics and debates that say much about the particularities of the Frankfurt approach and the evolving of nature of CIAM.

Additional Information

Excerpt from Susan R. Henderson, Building Culture: Ernst May and the Frankfurt Initiative, 1926-1931 (Bern, Frankfurt, London, New York: Peter Lang, 2013).

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