In the name of housing
Ludwig Hilberseimer in his 1925 book Groszstadtbauten talks about the relation of city form to the form of the smallest single architectural unit; a room within a house. This commentary is further validated by the fact that the residential fabric of any city comprises most that city’s built form, and housing for the common man is a large part of that majority. This essay focuses on history of architecture for the housing of this majority in the city of Mumbai. the tie between Mumbai’s form and its inhabitation. Looking specifically at the architectural form of these projects, they become instructive both through the breadth of their variations, as well as the depth of their spatial and formal engagements. Building on the history of housing in Mumbai since the early-nineteenth century the essay presents the types of housing that the ordinary man inhabited and their immediate spatial ecologies that facilitated a specific manner of compressed living. These types are commentaries on technology, lifestyle, and culture all situated within the particularities of their respective time. These armatures however unique, still seem to gravitate around certain emergent commonalities which could provide a armature for the design of collective housing models in the future.
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