Owen Hatherley: What next for Eastern Europe’s mass housing heritage?
For the second year running, the Mies van der Rohe Award has gone to a mass housing renovation project. In 2018, it went to the co-operative transformation of one block of Amsterdam’s vast Bijlmermeer estate, and in 2019, to the reconstruction of one quarter of the vast Grand Parc estate in Bordeaux.
In Eastern Europe, such tower blocks are common — but successful post-socialist regeneration is far from the norm. When it comes to mass housing, Owen Hatherley argues that East and West have much to learn from one another.