MArch 4 Studio 1 Image

MArch 4 Studio 1

Re-activating Tenement Housing in Budapest: Patterns of a New Local

The recent pandemic-related lockdown is just one of many events that force us to reconsider our relationship to our home and neighbourhood. Automation, corporate restructuring and the ‘flexible’ work models of the gig economy have long been redefining what spaces of work could be. In the last decades one would find it difficult to differentiate a cafe from an open office, or our living room for that matter.

When discussing housing as part of a global economy, the urban phenomenon is ubiquitous: soaring real estate prices, unregulated rent structures have either displaced communities or pushed us to reconcile with having smaller and smaller flats in exchange for the ‘inner city experience.’ As more and more activities, traditionally confined to our private homes, found spaces in public spaces, our domestic realm seemingly expanded.

As the scalar thresholds between public and private realms overlap or disappear, the spatial, typological hierarchy of the city needs to be reassessed. How do we redefine the units of sociability through the means of architecture? Will that ultimately transform our housing infrastructure?

If we look at the turbulent history of housing types in Budapest, they tell a story of coexistence, class, mobility and displacement. Beyond the examples mentioned above, the studio aimed at analysing global and local events that have impacted the complex architectural negotiations between the domestic and the urban. By widening our field of vision in time and space, we identified global patterns and genealogies in city living as a way to speculate around local challenges of today’s housing in Budapest.

Studio Lead

Johanna Muszbek
Pietro Pezzani