The single plot one-family house (enfamiljshus)

In document Segregation, Education and Space - a Case Study of Malmö Persson, Rickard (Page 144-147)

(Surveyed as 22.8 % of the Malmö area and 5.9 % of Malmö’s population in this study)

The one-family house has various historical roots in Sweden. Some are particular building types with their own merits and history; I describe them below. Another is the conceptual spectrum that runs from building for self-sufficiency, to building for achievement of engineering goals (air, sun, sanitation and comfort), to building for representation of historical and cultural values, i.e. building for the manifestation of symbolic power (cf. Paulsson 1950:305-322).

There are three traditions to consider, morphogenetically and based on class considerations. First, there is the bourgeois large one-family house (villa), which historically represents the rise of the merchant class to prominence. Second, there is the craftsmen’s houses, which represent the change in conditions for urban craftsmen. Third, there is the “own your own home” (egnahem), which represents the emancipation of the working class. I have taken these three traditions into account by creating the three morphs contained in supermorph III. The three morphs, however, are not the continuations of those three traditions. Why?

By the time when by my reckoning the modern Swedish one-family house is to be considered a morph, based on my perception of what can be observed today, the merchant houses in the central parts of the town were being converted into rental apartments. Simultaneously, the bourgeoisie started to create one-family housing outside the town centers inspired, in some cases, by foreign aristocratic models, and in some cases by Swedish summer cottages which can be traced as far back as the 15th century. The convergence of these two historical lines gave the bourgeois large one-family house of the upper classes in Sweden. It was characterized by spontaneous exploitation, with little or no regulation (Paulsson 1950:334-345). These two historical lines resulted in two residential morphs; the bourgeiois large one-family house and the converted summer cottage. A third morph resulting from this process is the agricultural estate within the city borders(landeriet), which had an impact on Malmö, but which can be said to have left significant traces in what could be called an institutional morphology today, rather than the residential morphology I am concerned with here (see Améen 1964:50; Cf. also Enhörning 2006 for a comprehensive study on the agricultural estate within the city borders of Göteborg).

During the same time period workers in the outer areas of town, often along liberal routescapes, built their own homes and rented a room out or two to other workers. These houses, from the 1840s and forward, were built not on the basis of aristocratic or bourgeois models but from the traditions and models of vernacular peasant buildings (Paulsson 1950:409-410; Werne 1997b:84-91). Other buildings in this tradition I classify as liberal routescapes, and they thus belong to a different supermorph – the routescape. In some cases, houses belonging to this tradition have been wrongly classified in the survey as less regulated “own your own home”

houses simply because of the difficulties of identifying them in the plan or on aerial photos.

The third tradition to consider is of a more rural nature. The “own your own home” movement came from philantropical ideals, politically motivated to stop emigration and to support patriotism from the 1870s and forward, and was, in effect, building forms adapted to urbanization and industrial life (Jonsson 1985:9-13).

The spirit of the the single plot owner-occupied urban family home is well described by Catarina Thormark: ”In the two areas of one-family housing almost every house is so completely changed that it sometimes is hard to discern whether the house is from the 1930s or the 1970s. Here is an example of almost all possible building materials and garden decorations.” (Reisnert et al. 1989:193.)11

Spatial morph III:1: Converted summer cottage (ca. 1900-today)

This morph traces its history to the bourgeois seaside resorts, health resorts and spas popular from mid to late 19th century. Spacious villas had been made available for rich families to rent adjacent to hotels and public establishments integral to the bourgeois conception of public space prior to WWI. The custom spread to the petite bourgeoisie during the 20th century and from the 1970s onward summer housing began to be converted into year round homes. The original houses are often deeply embedded in green areas and built in romantic style architecture, sometimes with explicit regulations that forbid fences and other ‘town-related’ structures (Paulsson 1953:65-76).

In the1960s, the one-family house was often re-modeled to resemble the American prairie house (Jonsson 1985:173).

This morph is most easily traced along streets that have changed historically from summer cottage streets to streets with one-family year-round homes. Rådberg classifies areas with these buildings as sparse one-family housing areas (glesa småhusområden). There is no significant difference in the description of the Rådberg type and my morph description.

Spatial morph III:2: Bourgeois


large one-family house (ca. 1900-today)

This morph was conceived as a retreat from the dirty and noisy late 19th century inner city exploitation and planned as areas where plot sizes could vary and houses could be freely placed at regulated distances from streets and other private homes. The combination of cultural capital and economic capital represented by the people who built such homes is significant (Paulsson 1953:93-118). Individual building plans, catering to the housing consumer’s wishes were and remain the norm, whether the models are the Carolingian manor house of the 1800s, the brutal 1960s Bernt Nyberg-homes or the functionalist 1930s homes. The plan is often Sittean baroque, inspired by: Der Städtebau nach seinen Künstlerischen Grundsätzen. Street views: streetscapes, perspectives, fond buildings, organic lines, park-like environments, centralized placement of buildings and large gardens. The morph adapts to mixes of style depending on period - national romanticism, classical, functionalist, or more recent architectural styles. Rådberg labels the type13 as one-family house, large plots (villastad, stora tomter). Aside from his assumption that this pattern cannot be spotted in contemporary building we agree in principle on the type/morph. The bourgeois large one-family house morph in

contemporary building developed through two different processes. One was where plots were partitioned and one larger piece of property is divided into smaller ones. The other, its opposite, is where (sometimes summer cottages) (smaller) house plots were developed with contemporary high (or low) fashion architecture.

Spatial Morph III:3: Less regulated “own your own home” block (1904-1938(1948))

This morph was conceived as description of housing to discourage emigration and socialism due to the changes in the agricultural market during the 1880s. The “own your own home” movement (egnahemsrörelsen) was born in the 1890s and was not initially supported by the state but by industrialists as part of preventive measures to discourage the exploited working class from abandoning the country (Edling 1996:386-392;

Germundsson 1993:20-39; Paulsson 1953:86-92). It also has many nationalistic style elements, i.e. in the history of style it would be related to national romanticism. In design it was inspired by foreign one-family housing such as Bournville, England (Paulsson 1953b:88).

Beginning in 1904, the institutionalization of “own your own home” loans (egnahemslån) began and this remained a powerful economic incentive for the morph until the Government Commission Report of 1938 decided that their time had passed. Subsequent legislation and parliamentary decisions restricted their use and finally abolished them in 1948. “Own your own home” loans were long term state loans offered to able, diligent working class breadwinners who could build their own houses. There were several reasons for the 1904 reform: securing manpower supply in the countryside, counteracting emigration and socialism, reacting to the transformation of the peasant laborer into a wage earner, promoting land reclamation, and improving living conditions for the working class population (Germundsson 1993:218-219).

In 1907, Malmöhus Regional “Own Your Own Home” Community (Malmöhus läns egnahemsförening) was formed. Many of the “own your own homes” were outside the borders of the city of Malmö in rural or semi-rural areas at the time of their conception. Throughout the 20th century, however, the areas in question became incorporated within the City of Malmö. Initially a condition for the loan was that the plot should be located outside the borders of the city, though this was soon revised (Reisnert et al. 1989:15).

In Malmö this led to the two distinctly different morphs I denote as more regulated (see below – spatial morph IV:1) and less regulated “own your own home” blocks, where the more regulated areas were those that were located within the city borders at the time of their building.

The less regulated “own your own home” blocks were initially located outside the borders of the city proper and were not subject to city planning. The plot prices were low, and few rules and regulations applied. In addition hens, rabbits and even a pig were allowed as domestic animals. Therefore these areas have a very heterogeneous nature with varying sizes of buildings, placement of buildings on plots etc. Land plots were

sold undeveloped by the local government, a cooperative or a private person, and developed mainly by small craftsmen and industrial workers (Reisnert et al. 1989:16).

The areas surveyed in this chapter are areas of dwelling ”own your own homes” (bostadsegnahem) rather than the more rural form of small farms “own your own homes” (småbruksegnahem).14

Even so, the less regulated “own your own home” was often placed on the plot towards the streetline, giving ample opportunity for a small vegetable patch.

Such houses were often 1½ storeys with a basement (necessary for food storage) built in bonded brick of varying sizes and colors with a large frontispiece, although the variations are great in terms of roof-angles and e.g. mansard roofs as well as plaster or paneling facades. The plan was often the traditional own-your-own-plan with a hallway, kitchen and two rooms on the ground floor and two rooms on the first floor (Reisnert et al. 1989:15-16, 121, 125).

Rådberg classifies this morph as a sub-type of the type one-family housing blocks (småhuskvarter, friliggande hus). The notable difference between my classification and Rådberg’s is that Rådberg does not differentiate the morphogenetics of the vast majority of one-family housing from the 1900s and onward. His type includes large one-family houses, housing in the garden city and “own your own homes” (villastad, trädgårdsstad och egnahem). Rådberg refuses to acknowledge the historical separation of different building types for different social groups, although he does acknowledge several different sizes of buildings and plots as significant. In my view, his typology needlessly obscures the historical process of wealth accumulation related to the social uses of different residential areas and thus their social significance. I propose acknowledging the historical process diachronically, that is as a historical process, although the current social association may be different, analyzed, through social variables. I believe there is no need to argue that since the historical working class association with certain house types is not the same as that of the contemporary working class (however such a class may be defined) with those same building types, we must ignore or obscure the history of the working class. The same argument goes for the bourgeois large one-family house.

In document Segregation, Education and Space - a Case Study of Malmö Persson, Rickard (Page 144-147)

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