Funded by the 18-month Early Postdoc Mobility fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation, since August 2020 I will work on the research European Cities: Referential Housing Type in the Faculty of architecture LOCI at the Université catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium.
The main hypothesis of the proposed project is that such specific urban identity can be traced back to the most common spatial forms of the city: its residential spaces. Through a study of these spaces, local uses can also be informed. This project provides an innovative approach that can investigate and reflect more explicitly on the transformations and identity of European cities. The new concept of referential housing type, defined as the archetypal and most ordinary residential type in a specific place throughout urban history, is the most suitable tool to disclose the identity of cities. This research project aims: a) to develop a rigorous methodology regarding the concept of ‘referential housing type’, which could be applied to different urban contexts in Europe so as to increase knowledge and architectural, cultural, and social richness; and b) to standardise existing research in Europe in order to gather the most comprehensive picture possible.