Foundations for Fisker: Educational Appraisals and Reappraisals from Delft

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In his review of the book ‘Kay Fisker. Danish Functionalism and Block-based Housing’ by Andrew Clancy and Colm Moore, Mark Pimlott wrote “(…) All of this appears to have moved the authors to see his (i.e. Fisker’s) work not only as an example for the ambitions of their own practice, but something that could be conveyed to students, to demonstrate that by bringing together an array of ordinary materials and modest building elements, it was possible to create a coherent urban identity, bound to other entities and the patterns of the city itself.”(1) At the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, I have conveyed this to my students, first in 2014 (in two MSc 3 Dwelling Graduation Studios), and from 2016- now in the BSc 4 seminar BK4GR4 ‘Foundations (‘Grondslagen’) 4. The European Metropolis – The physical and lived City’. This seminar, and the preceding seminar BK3GR3 ‘Dwelling, Building and Context’, both over the years coordinated by my colleague Willemijn Wilms Floet, emphasize on the ‘typically Delft’ educational model of comparative plan analysis.

The excursion that is centre stage to BK4GR4 is about using three basic concepts (Basisbegrippen) – an instrument to (learn) reading, researching, and understanding the city, while observing the city by means of a particular question (perception), showing what idea the studied project in its urban cultural and social context embodies (representation), and its contribution to the city is, in its physical, societal, cultural and temporal sense (intervention). This urban observation research allows for reading the physical and lived city by means of an academic, systematic manner via differing perspectives: sensory perception; space, dimension, and scale; systems and networks; culture and society; the appropriate methods and techniques, and matching questions. This allows our students for getting a grip on the City as a Design. (2) My presentation will reveal how my students have conducted their plan analyses (Hornbækhus, Gulfosshus, Dronningegården), and in what ways these buildings by Fisker are good in terms of understanding how to apply modest materials and forms in relation to urban identity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventKay Fisker Symposium: Appraisals and Reappraisals - Det Kongelige Akademi – Arkitektur, Design, Konservering, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 29 Nov 202330 Nov 2023


ConferenceKay Fisker Symposium
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