Team 10 EAST:
The Socialist state as
an Architectural Project












































Architect Oskar Hansen was a member of Team 10, The architectural group that formed the first critical voice against the modernist orthodoxy of the Athens Charter and the followers of Le Corbusier.

Hansen is remembered for his theory of Open Form architectural form where he stands for melding public and private space. The open Form theory was intended to develop strategies of indeterminacy, flexibility, and collective participation.

Open Form worked well, but when applied to actual architecture, such as the Warsaw housing project Przyczółek Grochowski, Open Form proved a dysfunctional case of a big theory with no attention paid to practicalities. In the case of Przyczółek Grochowski, the openness of the housing project’s passageways and facades were ideal for burglars to slip in and out of buildings unnoticed.

Hansen’s various strategies of dealing with the state were an integral part that was based on his rethinking of the agency of the architect. Consequently, it is his projects that convey an internal critique of the processes of urbanization in socialist Poland. Constructive Criticism that ought to be regarded with suspicion., irresponsible “Utopianism” that might lead to squandering of state’s resources, stubborn dangerous revisionism undermining the fundamentals of the party or political dissidence.

Although the housing project failed it is still there and very much alive. The regime did not break it down. Now a day it became a monument of failure that the regime used as a way of showing people that this is what could happen if they are not in charge. The work focusses on how a regime can manipulate its citizens through architecture and how architects tried to fight against it.



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