Shopping Towns Europe 1945-1975: Commercial Collectivity and the Architecture of the Shopping Centre

EDITED BOOK — Together with Tom Avermaete, Janina Gosseye edited Shopping Towns Europe, the first book to explore the introduction and dissemination of the shopping centre in post-war Europe. European shopping centres are often assumed to be no more than carbon copies of their American precursors – however the wide-ranging case studies featured in this…

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Shopping Towns Australia, 1957-1967: From Reformist Figure of Collectivity to Box of Gold

CONFERENCE PAPER — Between May 1957 and early October 1967 fifteen regional shopping centres opened in Australia. Together, these added nearly 7 million square feet – or more than half a square foot per inhabitant – of commercial area into the nation. Eight shopping centres were constructed in New South Wales, two each in Victoria,…

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Queensland Making a Splash: Memorial Pools and the Body Politics of Reconstruction

REFEREED PAPER — In 2015 The Pool victoriously emerged as the winning proposal for Australia’s exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Creative directors Aileen Sage and Michelle Tabet explained that the pool is ‘… a lens through which to explore Australian cultural identity’ and ‘aptly represents a distinctively Australian democratic and social space.’ In Australia the…

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The Janus-Faced Shopping Center: The Low Countries in Search of a Fitting Shopping Paradigm

REFEREED PAPER — When in the mid-1950s, the shopping center typology reached the Low Countries, it confronted governments, policy makers, architects, and planners with the question of how to introduce and adapt this novel commercial typology to the local context. To respond to this question, several “missions” were organized to study this phenomenon abroad. The…

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Angry Young Architects: Counterculture and the Critique of Modernism in Brisbane, 1967-1972

BOOK CHAPTER — By 1967, Brisbane architecture students had had enough. Disenchantment with their ‘out-dated’ architectural education and the rigidity of the Australian architectural establishment opened out onto the wider context of the Moratorium opposing the Vietnam War, and the reactionary Queensland Government of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen. This chapter describes how between 1967 and 1972, through…

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Milton Keynes’ Centre: The apotheosis of the post-war consensus, or the apostle of neo-liberalism?

REFEREED PAPER — Between the late 1940s and the mid-1960s, growing economic prosperity and social stability drove the emergence of a mass consumption society in the UK and brought about revolutionary changes in the structure of the country’s retail sector. These included the implementation of self-service, the establishment of supermarkets, the expansion of shopping areas…

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In Search of the Ugliest Country in the World, Australia vs. Belgium: On Robin Boyd, Renaat Braem, Regionalism and Post-war Modernism

CONFERENCE PAPER — In 1960, Robin Boyd wrote his provocative book The Australian Ugliness. Disappointed that Australia lacked both the ‘extroverted flair of the Latin countries and the introverted refinement of Scandinavia’, he fulminated against the apparent Americanisation that affected Australia’s visual culture and architecture. Precisely eight years later, in 1968, former Le Corbusier-disciple and…

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Architecture for Leisure in Post-war Europe, 1945-1989: Between Experimentation, Patronization and Liberation

THEMED ISSUE — This special issue on ‘Architecture for Leisure in Post-war Europe’ of the Journal of Architecture was co-edited by Janina Gosseye and Hilde Heynen. The impetus for this themed issue came from an international symposium which took place at the University of Leuven in February 2012 (more information on this conference can be…

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Campsites as Utopias? A Socio-Spatial Reading of the Post-War Holiday Camp in Belgium, 1950s to 1970s

REFEREED PAPER — This paper contrasts the objectives that underlie the development of government-funded holiday camps for family vacations in Belgium with the socio-spatial practices of their initial users. Drawing on oral history, archival material, photographs and site plans, we argue that holidaymakers did not just experience the holiday camp as an environment where they…

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Collectivity and the Post-war European Shopping Centre

REFEREED PAPER — This paper puts forth the hypothesis that notions such as ‘collectivity’, ‘play’ and ‘community’ – buzz words of the post-war discourse on architecture and urbanism – were often important elements in the design and conceptualization of post-war shopping centres in Western Europe. To investigate this hypothesis, the paper focuses on three typologically…

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Leisure politics: The construction of social infrastructure and Flemish cultural identity in Belgium, 1950s to 1970s

REFEREED PAPER — This article ties the expansion of the (European) welfare state model to Belgian national politics and exemplifies how welfare state concepts, such as universalism and decommodification, were adopted in the political campaign for Flemish nationalism in a country on its path to federalism. It focuses on the construction of leisure infrastructure in…

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Architectuur voor Vrijetijdscultuur

BOOK — Architectuur voor Vrijetijdscultuur, which translates as ‘Architecture for Leisure’, is a book authored by Janina Gosseye, together with Hilde Heynen, André Loeckx and Leen van Molle, who co-authored the introduction. It was published in 2011 by LannooCampus (Leuven). This book sheds light on the emergence, planning and development of leisure infrastructure in Flanders…

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Designing the Belgian welfare state 1950s to 1970s: social reform, leisure and ideological adherence

REFEREED PAPER — This paper discusses several examples of leisure infrastructure that are more or less typical for the gradual evolution in Belgium from pillar-focused and pillar-financed buildings towards state-sponsored, ‘pluralist’ infrastructure that nevertheless still catered to pillarised organisations. We question whether the leisure infrastructure that was brought about by the formation of the welfare…

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Reclaiming (the urbanism of) Mumbai

EDITED BOOK — The production and reproduction of Mumbai is emblematic of a magnificent and paradoxical post-colonial Asian megacity. The complex history has resulted in an urban landscape that is fascinating and frightening, rich and wretched, beautiful and revolting. The ordering logics of its seemingly chaotic urbanism are, at first sight, difficult to understand. However,…

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Water urbanisms

EDITED BOOK — Water is (re)conquering the contemporary agenda of urbanism, and this renewed focus is certainly not uncalled for. Rather, the disappearance of water from urbanists’ view during the 19th and 20th century is remarkable. Water Urbanisms documents different engagements of urbanism with water issues and is subdivided into three main sections. The first…

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