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Modernity in Context: The Postwar Revitalisation of Scotland's Historic Small Burghs

Modernity in Context: The Postwar Revitalisation of Scotland's Historic Small Burghs Diane M. Watters This brief paper will examine a prominent strand of Scottish modern-vernacular housing design that emerged as a direct result of postwar planned slumclearance in small historic burghs and towns in the 1950s and 1960s. Rooted in the Patrick Geddes conservative surgery concept, these place-sensitive schemes usually involved retention and conversion of selected historic properties (and in some instances facsimile reconstruction), demolition of nineteenth-century stock, and new housing within that context. Although influenced by the pioneering interwar preservation campaigns to rescue Scotland’s historic ‘little houses’ and burgh communities from decay and destruction – such as the National Trust’s Little Houses scheme – a new generation of architects saw the postwar need for new planned communities to meet urgent housing needs, as a design opportunity to harmonise old and new within an overall planned ensemble. The architectural and planning context of the late 1940s and 1950s, provided a framework for an uneasy tension between traditionalist architectural solutions, conservation, and the Modern Movement, and enabled the development of notable regional architectural approaches to new social housing in historic burghs. Under the pressure to increase housing production in 1960s and 70s, and with the impact of a growing heritage http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architectural Heritage Edinburgh University Press

Modernity in Context: The Postwar Revitalisation of Scotland's Historic Small Burghs

Architectural Heritage , Volume 21 (1): 33 – Nov 1, 2010

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, 2011
Subject
Historical Studies
ISSN
1350-7524
eISSN
1755-1641
DOI
10.3366/arch.2011.0004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Diane M. Watters This brief paper will examine a prominent strand of Scottish modern-vernacular housing design that emerged as a direct result of postwar planned slumclearance in small historic burghs and towns in the 1950s and 1960s. Rooted in the Patrick Geddes conservative surgery concept, these place-sensitive schemes usually involved retention and conversion of selected historic properties (and in some instances facsimile reconstruction), demolition of nineteenth-century stock, and new housing within that context. Although influenced by the pioneering interwar preservation campaigns to rescue Scotland’s historic ‘little houses’ and burgh communities from decay and destruction – such as the National Trust’s Little Houses scheme – a new generation of architects saw the postwar need for new planned communities to meet urgent housing needs, as a design opportunity to harmonise old and new within an overall planned ensemble. The architectural and planning context of the late 1940s and 1950s, provided a framework for an uneasy tension between traditionalist architectural solutions, conservation, and the Modern Movement, and enabled the development of notable regional architectural approaches to new social housing in historic burghs. Under the pressure to increase housing production in 1960s and 70s, and with the impact of a growing heritage

Journal

Architectural HeritageEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2010

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