15 WORKS: Tectonic design strategies on the work of Hans Christian Hansen



This project aims at documenting and analyzing the built works by Hans Christian Hansen (HCH 1901-1978) developed under the policies of the Danish Welfare State between the late 1930's and early 1970's as a project leader at the office of the City Architect in Copenhagen. The purpose of the project is to provide knowledge of a little known Danish architect and body of work, which is tectonic-wise extraordinarily rich, and quite unusual in its geographical and historical context. Although the mere documentation of HCH's buildings should be considered a value in itself, it should be especially relevant today since these buildings are now getting to a state that require renovation or even demolition.

The Danish post-war environment characterized by a lack of materials first and the arrival of new industrialized materials later, besides the public and social character of an architecture developed under the policies of the Welfare State in the municipality of Copenhagen is the framework in which HCH designed his works. The hypothesis is that considering these initial conditions 1), HCH´s works display a spatial and formal richness that show an intelligent and innovative use of humble and crude materials: His works are basically conceived from its materiality -a combination of traditional materials (brick and wood) and new low cost industrialized and semi-industrialized materials and standardised elements available in Denmark (eternit plates, standardized windows, cooper plates, precast concrete structures,…) and its original, understood as inventive and genuine, joining solutions 2), Specially tectonic-wise, but also spatial-wise, HCH´s works are basically composed by the repetition of certain materials, details and elements within the same building but also when taking into account all HCH´s buildings 3), HCH´s works demonstrate intensity and coherence across all scales, from the urban context to the interior design and vice versa 4) and it is possible to identify HCH´s works within the same kind of architecture works, understood as the original meaning of nature -derived from Latin the word natura, or 'essential qualities, innate disposition-.

The project is based on an inductive methodology which takes as point of departure HCH´s 15 built works together with the drawings and memories from the Byggesagsarkiv in Copenhagen and uses mostly architecture specific tools to analyse the works.

The outcome of the project will 1), give to know the works of HCH, a somewhat neglected particular trend in Danish architecture 2), open a window to investigate the Danish Welfare State architecture from a new and more close-up perspective, the built works 3), contextualise HCH´s works within two main architecture history themes as the 'the classic tradition' and 'vernacular architecture' 4) and moreover, strengthen the relation between practice and academy.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/10/201631/12/2020