The Building of Poverty

Lecturers: Dr. Britta Hentschel
Time: 16.45 h - 18.30 h
Location: HIL

Starting in late-medieval Tuscany, society’s collective responsibility for its more needy members led to the development of distinct architectural typologies for buildings intended for the poor and for charity. The large buildings that developed in the modern period to house the poor, elderly and ill, as well as for sex offenders, represent distorting reflections of social, moral, architectural and educational-theory ideas and utopias.
The ever-increasing gap between rich and poor makes this a grimly topical subject. The seminar-course aims to trace the long course of its history, from the first poorhouses in the Italian city republics, through the great alberghi dei poveri, to the further development of this type in modern prison and hospital architecture and 20th-century social housing, concluding with the most recent approaches to architecture for the poor, such as Rural Studio.


Dr. Britta Hentschel