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Rural Utopia and Water Urbanism: The Modern Village in Franco's Spain

Author/EditorJean-Francois Lejeune (Author)
Publisher: DOM Publishers
ISBN: 9783869225050
Pub Date01/07/2021
BindingPaperback
Pages350
Dimensions (mm)230(h) * 210(w)
$42.40
excluding shipping
Availability: 25 In Stock
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Post-Civil War Spain used the countryside as locus and symbol for the reconstruction and modernisation of the state. The Modern Village in Franco’s Spain studies the reconstruction of the towns devastated between 1936 and 1939. It analyses the ideological, political, and urbanistic principles of Franco’s hydro-social programme of modernisation of the countryside through the creation of man-made landscapes (Kulturlandschaften) of dams, irrigation canals, electric power plants, and new settlements – a genuine experiment in water urbanism. The consequent strategy of interior colonisation entailed the construction of 300 new villages or pueblos, each designed as a ‘rural utopia’ centred on a plaza mayor, which embodied, between tradition and modernity, the political ideal of civil life under the national-catholic regime. In the 1950s – 1960s, a new generation of architects, including José Luis Fernández del Amo, Alejandro de la Sota, and Antonio Fernández Alba, reimagined the pueblos as platforms of urban and architectonic experimentation in their search for an abstracted rural vernacular and an organic urban form merging with the landscape.

Post-Civil War Spain used the countryside as locus and symbol for the reconstruction and modernisation of the state. The Modern Village in Franco’s Spain studies the reconstruction of the towns devastated between 1936 and 1939. It analyses the ideological, political, and urbanistic principles of Franco’s hydro-social programme of modernisation of the countryside through the creation of man-made landscapes (Kulturlandschaften) of dams, irrigation canals, electric power plants, and new settlements – a genuine experiment in water urbanism. The consequent strategy of interior colonisation entailed the construction of 300 new villages or pueblos, each designed as a ‘rural utopia’ centred on a plaza mayor, which embodied, between tradition and modernity, the political ideal of civil life under the national-catholic regime. In the 1950s – 1960s, a new generation of architects, including José Luis Fernández del Amo, Alejandro de la Sota, and Antonio Fernández Alba, reimagined the pueblos as platforms of urban and architectonic experimentation in their search for an abstracted rural vernacular and an organic urban form merging with the landscape.

Jean-François Lejeune, PhD, is a professor of architecture, urban design, and history at the University of Miami School of Architecture. His research ranges from Latin American architecture and urbanism to twentieth-century vernacular modernism in Spain and Italy. His publications include The Making of Miami Beach 1933 – 1942: The Architecture of Lawrence Murray Dixon (Rizzoli, 2001), Cruelty and Utopia: Cities and Landscapes of Latin America (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005), Sitte, Hegemann, and the Metropolis (Routledge, 2009), Modern Architecture and the Mediterranean (Routledge, 2010), and Cuban Modernism: Mid-Century Architecture 1940 – 1970 (Birkhäuser, 2021). He is the secretary of Docomomo US/Florida and was an Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2007.

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