Hidden in Plain Sight
Politics and Design in State-Subsidized Residential Architecture
Edited by Rui Jorge Garcia Ramos, Virgílio Borges Pereira, Marta Rocha Moreira, Sérgio Dias Silva

With contributions by José Miguel Rodrigues, Rui Jorge Garcia Ramos, Paulo M. Almeida, Eliseu Gonçalves, Ana Cardoso de Matos, Mark Swenarton, Carmen Espegel, Paula Borges Santos and José Maria Brandão de Brito, Sérgio Dias Silva, Eliana Sousa Santos, Filipa de Castro Guerreiro, Vera Marques Alves, Maria Fernanda Rollo, João Pedro Costa, Tiago Lopes Dias, Maria Tavares, Teresa Calix, Virgílio Borges Pereira and João Queirós, Orsina Simona Pierini, Luis Moya, Teresa Valassina Heitor, Manuel Loff, José António Bandeirinha, Franz Graf and Giulia Marino, Gisela Lameira, Luciana Rocha, Joana Brites, and Victor Pereira. Photo essay by Tiago Casanova.


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Social housing has a long tradition in Europe. Since the early 20th century, these often anonymously built and unappreciated structures have arisen all across the suburbs of Europe’s major cities. In the multidisciplinary and international research project , the Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture has been tracing the architectural heritage of social housing.

Modern Architecture
The findings demonstrate that, in many cases, vibrant neighborhoods and entire city districts have emerged from such social housing programs. This book takes a closer look at exemplary developments in Germany, Great Britain, Portugal, Switzerland, and Spain. The case studies cover a wide range of social and historical contexts, from the beginnings of social housing in Portugal sparked by German investment during World War I to the propaganda policies associated with subsidized housing for the working class in the 1940s, and to sustainable concepts and ideas for the future. Hidden in Plain Sight offers a wide-ranging panorama that recognizes the development of subsidized residential construction as a part of Europe's cultural history and traces the important role that state-funded housing has played in the emergence of the European welfare state.

Rui Jorge Garcia Ramos and his collaborators Virgílio Borges Pereira, Marta Rocha Moreira, and Sérgio Dias Silva work at the Center for Studies in Architecture and Urbanism (CEAU), a research unit at University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture (FAUP). Since 1994, CEAU has been conducting interdisciplinary research projects such as Mapping Public Housing.

464 pages, 159 illustrations
Paperback, 17x24 cm
Park Books, 1st edition 2021
ISBN 9783038602613