Duplex apartments: a modern idea about housing and the proposal of a housing typology


ABSTRACT This paper proposes to understand how the idea of modern life came about in the architectural exploits of the modernist movement, with duplex apartments as an object of analysis. The spatial arrangements linked to the duplex typology were originally related to the idea of economy in construction and to modernist discourse on the functionality of spaces, which pointed to new domestic practices by considering women’s foray into the labor market and their reduced role in the organization of home and family. Examples from various housing complexes were analyzed from the standpoint of the building’s projects and the context of their construction. The starting point was the Soviet building Narkomfin (1928) and the diffusion of the ideas of minimal housing in the national and international context. Housing complexes and apartment projects from the 1920-1960 time period were surveyed, in order to understand the emphasis given to each section of the house and how, over the decades, the underlying ideas materialized in different cultural contexts. This paper also proposes to establish a format course of the duplex typology, encompassing the circulation of ideas, transformations, and adaptations to different cultural contexts.