chapter  1
Home and community
Issues of public concern at the turn of the 1960s in Scotland
BySandra Costa Santos, Nadia Bertolino, Stephen Hicks, Camilla Lewis, Vanessa May
Pages 10

This introductory chapter sets the historical and theoretical context of this book’s case study: Basil Spence’s Claremont Court housing scheme in Edinburgh (1959–1962). In order to provide the outlines of the discussion, the chapter is structured around 2 interrelated aspects: the contemporary demand for (materially) improved homes in response to overcrowded “slums”; and the public concern for community disintegration as a result of the relocation of tenants. The main focus of the Scottish housing drive in the post-war was demolishing “slums” and replacing them with modern social housing. This introductory chapter explores the fact that architects also saw social housing as way to materialise a wider theoretical discourse on “home” through innovative spatial layouts. But the chapter also highlights the case that, when designing social housing, architects were responsive to the public’s fear for social alienation. This public concern was the result of sociological assessments of post-war housing estates that reported a loss of community. Consequently, both the architectural avant-garde and the architectural establishment set to recover communities through social housing design for “planned communities.” Within this context, the chapter presents Claremont Court as a relevant case study to explore connections between architecture, home and community.