Article (Scientific journals)
The Twentieth-Century Ministerial Office Building as a Laboratory of Government
VAN DE MAELE, Jens
2021In Moderne Stadtgeschichte, (2), p. 147-166
Peer reviewed
 

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Abstract :
[en] Within the historiographical field of “political architecture”, ministerial office buildings have always been a somewhat marginal subject, undeservedly deemed of secondary importance in relation to more “representative” types of political buildings. Dwelling on the insights of the nineteenth-century essayist Bagehot and the office historians Duffy and Gardey, my contribution postulates that from the early twentieth century onward, ministerial office architecture has become an essential functional component of any political configuration, as well as a phenomenon defined by a complex interrelationship between physical realities and managerial norms. Even though various historiographical contributions from the last two decades have successfully scrutinised the reciprocal conceptual relations between politics and architecture in relation to ministerial offices, the huge influence of internationally circulating managerial norms such as Taylorism has strangely remained under the radar. Using the example of Belgium during the interwar period, I seek to demonstrate how such norms were strongly mobilised when new ministerial office buildings were planned, and how their propagators even considered “modern” and “efficient” office architecture to be an agent of broad social reform. With this case study, I would like to call attention to the need for a transnational comparative perspective covering the intermingled domains of politics, architecture, and management.
Research center :
- Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) > Public History and Outreach (PHO)
Disciplines :
History
Author, co-author :
VAN DE MAELE, Jens  ;  University of Luxembourg > Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) > Public History and Outreach
External co-authors :
no
Language :
English
Title :
The Twentieth-Century Ministerial Office Building as a Laboratory of Government
Publication date :
2021
Journal title :
Moderne Stadtgeschichte
ISSN :
0340-1774
Publisher :
Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik, Berlin, Germany
Issue :
2
Pages :
147-166
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
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since 14 January 2022

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