Subproject C03 — House and street:
Construction and representation of security in the cities
Jean Marot: Ansicht des Hôtel de la Vrillière in Paris (erbaut 1635)
The subproject addresses the visualization of perceptions of security through the architectural boundary-setting between (secure) private and (insecure) public space. It investigates the conflicts of interest and proposed solutions of actors that arose on this boundary, as well as the role of visual media in the perception and construction of this boundary-setting in the community of the early modern era. Within the knowledge systems of the era, the “house” was not just considered a building block, but also a representation of the community and the state thereof. Therefore, the house and its reproduction in images and texts show how the security and insecurity of the city were perceived by inhabitants and strangers, but also even actively designed. Along with selected imperial and residential cities of the Empire, the investigation focusses on France and the Netherlands as two antagonists which influenced each other culturally in architecture and the associated media, as well as third parties, in interdependence between each other. Using basic types of urban residential buildings, such as the Hôtel entre cour et jardin and the palace, architectural semantics and the use of the boundary and the border zone with the street are investigated, and the types of locking up and transparency of the house in relation to the street space are identified.
The analysis of the buildings and their uses as well as their representations demonstrate how securitization and desecuritization were (re-)constructed on the private-public divide. Visual sources are an important addition, perhaps even a corrective, to written standards and surveys of the security status and perception of security of the urban public space. Buildings and their use, as well as their depictions in print and painting, do not just show which social, economic and political issues were handled in the community from the perspectives of securitization and desecuritization, but define these issues, too.