School of Design

Postgraduate research student profiles


Isabel Rousset

Phone: (+61 4) 0167 0049

Start date

Mar 2014

Submission date

Mar 2017

Isabel Rousset

Isabel Rousset profile photo


Housing Speculation and the Search for Privacy in Late-Nineteenth-Century Berlin


This research explores key developments in Berlin’s late-nineteenth-century private housing market and considers them in the context of contemporaneous debates on the ethics of real estate speculation, the role of architecture, and the morality of private family life. Figures considered in these debates include architects, architectural critics, developers, municipal planners, and philosophers.

Why my research is important

Despite growing housing inequality, the logic of real estate continues to define our built environment. This research traces the emergence of this logic and its implications for the development of modern architecture and urban planning in Germany.

Berlin’s tenement and luxury real estate markets have long been disregarded in both English and German literature as not worthy of serious architectural consideration given their commodity status. This research addresses this gap, offering new perspectives on well-established topics in architecture such as the aims of the German Garden City movement, and the work of architect Hermann Muthesius.


  • DAAD