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European sports architecture during the interwar period: reflect of European political systems; The British example


This post-doctoral project aims to compare the policies concerning the construction of sports facilities and aestheticism in sports architecture in Great Britain during the interwar period. It constitutes an important element of our scientific career plan: studying sports architecture in Europe during this period (my PhD deals with sports architecture in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany).
The project studies how sport permitted, in Europe, to define a collective identity. During the interwar period this identity is particularly national and sport is used to present the efficacy of the national political systems (Italian fascism, national-socialism, liberalism, etc.), rather than universal values. Great Britain is an interesting case, because sport is essentially organised by the private sphere, be it for the educational sport of for the important sports meetings.
My questioning focuses on the politicisation of sport: what is the specificity of British sport in relation to the other European countries? The approach to the problem by studying sports facilities is very appropriated because the substructure are the material basis which determines the meaning given to sport, that is practised there. As for architecture, it needs to use inter-disciplinar knowledge and methods (history, sociology, architecture, etc.)

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The Gateway
United Kingdom