This paper aims at describing a number of conservation projects carried out in Berlin in the last fifteen years which illustrate the use of a particular methodology in conserving and utilising historical structures. The approach described aims at the conservation of existing constructions or ruins, and their re-use through minimal intervention which may render these structures relevant in today’s society. The examples cited include churches, museums, institutional buildings, embassies, public structures and spaces for cultural use. Case from the Sixties are also cited in that they too offer an example of this kind of approach. In analyzing these cases, various themes are tackled, primarily the need to marry the ancient with the modern. This difficulty results from a contemporary need to ensure that our heritage survives by allocating a use to the building, the failure to do so would result in the slow demise of these historical structures. Such themes, the object of debate for decades, still require further thought and analysis. In fact, very often restoration projects still consist of simple cosmetic intervention, whilst new buildings are designed with an inappropriate stylistic architectural aesthetic, mostly styles which aim at copying or simulating the architectural language of the past. Such practices fundamentally contradict the very nature of both good architecture and today’s universal principles of conservation; principles that must be based on the criterion of any addition being distinguishable from the authentic historic construction. The Berlin case studies are examples of conservation that respects the figurative and materical aspects of the historical fabric whilst the contemporary additions are designed so as to become a new element that does not detract from the value of the original parts. In this way, the old and the new are distinct, demonstrating successfully the possibility of a dialogue between quality architecture of both the past and the present.

Redefining the historical buildings of Berlin

GIANNATTASIO, CATERINA
2008

Abstract

This paper aims at describing a number of conservation projects carried out in Berlin in the last fifteen years which illustrate the use of a particular methodology in conserving and utilising historical structures. The approach described aims at the conservation of existing constructions or ruins, and their re-use through minimal intervention which may render these structures relevant in today’s society. The examples cited include churches, museums, institutional buildings, embassies, public structures and spaces for cultural use. Case from the Sixties are also cited in that they too offer an example of this kind of approach. In analyzing these cases, various themes are tackled, primarily the need to marry the ancient with the modern. This difficulty results from a contemporary need to ensure that our heritage survives by allocating a use to the building, the failure to do so would result in the slow demise of these historical structures. Such themes, the object of debate for decades, still require further thought and analysis. In fact, very often restoration projects still consist of simple cosmetic intervention, whilst new buildings are designed with an inappropriate stylistic architectural aesthetic, mostly styles which aim at copying or simulating the architectural language of the past. Such practices fundamentally contradict the very nature of both good architecture and today’s universal principles of conservation; principles that must be based on the criterion of any addition being distinguishable from the authentic historic construction. The Berlin case studies are examples of conservation that respects the figurative and materical aspects of the historical fabric whilst the contemporary additions are designed so as to become a new element that does not detract from the value of the original parts. In this way, the old and the new are distinct, demonstrating successfully the possibility of a dialogue between quality architecture of both the past and the present.
978-9957-8602-7-1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/21919
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