9 Şubat 2015 Pazartesi


Imbued with a message from the past, the historic monuments of generations of people remain to the present day as living witnesses of their age-old traditions. People are becoming more and more conscious of the unity of human values and regard ancient monuments as a common heritage. The common responsibility to safeguard them for future generations is recognized. It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity. 

It is essential that the principles guiding the preservation and restoration of ancient buildings should be agreed and be laid down on an international basis, with each country being responsible for applying the plan within the framework of its own culture and traditions. 

By defining these basic principles for the first time, the Athens Charter of 1931 contributed towards the development of an extensive international movement which has assumed concrete form in national documents, in the work of ICOM and UNESCO and in the establishment by the latter of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property. Increasing awareness and critical study have been brought to bear on problems which have continually become more complex and varied; now the time has come to examine the Charter afresh in order to make a thorough study of the principles involved and to enlarge its scope in a new document. 

Accordingly, the IInd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, which met in Venice from May 25th to 31st 1964, approved the following text:


Article 1. The concept of a historic monument embraces not only the single architectural work but also the urban or rural setting in which is found the evidence of a particular civilization, a significant development or a historic event. This applies not only to great works of art but also to more modest works of the past which have acquired cultural significance with the passing of time.

Article 2. The conservation and restoration of monuments must have recourse to all the sciences and techniques which can contribute to the study and safeguarding of the architectural heritage.

Article 3. The intention in conserving and restoring monuments is to safeguard them no less as works of art than as historical evidence.

Article 4. It is essential to the conservation of monuments that they be maintained on a permanent basis.

Article 5. The conservation of monuments is always facilitated by making use of them for some socially useful purpose. Such use is therefore desirable but it must not change the lay-out or decoration of the building. It is within these limits only that modifications demanded by a change of function should be envisaged and may be permitted.

Article 6. The conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out of scale. Wherever the traditional setting exists, it must be kept. No new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed.

Article 7. A monument is inseparable from the history to which it bears witness and from the setting in which it occurs. The moving of all or part of a monument cannot be allowed except where the safeguarding of that monument demands it or where it is justified by national or international interest of paramount importance.

Article 8. Items of sculpture, painting or decoration which form an integral part of a monument may only be removed from it if this is the sole means of ensuring their preservation.


Article 9. The process of restoration is a highly specialized operation. Its aim is to preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument and is based on respect for original material and authentic documents. It must stop at the point where conjecture begins, and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp. The restoration in any case must be preceded and followed by an archaeological and historical study of the monument.

Article 10. Where traditional techniques prove inadequate, the consolidation of a monument can be achieved by the use of any modern technique for conservation and construction, the efficacy of which has been shown by scientific data and proved by experience.

Article 11. The valid contributions of all periods to the building of a monument must be respected, since unity of style is not the aim of a restoration. When a building includes the superimposed work of different periods, the revealing of the underlying state can only be justified in exceptional circumstances and when what is removed is of little interest and the material which is brought to light is of great historical, archaeological or aesthetic value, and its state of preservation good enough to justify the action. Evaluation of the importance of the elements involved and the decision as to what may be destroyed cannot rest solely on the individual in charge of the work.

Article 12. Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the whole, but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration does not falsify the artistic or historic evidence.

Article 13. Additions cannot be allowed except in so far as they do not detract from the interesting parts of the building, its traditional setting, the balance of its composition and its relation with its surroundings.


Article 14. The sites of monuments must be the object of special care in order to safeguard their integrity and ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly manner. The work of conservation and restoration carried out in such places should be inspired by the principles set forth in the foregoing articles.


Article 15. Excavations should be carried out in accordance with scientific standards and the recommendation defining international principles to be applied in the case of archaeological excavation adopted by UNESCO in 1956. Ruins must be maintained and measures necessary for the permanent conservation and protection of architectural features and of objects discovered must be taken. Furthermore, every means must be taken to facilitate the understanding of the monument and to reveal it without ever distorting its meaning. All reconstruction work should however be ruled out "a priori". Only anastylosis, that is to say, the reassembling of existing but dismembered parts can be permitted. The material used for integration should always be recognizable and its use should be the least that will ensure the conservation of a monument and the reinstatement of its form.


Article 16. In all works of preservation, restoration or excavation, there should always be precise documentation in the form of analytical and critical reports, illustrated with drawings and photographs. Every stage of the work of clearing, consolidation, rearrangement and integration, as well as technical and formal features identified during the course of the work, should be included. This record should be placed in the archives of a public institution and made available to research workers. It is recommended that the report should be published.  


Architectural preservation has reached a point where it has to go beyond questions of resurrection and permanence. Now is the time to experiment. Now is the time to break out and challenge conventions of restoration and protection. We are witnessing a paradigm-shift as we enter a time where not only our perceived heritage is being protected, but even our newly constructed environments. As an increasing number of buildings become listed upon completion, they enter an absurd state of presence, averting any potential pain of seeing our ideals and models fail the test of time, by immediately administrating the painkillers of preservation. How then can we create an environment that may broaden the scope of architectural preservation, open to new interpretations? This year’s assignment reexamines the methods and tools of contemporary architectural preservation and seeks an answer to this very question.

Looking back at the history of preservationist practice and discourse, it becomes clear that two main topics of controversy are the concepts of authorship and authenticity. Is there - or indeed can there be - a single author of a work of architecture, or are there many? And given that all architecture interacts with its context, what then of the claim to authenticity?

A building does reach its final state upon completion. On the contrary, it is the process of building that comes to an end. The completed work, now brought into context, becomes part of the social fabric and emerges instead as an entity in constant dialogue with its surroundings, all the while changing and adapting accordingly. How then, can we determine the level of authenticity when the very notion of the “original” is fleeting at best? Over the course of history, the answers to this question have been many,andoftenconflicting.Notleastacrosscultural borders, each with their own distinct set of beliefs

The first instances of preservation as a tool for conserving and transforming the built environment appear in nineteenth-century Europe, during a period of industrial and social revolutions. The emergence of romanticism and historicism brought about not only a wish to protect that which is considered as historical, but also a desire to improve it. Preservation became an act of comprehensive historical appropriation - an associative interpretation of our historic heritage, re-enacting and activating history. This tendency, on the one hand, extended the notion of authorship and authenticity as something transmittable,whilemaintainingthebeliefthatthe creative author could determine and legitimise the work of art as inseparable from time.

The drive to preserve our historical heritage gained additional momentum with the emergence of a series of legislations, most notably the Venice Charter of 1964. that sought to secure international decrees on preservation. As a result, preservation came to be regarded as a global phenomenon with universal ideals, a practice that still dominates to this day
Bungalow Germania (2014), Alex Lehnerer and Savvas Ciriacidis, 14th International
Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
Experimental preservation
Preserving the future
Appendix, 120 HOURS 2015
under the watchful supervision of institutions such as UNESCO. Largely based on Western traditions, however, its universal application can be questioned in the face of other, especially Eastern, traditions, where the notion of authenticity is a lot more fluid and the question of authorship a lot less relevant.

“To restore an edifice means neither to maintain it, nor to repair it, nor to rebuild it; it means to reestablish it in a finished state, which may in fact never have actually existed at any given time.”1
In his recent publication “Preservation is overtaking us”, Rem Koolhaas argues that, throughout modernity, the very idea of preservation is borne as a testimony to the fact that the first laws for preservation emerge in the richest phases of modernisation. In the age of invention, improvement and evolvement, there is an increasing tendency to leave old things behind. Therefore “... the whole idea of modernization raises, whether latently or overtly, the issue of what to keep.”2

In recent decades, and spurred on by post- structuralist thought and the ambiguities of originality, the romantic paradigm of historical aestheticism has met with criticism for its practice of measuring a work’s authenticity based solely on the criteria of architectural “authorship”. Indeed, many would argue that it is high time to question the determining role of the “sole architectural inventor”. Citing Jorge Otero-Pailos, the idea of architectural preservation is not only to reveal something that is already present, but also to “... disclose architectural dimensions of buildings that were unintended by its “original”.3 According to Otero-Pailos, historic preservationists are more than extenders of some original architectural intent, they are what he labels “creative agents”, who engage with architecture and transform it into something new.

The level of authenticity is thus put into question, especially beyond our immediate notions of originality and authorship as something permanent. Needless til say, a work of art does not come about by itself, it needs an instigator. But through our experience and interactions, we ourselves become both authors and designers of its meaning. Works of architecture exist over multiple moments in time and, as such, have no “correct” stages of being. Preservation in this sense evolves from being mere reconstruction, as its design intervenes with the architecture in different stages of its being, and questions its original physical emergence and its source of inspiration.


Experimental preservation takes on the pressing need for expanding our notions and perspectives on the overall conditions and significance that constitute our common cultural heritage. As a growing discipline within the field of architecture, it not only revitalises the architectural debate, but challenges our profession to seek out new knowledge, methods and collaborative ventures with other disciplines. In light of the expanding field of preservation in general, armed with a progressive mindset and unconstrained by convention, experimental preservation can thus lend new relevance to our profession. Perhaps even as a profession unto its own, it could bridging the gap between conservation and architecture, being better equipped to bring new relevance to our extensive cultural heritage.


Remembering and unlocking parts of our history are essential components of preservation. In many ways, architecture starts and ends with preservation. To
Earth Room (1977-), Walter de Maria
Splitting (1974), Gordon Matta-Clark
engage in the historical environment, we must take into account the history of a place, and in doing so, reflect upon the values borne from history and past events that have shaped society’s collective memory. In this way, architecture and preservation become expressions of sets of memories, embodied both in the individual as well as in the collective. As such, perhaps the role -and social responsibility – of preservation is to critically interpret and conceptualise these memories.

In the case of Pyramiden, the site of this year’s competition, the architecture as bearer of memories becomes all the more important. The town was deserted over the course of a few summer months in 1998, and the chilling absence of living memory is everywhere, from the empty production lines and their eery silence, to the broken-glass windows of the empty rooms. This paradoxical presence is enhanced by the fact that these shared grounds not only embody the memories of a unique Soviet community outside of the Iron Curtain, but also the remarkable human efforts of adaptation to an Arctic climate. By reinterpreting Pyramiden in its contemporary context, experimental preservation can bring to life its remarkable history and impart on it a lasting relevance for the future.
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