Contemporary design in restoration
Does an historic building restored in a contemporary style also have a place on intoHistory?
This question is worth considering on a case by case basis. The Venice Charter, well known by heritage restoration specialists, stipulates that missing historic parts to be rebuilt should “bear a contemporary stamp”. It all depends how such work is interpreted and carried out: is contemporary design in restoration intended to enhance the memory of the site, or has it been deliberately designed as an artistic creation to be seen as such?
Some modern renovations are so harmoniously incorporated in the historic building that they serve to reinforce its heritage structure. On the other hand, an historic building whose vestiges have been overwhelmed by contemporary architecture or occluded by a very striking modern design, loses much of its ability to transmit any historical buzz.
An “on the spot” criterion which can easily be tested: do you really “wake up in another era” in the rooms of this site? (not all the rooms in the establishment need to have the same ring of authenticity).
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