From continuity to contrast: Diverse approaches to design: In historic contexts

Hotes, Robert J. (2012) From continuity to contrast: Diverse approaches to design: In historic contexts. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

In the United States, the often inherent conflict between compatibility and differentiation when dealing with new design in historic contexts is embodied in Standard 9 of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The National Park Service policy on new additions, adopted in 1967, is an outgrowth and continuation of a general philosophical approach to change first expressed by John Ruskin in England in the 1850s, formalized by William Morris in the founding of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877, expanded by the Society in 1924 and, finally, reiterated in the 1964 Venice Charter – a document that continues to be followed by sixty-four national committees of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The 1967 Administrative Policies for Historical Areas of the National Park System thus states, "...a modern addition should be readily distinguishable from the older work; however, the new work should be harmonious with the old in scale, proportion, materials, and color. Such additions should be as inconspicuous as possible from the public view." Similarly, Standard 9 of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation from 1977 states the following: New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment. Three decades after the drafting of the Standards, the issue of how to intervene within historic settings remains a subject of intense debate in the profession. Interpretation of the Standards by preservation authorities and practicing architects alike has been varied and, at times, contradictory. My research as the 2011 Richard Morris Hunt Fellow will explore the range of viewpoints in France on the design of additions and new construction in historic contexts, and this paper will present projects showing a variety of attitudes toward the pre-existing context, from stylistic continuity to striking contrast The projects—representing leading preservation architects—will illustrate diverse methodologies, approaches and degrees to which architects and preservation professionals either conform to or challenge the issue of compatibility vs. differentiation. Preservation questions are almost always regional or local in nature, since they require judgments about historic character rather than universal or abstract forms. By exploring diverse approaches to this issue, it is possible to acquire a new perspective on how this seeming contradiction might be resolved in practice both in the United States and abroad. In addition, the most pressing issue in urbanism today is sustainability, and the re-compaction and re-urbanization of our existing cities will inevitably be part of our response. The interface between historic environments and new construction then becomes a crucial issue for architects and preservation professionals committed to a sustainable future.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Hotes, Robert J.
Languages: English
Keywords: Design; Rehabilitaion; Protection; Conservation; Ancient architecture; New construction; Historic materials; Architectural features; Standards; Preservation; Case studies; Musuems ; Contemporary art; United State
Subjects: C. ARCHITECTURE > 01. Generalities
D. URBANISM > 04. Rehabilitation
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 01. Americas
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Centennial Bank / Paul Peck Alumni Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, La Jolla, California; University of Pennsylvania Music Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Melvin J. and Claire Levine Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2012 14:25
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2012 14:25

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