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Monday June 17th 2019

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That's what she said

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Rethinking Preservation — A Vision for Civic Conservation


By

“It sometimes feels as if cities like Paris and Venice have been coated with formaldehyde and turned into museums. The old formulas of ‘respecting context’ won’t work. We must create a new context and puncture past beauty with raw, powerful contemporary architecture—buildings that shock and amaze and bring out the romance of relics of Victorian and ancient times. It was once true that the palace, Palladian villas, and churches were architectural, while the other structures in a city were just buildings. But I think the art of architecture is ready to come out in every single structure we erect.”

– Daniel Libeskind

“…the answer to the problems of historic cities is neither sequestration nor ‘penetration’ but integration on the basis of knowledge and respect. Those of us who love beautiful historic cities and monuments must insist that economic authenticity and vitality for historic places require an architectural culture in which new and old are partners instead of antagonists… [We should] Change contemporary architecture from being the enemy of beauty to being the agent of its loving care. Train young architects in knowledge and respect for what is beautiful, sustainable and just in the historic environment and equip them with the skills needed to make more of it. Then we can put away the formaldehyde and instead nurture our cities with an economy and a building culture that will keep them alive, not as museums but as living cities once again available to all.”

– Steven Semes

Read the arguments and view the images in this debate at: Rethinking Preservation — A Vision for Civic Conservation.

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