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Stone, S., 2019.

EAAE Thematic Network on Conservation: Workshop VII CONSERVATION / DEMOLITION

Output Type:Presentation
Venue:Faculty of Architecture CTU Prague

A city is made of buildings and streets. It is constructed from concrete and glass, steel and masonry. But a city is more than an itinerary of bricks and mortar, it is greater than the streets and alleyways, it is bigger than the rooms, squares and parks, and the funding needed to construct them. It is formed by the people who occupy it, by what they do, how they feel and the way that they interact with each other and with the environment around them. Buildings and spaces are engrained with the narrative of use over time. Walter Benjamin clarified this relationship between places and the people who occupy them: 'To live is to leave traces.'

The workshop brings together a broad range of people, from art conservators to architects, engineers, and officials, to discuss the issues that have come to be of crucial importance in the management of European cultural heritage. Considering the roles that critical reflection and academic scholarship have played in developing conservation as a cultural practice, it will explore how the EAAE Conserva- tion Network can enhance the contribution of these two basic pillars of architecture for the future of architectural heritage.
The workshop will take place in the heart of Europe: the City of Prague in the Czech Republic. It will comprise academic presentations on the issues identified below as topic areas, small, intensive group discussions, and study trips to selected sites.

I was the appointed rapporteur for thematic group 3

1. Towards the contemporary hybrid city and cultural complexity
Do contemporary cities need a blended mix of history and modernity? How does gentrification im- pact public or private spaces, their diversity, and the intricate web of relations in the city?

2. The force of everyday life
How can we strengthen the sustainability of the cultural value, ecology, economy, and prolonged life cycle of the built environment through necessary, responsible maintenance? Can we control or manage amateur alterations (adaptations) driven by consumption and commercial forces?

3. Contemporary versus traditional technologies and approaches
Are traditional and modern technologies sufficiently accessible or culturally acceptable in a con- temporary city? And what is the role of architects, conservators, municipalities, institutions, legis- lation, participation, and professional ethics?

4. The scale of new intervention versus memory
Is it possible to accept and make meaningful use of small-scale historic heritage in a contem- porary city? Or to benefit contemporary lifestyles? Using current development approaches and building processes? Can demolition be accepted as a legitimate option or strategy? Can we accept demolition in the process of conservation? Or conservation and restitution after demolition?