2019 CASE STUDIES
SHERIDAN BRUKE Keynote Speaker
Conserving Modern Heritage Places Under Pressure: The Role of Conservation Management Plans. Using Significance to guide management and sustain conservation for modern heritage places.
Modern heritage places are increasingly being recognised for their heritage significance- from nominations under the World Heritage Convention to local community projects and international social media campaigns. All too often, pressures for change and redevelopment swiftly overwhelm the opportunities for sustaining modern heritage sites, which earlier identification and management guidance can provide. This presentation will introduce the highly effective values based planning tools that have been developed for identifying and conserving modern heritage places. Tools that have proved adaptable for the diversity of sites produced in the Twentieth century- from mass public housing schemes to infrastructure systems, skyscrapers to sports stadia, urban parks and cultural landscapes.
An overview of the history, principles and effective implementation of conservation management plans (CMP), this presentation will reflect on recent practical experiences in developing management tools and CMPs for living heritage sites, sharing lessons learned that have been implemented in diverse cultural and regional contexts supported by the Keeping it Modern program.
Practical Implementation and Monitoring of CMPs. Using Action Plans and Engaging Stakeholders
A good CMP includes guidance about how it will be implemented and monitored as the implementation stage is vital to its success. Implementation needs to foster community/pubic engagement, sharing with key stakeholders why the place is significant and how it will be managed to sustain its importance. Implementation strategies involve detailing how and when to take action, identifying the priorities for conservation works; the resources (people and skills) required to undertake the work; responsibilities; and timing.
Monitoring and adjusting action plans includes the regular review of CMPs to keep up to date with changing management practices, emerging threats or opportunities or new information.
It’s essential that site owners and managers responsible for overseeing the implementation of the CMP are closely involved. This presentation will review examples of implementation media adaptable for any site- including action plans; dos and don’ts sheets; and visual devices for quickly communicating the key messages of a CMP such as snapshot summaries.
Accra Children's Library, Ghana
Ghana’s modernist heritage buildings are in danger. Decades of neglect and poor maintenance have devalued the stock of buildings, some of which are in danger of demolition. Iconic buildings of the modernist tradition owned by the government of Ghana include the National Museum, Accra Children’s Library, Independence Square, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and Bolgatanga Library, among others. ArchiAfrika believes that conservation of modernist buildings is financially, socially and culturally more viable than complete redevelopment. However, there is no legal framework to protect important buildings of national heritage from demolition.
Modernist buildings in Ghana, built in the 1950s and 1960s form an important part of our nation’s architectural, social and cultural heritage. In particular, they stand for the ambitions of a young country during the independence era. The first African architects to graduate in the profession were as determined as the political elite to escape the odium of colonialism and they turned to modernist architecture for inspiration. They were drawn to the modernist style’s rejection of ornamentation and its simplicity of form.
These architects developed an ethos that was sympathetic to African cultures and climatic conditions. By the beginning of the 1960’s, new countries of Africa needed schools, hospitals, mass housing, government buildings, sports complexes, administrative buildings, libraries which reflected their national character and ideals. Reference buildings of the modernist movement in Ghana are the Independence Square, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Accra Children’s Library, the National Museum, and the Ministry of Women and Children.
An emblem of this movement is the Children’s Library in Accra, designed by the architectural firm of Nickson and Borys in 1966. A deceptively simple façade forms a bris-de-soleil that shields a series of semi open-air spaces from direct sunlight to facilitate natural airflow and cooling. The climate-sensitive design and materials ensured effective functioning of the building without the added need for indoor temperature control, making the library a prime example of “Tropical Modernism.”
Owned by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and maintained by the Ghana Library Board, the Library is recognized as a National Heritage building by the Museum and Monuments Board of Ghana. While the building has been well-maintained over the years, it has never been upgraded nor has it been studied in any detail. In order to ensure that the building is preserved to the highest standards moving forward, a dedicated group of local experts has assembled an international team of specialists that will use the KIM grant support to collaboratively research the library complex and develop a conservation plan. The project team will incorporate training for university students from Ghana and the U.K., and the research results will be shared with international and local audiences through an exhibition about the library’s history.
Morocco - Sidi Harazem
Built and continuously owned by the Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (CDG), the Moroccan State’s Pension Fund, the Sidi Harazem Thermal Station (SHTS) was designed starting in 1959 by Jean-Francois Zevaco, a Moroccan born architect of Corsican origins. The Station was commissioned in the wake of Morocco’s independence from France, on the grounds of one of the most popular leisure and spiritual destination in the country, a hot water oasis spring, gushing near the mausoleum of the Saint Sidi Harazem, bearer of health and recovery. As the CDG’s first project and first large leisure complex in the aftermath of independence, the station’s architecture, that uniquely marries modernist rigor with brutalist undertones and traditional leitmotifs and materials, both foretold and embodies the situated modernist movement that will blossom throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s in Morocco.
Set apart from the holly oasis and mausoleum, SHTS is a massive complex composed of an entrance plaza, a pool, a hotel, 70 bungalows and two markets. These programs are organized around a vast courtyard filled with fountains, basins and vegetation, a strong echo to Moroccan traditional courtyard building typology. Furthermore, water features weave all the Station’s programs together.
Today, SHTS has undergone a series of changes that have undermined both its architecture and functionality: the closure, and subsequent weather damage, of several of its buildings, the inadequate rehabilitation of its hotel, and an ad hoc addition in front of its pool entrance. Thanks to the KIM grant, our multidisciplinary team has been developing since June 2017 a conservation management plan (CMP) for the whole SHTS complex. The CMP’s ambition is threefold:
to set best practice, transferable standards for the conservation and maintenance of modern buildings from the 1960’s-1970’s era in Morocco;
to propose a new masterplan to include the site surroundings and all the original buildings [many of which are closed today], with circulations and programs adapted to current needs of local stakeholders, whose livelihood is often tied to the Station’s manifold economic opportunities, and of visitors to the holy source of Sidi Harazem.
to raise awareness in Morocco and beyond about the importance of such a heritage and the pressing need to study it and preserve it. In fact, only the colonial era Modernist buildings in Morocco have been of interest to scholars so far.
Currently, the CMP’s phase 1 (data collection) is completed while phase 2 (diagnosis of the SHTS buildings and their infrastructure) and phase 3 (the CMP guidelines), are nearing completion. Due to the dispersal of most archival materials and the sheer size of the station, the collection phase has proven to be challenging to say the least, and my lecture at the KIMMHUP workshop will focus on the approaches and tools we have used to build a solid database to depart from in order to craft the CMP.
Uruguay - Iglesia parroquial de Cristo Obrero y Nta. Senora de Lourdes
Cristo Obrero and Nuestra Señora de Lourdes Church. Atlántida, Uruguay. Eladio Dieste 1955-1961.
Architect and engineer Eladio Dieste’s work is among the most important contributions of Latin American architecture to modernity. His work stands out for its technical, constructive, and innovative contributions, with its consequent capacity to embrace and consolidate two of the basic principles of modernity: rigor and authenticity in design. To all this could be added an inseparable link between aesthetics and the materialization of socially efficient responses to architectural demands.
The parish church was built for Catholic services in a village for people working at the Atlántida summer resort, 40 km from Montevideo. It is a small temple of one nave, with a choir. The presbytery is defined by a wall that is half the height of the building, with a distinctive Christ image designed by the Spanish sculptor Yepes. Behind this image is a small chapel with an image of the Virgin of Lourdes, the sacristy, and the parish office. The temple area is 528 m2. The reinforced masonry structure spans from 16m to 18.8m, supported on 30 cm thick walls. Natural light and stained glass enhance the architectural shapes and textures. The complex also has an underground baptistery and a detached 16 m high bell tower.
The relevance of the building lies in its proposal and construction. It creates novel structures, the reinforced masonry, from a single, simple material – brick. The architecture is the result of the construction techniques, and structural calculations. Finally, it is relevant as architecture that is both by, and for, the people, who express their pride in a work that transcends the both local and national boundaries.
The CMP, completed with the support of the Keeping It Modern program in July 2017, emphasizes the national and international relevance of the complex, and seeks to consolidate the legal and financial capacities of the responsible entities, and advance the conservation initiatives.
The Management Unit is composed of an Executive Committee and a Deliberative Committee, with the participation of institutional and social actors to ensure full citizen involvement in the management of this heritage asset.
The CMP consists of a set of 72 associated projects that combine to achieve the established overall objectives. They are organized into four strategic lines, which in turn consist of ten programs, and within which the projects that make up the Management Plan are distributed. Each strategic line follows strategies designed to face the challenges to the conservation of the Church of Atlántida and its patrimonial values. The objectives and individual results of each line will serve as a compass that will provide initial direction for the CMP and allow for adjustments to the individual projects according to the realities of the sequential execution periods, the financing opportunities, and the socio-political conditions of the natural evolution of the conservation project as a whole over time.
In January of this year, the technical file for its incorporation into the World Heritage List was delivered to the World Heritage Center of UNESCO.
Tripoli’s International Fair, Lebanon
Oscar Niemeyer 1962 - 1975
In the process of modernizing Lebanon in the early 1960s, Niemeyer was commissioned by the Lebanese government to design Tripoli’s International and Permanent Fairgrounds following his reputation at Brasilia. The project was launched during what is known to be the Lebanese golden age. It intended to reflect the country’s development and innovation in order to secure a niche in the global trade and tourism market.
Following his visit to the city of Tripoli in July 1962, Niemeyer would layout the design and concept of an unconventional permanent exhibition and cultural complex despite the fact that he reproduced similar designs he had implemented in his great Brazilian achievements: Pampulha, Ibirapaera Park and, of course, Brasilia.
Instead of following the common trend in designing freestanding exhibition pavilions for the different countries, Niemeyer conceived all the pavilions beneath a huge unifying roof structure known as the “Grande Couverture” (750 m in length and 50 m in width). This boomerang-shaped hall is the fair’s main building. A number of carefully designed modern structures are scattered yet connected with green landscapes and reflective pools. The “Lebanon Museum”, a square structure surrounded by pointed arcades; the dome-shaped experimental theatre; and the “space museum” with its heliport, an open-air amphitheater reached through a ceremonial ramp and a monumental concrete arch, a conical-shaped day care, etc.
The construction of Tripoli’s International Fair started in 1964. However, the slow pace in the project implementation led to delays and thus, several deferments of its inauguration, the last was scheduled in 1976. However, the outbreak of the civil war in 1975 led to the complete halt of this ambitious governmental project.
Following the long years of war, misuse and neglect, the fairground complex remained in a fairly good shape. Despite the partial rehabilitation in the late 1990s, Niemeyer’s project in Lebanon did not see the light. In the recent years, several large-scale development plans were opposed by academics and the interested public. Today, the complex suffers from degradation due to the lack of maintenance and proper care, needless to say, lack of a strategy and vision.
As an outstanding manifestation of modernity and modernism in Lebanon, Tripoli’s Fairground merits special attention and care while embracing development. For this reason, the UNESCO Beirut Office has worked, in 2018, with the Getty Foundation through its “Keeping it Modern Initiative - KMI’’ in order to secure funds towards the development of a conservation management plan for Tripoli’s International Fairground.
In January 2019, UNESCO has initiated the data collection phase and archival research in order to understand the context and determine the significance of the place on all levels and for the different interest groups. Currently, UNESCO is collaborating with national and international experts in the field of architectural research and conservation in order to develop the best conservation approach for Oscar Niemeyer’s International Fairgrounds in Tripoli that is compatible with the historic, architectural, aesthetic and design values of the place, in addition to the socio-economic needs and aspirations of the city and its people.
Gandhi Bhawan, Panjab University, Chandigarh
The Gandhi Bhawan is a major landmark of the city of Chandigarh, India, and a center dedicated to the study of the words and works of Mohandas K. Gandhi. It was built in 1962 by the architect Pierre Jeanneret, a cousin of Le Corbusier. Gandhi Bhawan is a testimony to the culmination of Modernism as an aesthetic, historic and inter-cultural movement in India. It exemplifies the expression of Gandhian ideals through Pierre Jeanneret’s interpretation of a modern institutional building in a newly democratic nation. Its conservation seeks not only to address its cultural, historic and aesthetic significance but also serve as resource for future conservation discourse for Modern Heritage in India, integrating new technologies and approaches with established protocols and standards.”
Making of the CMP
The Conservation Management Plan for Gandhi Bhawan was prepared by the Panjab University with support of the Keeping it Modern Grant from the Getty Foundation received in 2015 and completed in 2017. It is an integrated and sustainable management plan for this extraordinary and aesthetically appealing modern concrete building dating from 1960. The plan is based on extensive background research, testing of materials, and technical analysis by a multidisciplinary team comprising of a range of experts and organisations such as DRONAH and IIT Madras.
The plan preparation also aimed to build lasting capacity by supporting training workshops for experts of modernism in India, as well as for local professionals in the region. The plan preparation comprised of following phases:
Documentation, research and establishing significance of Gandhi Bhawan
Assessment of physical condition, use, services, management and testing of materials
Developing conservation actions and strategies
Detailing of individual proposals, secondary plans for the building and site and expanding on the implementation strategy
Training and capacity building of staff
Submission of plan after consultation with stakeholders and experts on Modern Architecture
The established significance of Gandhi Bhawan and detailed assessment has helped in charting out the policies for future conservation and use of the building. These are further detailed as clear treatment plans and action strategies along with a monitoring regime based on several tests and mock ups carried out during the planning process. The conservation management of Gandhi Bhawan includes the following:
Landscape Plan: Outlines recommendations regarding application energy efficient methods in lighting, landscaping, and other functions of the building as well as broad recommendations for internal and external environment of the site.
Conservation Plan for Building and Interiors: Incorporates conservation strategies for the building and further provide specifications for conservation work, detailed conservation and maintenance policies for structure, interiors, furniture and finishes. It also provides interior layouts and drawings and feeds the technical drawings for conservation works to determine the level of intervention required in each space.
Use and Interpretation Plan (including Lighting and Services): Specifically provides information regarding future use of spaces and reuse of areas as visitors’ orientation for interpretation of the structure.
Risk Management Plan: Integrates concerns of disaster risk reduction through identification of natural and human induced hazards that may cause risks to the site and provides proposals for reducing and managing risks to both life and the identified values of the site.
All these plans supported by specific policies for each, address specific issues and enhance the overall cultural significance of the site. These also serve as important resources for future reference as well as for future fundraising for the building as well as other structures within the campus. The detailed technical drawings for the entire site are prepared as a part of the proposed project, using the documentation in the conservation plan as a base, and reviewing the onsite condition. These are presented as a reference set of documents to be used in all implementation works on site.
Status of Implementation
The conservation management plan for the Gandhi Bhawan provides a framework for an integrated conservation planning, addressing all issues related to the building and its surroundings. The Panjab University is committed to phased implementation of this plan for sustaining the cultural significance of this Grade I Modern Heritage structure of Chandigarh. Along with implementation of the plan, the University is simultaneously focusing on capacity building and outreach activities for conservation of modern heritage in the entire campus. The implementation of this plan has been phased out into 7 sections over a course of 3 years. Few of the Conservation and Adaptive Re-Use tasks listed under Phase I have been executed under CMP in 2018. All pending works scheduled for later phases along with the tasks pending in Phase I will be carried out as further targeted funding from other sources is received by the University.
Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo
The building of the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo is an urban building due to its unique implantation on Avenida Paulista. A horizontal building, it stands out amidst the verticality of the buildings stretching along Avenida Paulista. The public ground-level plaza known as the MASP building’s free span, is a characteristic and fundamental element of the design, serving as a scenic overlook with a view toward the downtown.
It is a design that goes beyond the limits of the building and designs the block.. The design demonstrates an understanding of the territorial landscape by potentializing the geomorphology of the territory.
In the MASP building it is understood that architecture and structure are intrinsically related in an architectural-structural solution. Its bold and innovative form composes the building’s recognized image. Its spatial configuration is organized based on this solution and creates unique internal and external spaces., the main. The building reveals the characteristics of its component materials, explicating its functioning as well as the characteristics of its structure, waterproofing and technical installations.
Its visual composition – shapes, colors and textures – are part of the building’s characteristic expressivity, marked by the red color of the external pillars and beams, by the apparent concrete bearing the marks of its wooden forms, by the vegetation in the garden boxes, by the orthogonality of its shapes, by the rhythm of the metal framings of its outer glass walls and, finally, by the transparency and reflexivity of the windows.
It is understood that MASP is marked by its structural innovation. This pioneering approach is also present in the field of exhibition design: the solution of the Glass Display Easels in conjunction with their spatial arrangement in the Picture Gallery is an exhibition design innovation representing a rupture from the traditional European models that had previously been generally adopted in Brazil. Its collection is considered the most important one of European art in Brazil,recognized internationally for its relevance.
MASP’s ground-level plaza under the building’s free span is a place recognized for its use and its public dimension. A place of encounter and shared experience among a wide range of social actors, it is also a stage for manifestations of a cultural, social and political character, with the holding of shows, performances, installations, etc. This public appropriation, together with its location on Avenida Paulista are fundamental factors for MASP’s popular recognition as a symbolic
The Plan for the Conservation of MASP’s Structure, finished on January 2019 is a result of an integrated study of the questions regarding its structural system, both in the building’s technical aspects, as well as its symbolic, aesthetic and architectural dimension. The plan’s development is based precisely on the finding that the structural system is a key element for the building’s symbolic and aesthetic dimension, for its heritage status, and for the material needs of the building’s conservation. The plan establishes guidelines for the conservation and maintenance actions, and for interventions that may be necessary in the future.
Beyond the studies and tests carried out in order to better understand the structure, there is a need for a broader reading of the meanings and values attributed to the building as a whole. This approach is made, therefore, with an eye to its preservation coupled with the understanding of the need for interventions that will allow its full use based on the demands of a contemporary museum. The aim is to establish a preventative plan for maintenance and conservation actions with more rigorous criteria to serve as a basis for other everyday actions as well.
The development of the Museum’s Structural Conservation Plan is therefore aimed at:
Establishing the building’s cultural values (significance) that provide a basis for the preservation actions, in light of questions in various fields;
Establishing guidelines and parameters for preventative conservation, namely: actions that anticipate the recognized problems of an emergent or everyday nature.
Determining a plan for monitoring the structure’s deformations, setting forth what procedures are called for, and at what intervals they should be applied;
Establishing procedures for monitoring and treating typical pathologies identified in the structure;
METU Faculty of Architecture Building, Turkey
It is not an overstatement to say that METU Faculty of Architecture Building is the best product of Modern Architecture in Turkey. With its architectural elements and built-in furniture, it is the material and symbolic manifestation of the Modernist approach. Not only the architectural qualities but also the curricula of the Faculty of Architecture were motivated by a modified Bauhaus program reflected in the studio-based education system and the functional layout of the building including material workshops, open plan space distribution, transparent courtyards, exposed concrete curtain walls, large glass surfaces, brise-soleil façades and flat roofs. Designed by the architect couple Behruz and Altuğ Çinici in 1961, the Faculty of Architecture presents one of the most important success stories of Modernism in Turkey.
Rather than a single structure, the METU Faculty of Architecture building has to be interpreted as a building complex which is composed of three main structurally, functionally and administratively differentiated units: the museum (originally designed as a library), the auditorium, and the main education building. The museum and the auditorium are single-standing, cubical masses that are connected to the educational unit with a covered arcade. The architectural program of the building is distributed into physically identified volumes that are expressed with integrated cubic masses from the outside. The structural systems of these three units in the building complex are very unique, experimental and radically different from each other. Despite the variances in the structural system and the architectural elements, the use of exposed materials, the treatment of spatial qualities and the consistency in meticulous detailing, help the conception of the Faculty of Architecture building complex as a coherent whole. Particularly the use of exposed materials such as concrete, wood and brick in the walls and slabs, and the application of natural stone and marble on the floor finishing, are the main unifying elements of these otherwise fragmented units. Flat roof surfaces that are perforated with skylights, the exposed concrete surfaces that are ornamented with the texture of the wooden mould, large glazed surfaces, the concrete water spouts projecting from the parapets and the idea of open plan that is supported by an uninterrupted circulation pattern and physical and phenomenal transparencies, enhance the perception of the building as an architectural totality. From the first fan coils used in Turkey to the first application of the CIAM principles in urban scale, the Faculty of Architecture building and the other major structures in the METU campus, such as the gymnasium, cafeteria, and the main auditorium, are considered to be the earliest and the most innovative examples of the Modern Architecture not only in Turkey but also in all the region.
From the very beginning, the determination of the larger political context limited the scope of the conservation planning method applied in this project. Before the conventional phases of the conservation planning, the immediate safety of the building was a priority. Within this context, the research team set their goals as: “conservation by documentation” and “conservation by creating international awareness” in 2017. The stability of the recent political environment however, motivated the research team to follow also the conventional processes of conservation planning. Other activities that are specific to this project are the development and strategic use of a Heritage Building Information Model (HBIM) of the faculty building. With the aid of HBIM, the linear flow of the planning stages including the complex data collection procedures, has been reinterpreted with inevitable overlaps and transdisciplinary processes. (A.Savas)
The Kosovo National Library
Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo
Few modern buildings connect the past and present as flawlessly and span multiple cultures as expressively as Kosovo’s National Library in Prishtina. Reflecting on the region’s diverse heritage and distinct cultural spirit, Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic (b. 1929) sought to create an authentic national architectural expression when he designed the building in 1971.
Constructed with in-situ cast concrete, marble floors, and white plastered walls, and topped with 74 translucent acrylic domes, the library is reminiscent of buildings from Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. Despite its unified historic forms, the structure is unmistakably modern.
used new materials to evoke ancient architectural tropes, most notably the exterior aluminium lattice-wrapping, which can be interpreted either as a fishnet or a veil pointing to the area’s two predominant religions. Although reception of the design was mixed when the library opened in 1982, the building is now regarded as an extraordinary example of late Yugoslav modernism and a beloved space in the community.
While the building’s interiors suffered damage during the Kosovo War (1998–1999), its exterior escaped the conflict relatively unharmed. However, over the past several years, the building has begun to show signs of aging, most evidently though water ingress that required ad hoc repairs. Moving forward, a team of conservation specialists addressed the lack of knowledge about the building, studying and assessing its performance with the support of a Getty Foundation grant. They analysed every aspect of the building, including consulting with the architect on historic documents and his own personal knowledge of the design. Their research created a comprehensive record
of the building’s past and current conditions, which resulted in the preparation for the nomination of the library as a national cultural site. This project will serve as a model for modern building documentation in the region and will be shared with the public through an exhibition and a documentary. The project also raised awareness for preserving 20th century architecture through a series of workshops for students and young professionals in the field.
The Conservation & Management Plan is only the first step and is intended to guide the future activities, investigations and prioritize interventions. It describes the condition of the Library, assesses the damages and their severity as well as surrounding features that contribute to its current state. It also includes a values assessment and a statement of significance. The above also formed the foundation for the nomination of the Library as a national landmark.