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Protecting the Authenticity of a Buildings Fabric. To what extent does heritage-focused tourism conflict with or reinforce authenticity?

Conservation and Regeneration Principles and Approaches

Akademische Arbeit 2017 14 Seiten

Kunst - Architektur, Baugeschichte, Denkmalpflege

Leseprobe

Inhalt

1. Fuzer Castle: The Value of Destruction

2. Castle Garden Bazaar, Hungary: Reviving the Essence of Monuments

3. Three-Dimensional Virtual Reconstruction: An Alternative Approach

4. Conclusion

Bibliography

Imagery Sources

Although the concept of authenticity is widely used in architectural and everyday language, its limitations have been gradually revealed overtime[1]. There is in fact a fine line between the concept of fabric authenticity and heritage focused tourism. The most valuable form of man-made touristic attractions are ones which do not merely replicate the building’s physical appearance, but bring modern society closer to the historical, cultural or ethical values that the restored monument embodies. According to Urry, “the search for authenticity is too simple a foundation for explaining contemporary tourism”[2], because the concept of authenticity extends far beyond constructional honesty. In fact, Trilling – author of Sincerity and Authenticity – finds it important to draw a clear distinction between the old and the new paradigm of authenticity. According to him, authenticity today is a “formula to remain true to oneself”[3], which is not to be mistaken with the old interpretation of being a ‘morally sincere person’[4]. Thus, rather than simply focusing on material and structural honesty, other factors associated with the tourist’s experiences also have to be considered, such as being true to the traditional construction methods of different eras and designing for modern society by keeping the original functions of the spaces in mind. Therefore – using two Hungarian case studies – this essay will argue that although preserving the tangible heritage is an essential part of building conservation, it can only be truly authentic if the intangible heritage is carefully incorporated and designed for as well. Furthermore, the essay will challenge the idea of physical reconstruction and evaluate new ways of conserving buildings using the technological advancements of the 21st century.

1. Fuzer Castle: The Value of Destruction

Successful conservations preserve both a building’s physical substance and immaterial essence.[5] In addition to conserving the building’s physical values, external spaces and landscaping are crucial features in capturing the historical essence of buildings.[6] Since the medieval fortress at Fuzer was built on top of a five hundred meter high volcanic mountain in North-East Hungary[7] inside the Aggtelek National Park, particular attention had to be paid to preserving the overall landscape, as well as the existing natural habitat. Thus, the reconstructed castle’s design did not only have to complement its surroundings, transferring materials on site had to be completed without destroying the natural habitat, such as the protected plant species[8].

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1 (left) panoramic view of Fuzer Castle (right) protected orchid family plant species surrounding castle

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Figure 2 (left) Fuzer Castle in 1980 (right) Fuzer Castle today

Although there is no evidence confirming the construction date of Fuzer Castle, it is first mentioned in 13th century documents[9]. Since the castle had several different owners and users over time, its structure has undoubtedly gone through numerous architectural alterations. Unfortunately, very few documents remained to prove these structural transformations.[10] On the other hand, archaeological findings of the castle ruins helped to determine the exact locations of the castle’s sheer and exterior walls[11]. Furthermore, the internal decorations were led by the detailed spatial descriptions explained in the inventories from the 17th century[12].

Today, the castle’s lower level museum exhibits the excavated original stone structures in chronological order. Since there was no evidence of their exact location within the castle, their honest exhibition – where new structures fill in the gaps between the original pieces – demonstrates a truthful appreciation of the excavation to the visitors without structural and historical falsification, and thus heritage-focused tourism compliments the castle’s honest reconstruction. Furthermore – as the Hungarian historian and castle warden explained – traditional construction methods were used for all newly applied timber structures, which are the perfect representation of preserving the craftsmanship of the time[13].

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Figure 3 (left) Exhibition of reconstructed window detail clearly indicating original pieces

(right) Wall display of excavated stones

The castle chapel’s structure reveals the architect’s fascination for preserving the authenticity of fabric as well as its historic narrative. It does more than indicating the difference between the old and the new structures. Conservators and curators were aware of the responsibility they had in taking an active role in the monument’s unfolding semiosis[14]. Over the centuries, due to the increasing vertical loads and lack of lateral support, the chapel’s southern wall significantly moved out. Hence, structural failure occurred and the wall began to crack. Instead of demolishing and rebuilding the entire façade, conservation architects found it important to preserve the language of destruction in the building’s reconstruction[15]. They understood that similarly to historians, the role of architects “is to discover truth, not to manipulate information”[16]. This element of destruction – a historical value – is emphasized by manipulating the reconstructed wall in order to show the 27cm[17] horizontal movement of the wall through the stepping nature of the parapets, stone seats and the gaps between the ribs of the vaulting (Figure 4). This romantic symbolism of the structure’s destruction over time does not only prevail the building’s historic heritage, it also clearly indicates structural honesty, as the visitor understands that the vaulting’s load does not rest on the columns; it is instead suspended from a new structure introduced at reconstruction phase. Despite such poetic material honesty, the authenticity of fabric may be questioned due to the haphazard tiling, as there was no historic evidence of the original tile patterns. However, the colour proportions correspond with those of the archaeological excavations; since the majority of excavated tiles were green ‘salt-washed tiles’[18], most of the reconstructed tiles are also green and traditional methods were used for producing them. Furthermore, due to the lack of information about the historic window details, the reconstructed windows were created by a contemporary glass artist, using exaggerated geometric shapes[19] to prevent visitors from perceiving it as part of the original structure. As Ruskin states “architecture [is] a record of continuity between the ages”[20] and Fuzer Castle stands as a perfect example of how the “building fabric re-enters the realm of meaning […] through the act of curation”[21]. Hence, the reconstruction of Fuzer declares an honest compromise between the new and the old, the built and destroyed as well as the known and the unknown and demonstrates that despite the lack of historic evidence, heritage-driven tourism can certainly enhance fabric authenticity.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 4 (Top centre) Dislocated vaulting ribs and contemporary window design

(Bottom left) ‘Salt-washed’ tile patterns (Bottom right) Gradually stepping parapet

2. Castle Garden Bazaar, Hungary: Reviving the Essence of Monuments

Várkert Bazaar[22] in the heart of Budapest is a perfect example of an exterior conservational approach, where the spirit of the late 19th century space lives on within its contemporary use. The Bazaar was severely damaged over World War Two[23]. Although certain segments have been permanently closed down due to its poor condition, from 1961 onwards it became known as the Buda Youth Park and offered a popular, cultural entertainment venue. It held significant communal heritage ever since. In 1984, the Bazaar was shut down due to its life-threatening conditions[24] and reconstruction works only began in 2011[25].

In contrast to the Fuzer Castle, architectural drawings, photographs and archive documents as well as the site excavations allowed for an accurate reconstruction of the Bazaar[26]. In fact, the primary objective of the reconstruction was to preserve every detail of the original structure[27]. The contemporary building additions remain hidden from the exterior structure, which was preserved with the glory of the 19th century. Similar to Fuzer Castle, the role of the Bazaar’s restoration was not to represent, but to make present the vital historic moments of the past[28] ; to create an architectural element of the past that actively lives on in the present.

Concern for authenticity of fabric was expressed by drawing a distinctive, yet subtle line between the old and new constructions. Instead of filling the walls in with sandstone – which is rather easy to source in Hungary - the dilapidated historic walls were filled in with terracotta coloured bricks to achieve an honest reconstruction (Figure 6).

[...]


[1] Ning Wang, ‘Rethinking Authenticity in tourism experience’ (Great Britain: Zhongshan University, 1999) p. 210

[2] Ibid.

[3] Lohmann, Gui, and Alexandre Panosso Netto. Tourism Theory: Concepts, Models and Systems. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International, (2017) p. 41.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Alan Powers, ‘Style or Substance? What are we trying to conceive’ Preserving Post-War Heritage (Shaftesbury: English Heritage, 2001) p.8

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid. p. 8

[8] Ferenc Konya, Interview with Ferenc Konya (interviewed by Fanni Csepeli) (Fuzer: 2017)

[9] Várkonyi Gábor, ‘Vár állott, most kőhalom’, Orszagepito, 02 (2016) p. 5

[10] Várkonyi Gábor, ‘Vár állott, most kőhalom’, Orszagepito, 02 (2016) p. 7

[11] Konya, Ferenc, Interview with Ferenc Konya (interviewed by Fanni Csepeli) (Fuzer: 2017)

[12] Várkonyi Gábor, ‘Vár állott, most kőhalom’, Orszagepito, 02 (2016) p. 7.

[13] Konya, Ferenc, Interview with Ferenc Konya (interviewed by Fanni Csepeli) (Fuzer: 2017)

[14] Paul Eggert, Securing the Past, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 238

[15] Gábor Várkonyi, ‘Vár állott, most kőhalom’, Orszagepito, 02 (2016) p. 19

[16] Alan Powers, ‘Style or Substance? What are we trying to conceive’ Preserving Post-War Heritage (Shaftesbury: English Heritage, 2001) p. 4

[17] Fuzer Var Museum, A Fuzeri Var (Fuzer: 2017)

[18] Konya, Ferenc, Interview with Ferenc Konya (interviewed by Fanni Csepeli) (Fuzer: 2017)

[19] Ibid.

[20] John Ruskin, Lamp of memory. 7th edition (London: Penguin, 2008) p.324

[21] Paul Eggert, Securing the Past, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 42

[22] As its name rightly suggests, Miklos Ybl originally designed the Bazaar for commercial purposes between 1875-1883 (‘Történet.’ Várkert Bazár. Szechenyi. <http://www.varkertbazar.hu/hu/tortenet > [10 Apr. 2017.] )

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Történet.’ Várkert Bazár. Szechenyi. <http://www.varkertbazar.hu/hu/tortenet > [10 Apr. 2017.]

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Paul Eggert, Securing the Past, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p . 15

Details

Seiten
14
Jahr
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668561632
Dateigröße
2.4 MB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v378066
Institution / Hochschule
University of Sheffield – University of Sheffield
Note
75%
Schlagworte
architecture authenticity fabric tourism reconstruction conservation destruction Hungarian castle Fuzer castle curation Varkert Bazaar interactive structures virtual reconstruction Coventry Cathedral ICT Information Communicaton Technology digital technologies traditional reconstruction substance essence past present

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Titel: Protecting the Authenticity of a Buildings Fabric. To what extent does heritage-focused tourism conflict with or reinforce authenticity?