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ArgumentNo. 9/2017

Recent architecture discourse regarding industrial heritage conversion

  • / “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania
  • / “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania


What does recent arhitecture mean? Outside the profession, sometimes also within the profession, the term „recent” is associated to „new”. But conversions and even restorations are themselves hybrid forms of recent architecture.

A conversion, understood as changing the builning's function, is based on a reverse process than designing a new building, the starting point being the existing – the building itslef and its context, towards the new programme. The negotiation between the cultural and utilisation values, the specific limitations, risks and opportunities, between the genius locci and adding new meanings, lead towards different approaches regarding the architectural intervention.

The paper aims to analyse the different approaches used in the processes of converting the valuable industrial built environment ( itself representing a "recent", "new" segment of the heritage sphere), in terms of the architectural approach and discourse, in reference to the intrinsic values, based on european case studies, from historical cities .

Thus, how do we look towards recent architecture, when referring to reusing the industrial built environment?