Materiality and Immateriality of neglected historical churches: preservation and adaptive reuse
XML

Supplementary Files

Untitled

Keywords

Reversibility
Compatibility
Spirit of Place
Restoration
Atmospherological Aesthetics

Abstract

One of the more controversial topics about the preservation of disused historic buildings regards how to ensure them a sustainable future. This question is especially problematic respecting the increasing stock of worship places, like churches, fallen into disuse, closed or abandoned. The recognition and the safeguard of tangible and intangible values associated with them raise many debates on how these buildings should be protected and handed down to the future, complying with the community’s current needs concurrently. Should there be limits on reusing former worship places? Given the changing meaning of sacredness over time, how should ‘sacred values’ of disused church buildings be recognized and maintained? Can they be preserved adapting churches for new purposes? What about the building’s atmosphere? Should it be retained? Should it be adapted to the building’s new use?

These and other questions, even involving the socioeconomic sphere, notably mark the field, given that the number of disused historic and modern Christian church buildings is still increasing throughout the West. Gathering different orientations and practices ranging from the historic preservation up to the building refurbishment, the so-called ‘adaptive reuse’ of buildings has been becoming more and more often habitual within Western countries even for disused worship places. Conversions of former churches according to this trend are differently valuable from a preserving perspective, since they have often implied remarkable changes to the building’s identity and integrity, even compromising the recognition and the safeguard of intangible values associated with. How should new uses be chosen, so that they do not endanger tangible and immaterial attributes of church buildings? Is the adaptive reuse the most suitable strategy in order to approach all the cited issues?

Providing a brief overview on what the adaptive reuse of Christian church buildings fallen into disuse methodologically consists of, the study aims to suggest some answers to the mentioned questions, resorting to last specific international recommendations and guidelines. The prime limits and implications of the adaptive reuse of these buildings have been thus profiled regarding the preservation of tangible and intangible values they involve, concluding that only values centered preserving approach can provide a valid framework to face the challenge of the increasing redundancy of worship places.

https://doi.org/10.21625/resourceedings.v2i3.630
XML

References

Bäckström, A. (2004). Religion in the Nordic Countries: Between Private and Public. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 29(1), 61-74

Böhme, G. (1995). Atmosphäre. Essays zur neuen Ästhetik, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhr-kamp.

Bortolotto, C. (2014). La problemática del patrimonio cultural inmaterial. The problematic of intangible cultural heritage. Culturas. Revista de Gestión Cultural; 1(1): 1-22

Bruce, (2006). Bruce S. Secularization and the Impotence of Individualized Religion. The Hedgehog Review, Spring and summer. 35-45.

Carta, (1987). Central Pontifical Commission for Sacred Art in Italy. Carta sulla destinazione d’uso degli antichi edifici ecclesiastici / Charte sur l’utilisation des anciens bâtiments ecclésiastiques. Arte cristiana, 1987 ; 75: 410-412

UNESCO (2003). Convention pour la sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel immatériel, Paris, Unesco, 32e session, 29 septembre–17 octobre 2003. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=fr&pg=00022#part1 [Accessed Jan. 2019]

Coomans, T., De Dijn, H., De Maeyer, J., Heynickx R. & Verschaffel, B. (2012). Loci Sacri. Understanding Sacred Places. Leuven: Leuven UP; 2012

Fiorani, D. (2014). Materiale/Immateriale: frontiere del restauro. Materiali e strutture. Problemi di conservazione, 3, V-VI: 9-24

Fiorani, D. (2017). Conservation and new uses in spaces of the holy. In: Fiorani et al., 117-130

Fiorani, D., Kealy, L. & Musso, S.F. (2017). Conservation-Adaptation. Keeping alive the spirit of the place. Adaptive reuse of heritage with symbolic value. EAAE Transactions on Architectural Education no. 65. Hasselt (Belgium): Arti Grafiche.

Gibson, JJ. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception, Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Griffero, T. (2010). Atmosferologia. Estetica degli spazi emozionali, Roma-Bari: Laterza.

Griffero, T. (2014). Architectural affordances. The atmospheric authority of spaces. In Tidwell P. editor. Architecture and atmosphere. Helsinki: Tapio Wirkkala-Rut Bryk Foundation, 15-47.

Guidelines (2018). Pontificium Consilium de Cultura. Guidelines for decommissioning and ecclesial reuse of churches. Vatican, December 17th, 2018. Retrieved from http://www.cultura.va/content/dam/cultura/docs/pdf/beniculturali/Guidelines_Decommission.pdf [Accessed March 2019].

ICOMOS (2008). ICOMOS. Québec Declaration on the Preservation of the Spirit of Place. Adopted at Québec, Canada, October 4th, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.icomos.org/quebec2008/quebec_declaration/pdf/GA16_Quebec_Declaration_Final_EN.pdf> [Accessed March 2019]

Linee guida (2014). Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo. CEI. Linee guida per la tutela dei beni culturali ecclesiastici, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.beniculturali.it/mibac/multimedia/MiBAC/documents/feed/pdf/Linee%20Guida%20Tutela%20Beni%20 Culturali%20Ecclesiastici-imported-48392.pdf [Accessed Jan. 2019]

National Park Service (1992). Technical Preservation Services. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation/rehab/stand.htm [Accessed March 2019]

Nora, P. (1989). Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire. Representations, 1989; 26. Special Issue, Memory and Counter-memory: 7-24

Plevoets, B. & Van Cleempoel, K. (2013). Adaptive reuse as an emerging discipline: an historic survey. In: Cairns G, editor. Reinventing architecture and interiors: a socio-political view on building adaptation. London: Libri Publishers. p. 13–32

Resolution 916 (1989). Council of Europe. Parliamentary Assembly. Resolution 916. Redundant religious buildings. Retrieved from http://semanticpace.net/tools/pdf.aspx?doc=aHR0cDovL2Fzc2VtYmx5LmNvZS5pbnQvbncveG1sL1hSZWYvWDJILURXLWV4dHIuYXNwP2ZpbGVpZD0xNjMyNyZsYW5nPUVO&xsl=aHR0cDovL3NlbWFudGljcGFjZS5uZXQvWHNsdC9QZGYvWFJlZi1XRC1BVC1YTUwyUERGLnhzbA==&xsltparams=ZmlsZWlkPTE2MzI3 [Accessed Jan. 2019]

Robert, P. (1991). Adaptations. New Uses for Old Buildings. English translation by Murray W. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.

Rogers, S.A. (2013). Religious Conversions: 15 Houses of Worship Turned Secular. Retrieved from http://weburbanist.com/2013/09/09/religious-conversions-15-houses-of-worship-turned-secular/ [Accessed Feb. 2019]

Rosati, M. (2002). Solidarietà e sacro: secolarizzazione e persistenza della religione nel discorso sociologico della modernità. Roma-Bari: Laterza.

Rusconi, G.E. (2008). Lo Stato secolarizzato nell’età post-secolare. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Scott, F. (2008). On Altering Architecture. London-New York: Routledge..

Stovel, H., Stanley-Price, N. & Killickm R. (2005). Conservation of Living Religious Heritage. Papers from the ICCROM 2003 Forum on Living Religious Heritage: conserving the sacred. Rome: ICCROM; 2005. Retrieved from https://www.iccrom.org/sites/default/files/ ICCROM_ICS03_ReligiousHeritage_en.pdf [Accessed March 2019]

 Creative Commons License

  • The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
  • Attribution: other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;

With the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.

  • The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a pre-publication manuscript (but not the Publisher's final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access). Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
  • Upon Publisher's request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author's own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
  • The Author represents and warrants that:
  • The Work is the Author's original work;
  • The Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
  • The Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
  • The Work has not previously been published;
  • The Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
  • The Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
  • The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author's breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 7 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher's use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.