Prof. Dr. Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, Dr. Konstanze Sylva Domhardt
The Preservation of the City in the Twentieth Century
Urban Design and Building Conservation Strategies
The history of the European city is also, and indeed even especially, a history of its preservation. Already at the beginning of the previous century, in parallel with the formation of the discipline of urban planning, architects and planners began to develop an awareness of the value of our urban legacy—value as evidence, value for identification, and economic value. Against this backdrop, categories relevant to space and connected to the plane became part of architectural conservation early on, and, conversely, historical preservation guidelines had an influence on urban planning. Any attempt to describe twentieth-century urban conservation must therefore take into account a detailed examination of continuity and change in urban planning premises.
With the help of thematically grouped scholarly essays that shed light on the great twentieth-century paradigm shift in dealing with the city, this subproject studies the preservation of the city along the lines of intersection between the disciplines of urban planning and conservation. To that end, source texts are considered that reflect programmatically on the theme of preserving building ensembles, urban neighborhoods, and entire cities—position papers, manifestos and declarations, handbooks, project descriptions, and explanatory reports. This study of theoretical texts will be documented in a critical anthology and is supplemented by a comparative analysis of historical strategies for dealing with urban planning contexts in practice.
This research project is part of the federal cooperation project «Enciclopedia critica per il riuso e il restauro dell`architettura del XX secolo», in cooperation with the EPFL Lausanne and the Università della Svizzera italiana.