Call for Papers: Life within ruins. Essays on architecture restoration and reuse proposals for Piscina Mirabilis

Life within Ruins. Essays on architecture restoration and reuse proposals for Piscina Mirabilis is an forthcoming book, published by Save the Heritage Benefit Corporation, including essays on the topic of Architecture Restoration from worldwide researchers and the projects on the reuse of Piscina Mirabilis, to be published on 2021. The editorial board currently welcomes abstracts from University researchers, PhD candidates, professors and any other scholar affiliated to an institution or a cultural organization.

The notion of “reuse” can be extremely related to the concept of life, and life inside space. Martin Heidegger, in “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”, explained in a phenomenological way how the main purpose of a building is dwelling, and how a building acquires meaning through the act of dwelling. According to his statement, a building (and ruin as well) can be considered alive when someone dwells it, when the space can be experienced, as the pulse of a human being is extended over the stones.

Ruins from all over the world keep telling us the stories and needs of a different millennia, historical evidences to be preserved, but, at the same time, are these buildings potentially able to host new stories, contemporary tales?

An important theorist of the XX century, Cesare Brandi, explained that the restoration project is a “methodological moment of acknowledgment”, which implies an act of identification in terms of physical elements and historical purposes. Following this definition, a new intervention with the goal of bringing back life inside a ruin, operating with an approach of distinguishable layering, should belong to the contemporary realm of architectural language, responding to present day necessities, but it should also be felt in continuity with the historical narrative of the building.

Is it possible to bring the experiential dimension back inside ruins? August Perret stated “beautiful architecture produces a beautiful ruin”, but when does a building become a ruin? when it exhausts its function and become an evidence of a precedent step of civilization? or when it is actually abandoned?

The architecture discipline, differently from art works and technological products, which uniquely belong to their time, deals with organism belonging to different ages. It has the capacity to reinvent itself and, through the resilient act of transformation, it can become something new, but still being representative of its original idea.

For more information about the different options for contributing to the forthcoming book please follow this link.

Authors should send their abstract proposal (maximum 1200 characters) by 7 January 2021 via the call for papers webpage.

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