1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Architectural Reconstruction

Edited By Zoltán Somhegyi, Lisa Giombini Copyright 2024
    424 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This companion investigates the philosophical and theoretical foundations determining the conditions of possibility and the limits that make the conservation, readaptation, and transformation of past buildings legitimate operations.

    As increasing ecological and economic challenges question opportunities for new construction, the process of restoring, transforming, and readapting buildings for new or continued use is becoming an essential part of architectural practice. At the same time, the role of building conservation is changing from mere material preservation to being part of a broader strategy for social regeneration, eco-awareness, and inclusive urban planning. Chapters of this volume explore the complex set of considerations that inform decisions to merely preserve, accurately restore or variously reuse a building. They also look at the broader philosophical concerns such as ethical and aesthetic values, combined with ideas of heritage, history, and collective identity. Case studies on reconstruction after war, gentrification, the restoration of ancient edifices, reconstruction following the effects of climate change, and the use of technology solutions among many others, make this a timely and urgent volume.

    Adopting a broad transcultural perspective with contributions from five continents, the volume combines theoretical approaches with more practical, case study-based investigations and will be of great interest to upper-level students and academics working in the fields of architecture, conservation, urban design, aesthetics, and heritage management.

    Rethinking, restoring, readapting: An introduction to the philosophy of architectural reconstruction

    Zoltán Somhegyi and Lisa Giombini

    PART I: Theoretical inquiries

    1. Theory and practice in heritage decision-making

    Derek Matravers

    2. Lives and afterlives of architectural objects

    Saul Fisher

    3. Integrity in cultural heritage preservation: Unveiling the challenges

    Lisa Giombini

    4. Preservation as a moral disposition: The values embedded within cultural heritage

    Eduardo Romero de Oliveira

    5. Narrative meaning and the reconstruction of architectural heritage

    Joshua Lewis Thomas and William Bülow

    6. Questioning heritage

    Max Ryynänen and Ksenia Kaverina

    PART II: Applying theories

    7. Regenerating heritage processes and practices in historical reconstruction

    Cornelius Holtorf

    8. Narrative and the legitimacy of change to historic buildings

    Nigel Walter

    9. How to conserve a fake ruin? Heritage dilemmas between aesthetics and practice

    Zoltán Somhegyi

    10. Heritage, biophilic reconstruction, and climate change

    Barry L. Stiefel

    11. The use of light installations in architectural reconstruction: New technological solutions for the public sphere

    Ryan Mitchell Wittingslow and Sannah Lehtinen

    12. Reusing Roosevelt? Tainted monuments and the architectural reuse strategy

    Sandra Shapshay

    PART III: Areas and districts

    13. Aesthetics in a renovated city: Historical view of mundane Cityscape in Modern Japan

    Daiki Amanai

    14. The transformation trap: Redeveloping the historic Chinese Baroque area in Harbin

    Wenzhuo Zhang

    15. The question of Al Seef in Dubai. A case of historicist architecture compared to the global principles of architectural heritage

    Cristiano Luchetti

    16. The Swahili House - a heritage in the East African City

    Peter Amalo Makachia

    17. Post-war ruins: Relics of the past or unwanted "urban scars." Reconstruction of the dissonant heritage of the Recovered Territories in Poland

    Małgorzata Nieszczerzewska

    18. Architectural reconstruction reconsidered: Cases from the postwar reconstruction of Germany

    Rumiko Handa

    19. Miami Art Deco architecture, climate change, and puzzles for historic preservation

    Elizabeth Scarbrough

    PART IV: Buildings

    20. "This magnificent pile". The cathedral of Trondheim from ruin to heritage

    Anne Eriksen

    21. The restoration of Chartres Cathedral: Theories and practices

    David A. Scott

    22. "To build still more deliberately": Architectural reconstruction and the house that Thoreau built

    Ivan Gaskell

    23. When memory fades and resources run dry: Three cases of neglect and loss

    David A. Gerber and Carolyn Korsmeyer

    24. Restoration and adaptive reuse of the Fişekhane (cartridge factory) in Istanbul – a case of sustainable rehabilitation in the context of a profit-seeking real estate development scheme

    Emin Mahir Balcioğlu

    25. An imitation game: Restoration and intangible heritage at the Bletchley Park Huts, UK

    Johnathan Djabarouti

    26. Architectural conservation in Nairobi: The Don Bosco shrine

    Lydia Muthuma


    Zoltán Somhegyi is an art historian, holding a Ph.D. in Aesthetics and a Habilitation (venia legendi) in Philosophy. Currently he is Associate Professor of Art History at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary.

    Lisa Giombini is a Research Fellow in Aesthetics in the Department of Philosophy, Communication, and Performing Arts at Roma Tre University.