Thomas Geraedts Analysis on Religious Heritage Preface Table of Contents 1 – Introduction 2 – Religious Heritage 2.1 Significance of heritage First of all, a definition of the overall term ‘her – itage’ will be formed in order to zoom in on re – ligious heritage. As Wessel de Jong stated in the first lecture of Methodologies of Architectural Re – use, heritage has the following meaning. Herit – age consists of all the qualities, traditions and features that have been maintained over several years and is preserved from one generation to another. Heritage refers especially to objects that are of historical importance or that have had a strong influence on society (de Jonge, 2017). The way I perceive heritage can be formulated in a broader way.
Heritage is all the elements that surround us. For example tangible heritage: the landscape, the built environment, but as well the intangible things. It contains all the matter that our ancestors left for us.
Heritage is not just old objects left behind, but everything that was present before. The historical importance leaves us a certain value. We have to deal with this value in everything we do.
2.2 Religious heritage Vacancy is a structural problem in our coun – try, and therewithal all over the world. That’s why adaptive reuse of buildings which have lost their function is a priority for most governments (Meurs, 2016). Churches, monasteries, office buildings, farms, etc. are on that list of adaptive reuse. As Wessel says in his lecture: “a monas – tery every month, a church every week, a farmers estate every day and office blocks at even higher rates.” (de Jonge, 2017). Buildings need to evolve over time in order to fulfil the contemporary function, which is need – ed.
This essay is going to take a position into adaptive reuse of the first two types of heritage, religious heritage. 2.2.
1 Adaptive reuse of religious heritage Adaptive reuse is about the matters of conserva – tion and heritage policies. Throughout the time the built environment will diminish in use and function due to faster technical, economical or political development (Joachim, 2002). The func – tion requirement of specific building envelopes won’t fit the contemporary anymore. Especially community buildings such as churches have lost their former function. Adaptive reuse can be seen as a key factor in land conservation and to reduce the urban sprawl. In controversy adaptive reuse can be seen as an vague boundary between renovation, facadism and adaptive reuse.
There has to be an accord between historic conservation and demolition. 2.2.
2 Precedents of adaptive reuse of religious heritage Examples of adaptive reuse of churches will be discussed, thereby an opinion will be described in each case of religious adaptive reuse. In the next paragraph a position will be taken in adaptive re – use of religious heritage. 2.
2.2.a Dominican Church Maastricht A great first example of adaptive church reuse is the Dominican Church in Maastricht. The church was built in the 13th century, since the invasion of Napoleon in 1794 the church lost its function. It was used as a parish, after that a warehouse, then as an archive and the last function before the adaptive reuse was a huge bicycle shed.
This church is finally transformed into a giant book – store. The bookstore consists of a three storey black steel book framework stretched up to the stone vaults (see fig. 2.2 – 2.4).
At the back of the church vis – itors can admire the beautifully renovated ceiling frescoes originally made in the 14th century. The new function of this church is a great suc – cess. It works perfectly, there is a combination of bookstore and reading cafe, where customers can enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat (see fig. 2.5). It attracts a lot of people all over the world. I think such a success is a design goal, the church is in great use again.
With a great restoration and con – servation of the typical religious elements, plus relative small interventions this church thrives again. 2.2.2.
b Holy Trinity German Catholic Church Bos – ton The next example is a more rigorous approach of redevelopment. The Holy Trinity Church in Bos – ton, will be redeveloped to a huge apartment block. An eight storey glass-and-steel building surges out the 1877 church’s roof (see fig. 2.
6). The whole interior of the church will be demol – ished and transformed into apartments and corre – sponding functions. Is this still adaptive reuse? This example tends towards facadism. The whole inner structure will be replaced, only the facade is going to be restored. This was necessary be – cause of the economic advantage of more square metres of apartments. My opinion on this case of reuse is ambiguous.
The designers (Finegold Alexander Architects) had the choice to either demolish the church and build new apartments, or integrate old and new in a rigorous way (facadism) in order to partly behold the historical entity of the church. In this case I would prefer the facadism option, to re – develop it to economically profitable apartments and keep the historic importance. Fig.
2.3: Dominican Church Maastricht Bookstore (Photo: Perry van Munster) Fig. 2.2: Dominican Church Maastricht Bookstore (Photo: Diane Pham) Fig. 2.
4: Dominican Church Maastricht Bookstore (Photo: Diane Pham) Fig. 2.5: Dominican Church Maastricht Coffeelovers (Photo: Coffee – lovers) Fig. 2.6: Holy Trinity German Catholic Church Boston (Rendering: Finegold Alexander Architects) 2.
2.2.c Milan Church to divine office Architect Massimiliano Locatelli converted an 16th century church into his own architects office. A four storey steel structure, built in the rear of the church, accommodates offices and planning areas (see fig. 2.7). This intervention doesn’t af – fect the original structure in any case.
The steel structure is open at every side, in order to let the employees and visitors admire the original fres – coes at the ceiling and walls on different levels (see fig. 2.8).
The last level consists of meeting rooms and offices which protrudes over the fornt part, this results in an intriguing view over the entire space (see fig. 2.9). In the vaulted crypt are various functions accompanied such as the kitch – en, the model lab and a library.
In relation with the first example, this relative small intervention gives a great new function to the before unused religious heritage. The new structure collaborates with the existing and is easily distinguishable. Fig. 2.7: Milan 16th century church transformed to divine office (Photo: François Halard) Fig. 2.
8: Milan 16th century church transformed to divine office (Photo: François Halard) Fig. 2.9: Milan 16th century church transformed to divine office (Photo: François Halard) 3.1 Understanding analysis Before the goal and use of analysis will be ex – plained, first a definition from Oxford Advanced American Dictionary: Analysis – noun 1. the detailed study or examination of something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study 2.
a careful examination of a substance in order to find out what it consists of 3. psychoanalysis In order to specify analysis to our domain, the term architectural analysis will be defined by utilizing the Masters thesis by Shandiz Shahram. The first approach can be to peel of a building’s skin in order to reveal the underlaying ideas. Sec – ond to compare and realize relationships in a de – sign.
Last but not least to copy and paste compo – nents to create new links. Architectural analysis appeared in the period of modern architecture. It is used by designers as a methodology that pro – vides a vision or concept (Shahram, 2014). Martin Fowler gives us the reason why analysis is used. It helps understand the conceptual lan – guage and the underlaying ideas (Fowler, 1996).
As Marten de Jong says in his lecture, to ana – lyze is to understand what is (already) there (de Jonge, 2017). In relation with this essay it is important to un – derstand what is already there, because heritage is all about what is present. In order to design adaptive reuse, I think it is very important to val – ue the existing in its historical importance. With this knowledge and values, the designer is able to design a coherent, new function of (religious) heritage. Thereby analysis is an important aspect for com – munication towards a third party, as Fowler told us before: to understand the conceptual language. Another point of communication is that analy – sis gives the designer comprehensible starting points, that evolves into a clear concept. 3 – Analysis STOCKROOMMORGUECOMBUSTIBLE STORAGEWARDERNSTOILETSTOCKROOMSTOCKROOMDUMPDISINFECTION CHAMBERKITCHENPROVISIONSSTORAGEPHYSICIANCELLULAR INFIRMARYCOURTYARDSANITARYENTRANCEPORTALDOORMANSCHAMBERDOORMANSCHAMBER(NIGHT)REGENTSCHAMBERWAITINGROOMINTERVIEWROOMEXCISEAUTHORITIESDIRECTORSOFFICESTAIRWAYHALLWAYCELLSCELLULARHIKECELLULARHIKE Fig.
3.1: Analysis to former prison functions in order to understand the building’s structure and circularity (Own work) 4 – Position The conclusion of this essay is the position how I look upon the adaptive reuse of different given examples of religious heritage and the methodol – ogy a designer should use in order to design this reuse of heritage in a proper way.