Joelho 9: Reuse of Modernist Buildings: pedagogy and profession


Reuse of Modernist Buildings: pedagogy and profession

Invited editors: Michel Melenhorst, Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Paulo Providência


As the story goes, the once-famous Dutch architect Piet Blom liked to take an evening stroll around the sites of buildings of his under construction to critically reflect on the day’s results. If dissatisfied with some beam, column or other part, he would not hesitate to write an instruction in oil crayon on the offending component for the workers, such as ´perhaps better not´ (a euphemism for remove!). For Blom, the architect who had coined the term of structuralism, to design was to solve a puzzle, in which all the pieces should fit regardless of style. Later on in his career especially, the decisions he took had nothing to do with fashion; he crafted, planed and sliced on his own half-finished buildings. Whether new or existing, finished or unfinished, it made no difference to him.

When designing new constructions, architects tend to blithely go their own way with regard to style. When working as a designer with building stock, however, you have to take a stance on dealing with the style of your predecessor(s). For a very long time, the correct ´stock attitude´ was shaped by methodologies developed in the late 19th century. Until recently, within the German-speaking context, the debate was strongly coloured by opinions developed by the art historian Georg Dehio (don´t restore, preserve!) and interpretations of the standpoints of the Austrian Alois Riegl, who was also an art historian, and his pleas for a cautious, respectful interaction with different style epochs without favouring one over the others. This was in fact all very modernist, honest and clear, and provided a counterbalance to the 19th-century eclecticism. Similar discourses and attitudes dating from this time can be found in most European countries. Two well-known representatives of this school are Heinz Döllgast (restoration of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich) and Carlo Scarpa

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n. 9 (2018): Reuse of Modernist Buildings: pedagogy and profession

Reuse of Modernist Buildings: pedagogy and profession

Invited editors: Michel Melenhorst, Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Paulo Providência


Joelho 9 integrates a set of events organized in the frame of the European Erasmus Project, ‘Reuse of Modernist Buildings’ (RMB), where scholars and students develop new pedagogical and hands on methodologies to take the challenge of adapting the huge building stock produced in the 20th century.

The educational research on the Reuse of Modernist Buildings will support the design of a
new curriculum to train architects on the methods and tools on how to transform buildings and urban areas that were planned according to the modern concepts. To frame the pedagogical approach, Joelho presents and discusses the professional production that offers the best practices on RMB.

The call for full papers opened Joelho to international contributions on the topic that give interesting scenarios on projects and pedagogies in different regions. These contributions were balanced with invited authors that presented their well- known proposals. This was only possible, due to the collaboration of several reviewers that supported the selection of the papers.

Special thanks to Michel Melenhorst, the coordinator of the RMB project, and Paulo Providência our collegue, for the coordination of this outstanding issue, that in not only a theoretical reflection but also an operative tool.

Joelho 9 also presents the 2nd RMB Workshop “Coimbra Modern City today: from functional buildings to community spaces” that joined students and teachers from five European schools in Coimbra during one week, April 2018, in the Santa-Clara-a- Nova Convent

The Reuse of Modernist Buildings dialogues with the artistic approach of Miguel Palma, an inspiring reuse of images of modernist objects (cars, airplanes, boats, bridges) in provoking collages.


Publicado: 2018-12-27

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