• 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

  • Joelho 8 - Ideas and Practices for the European City


    The issue #8 of Joelho - Journal of Architectural Culture has just been published. This issue, dedicated to the theme "Ideas and Practices for the European City", was co-edited by José António Bandeirinha (CES, DARQ, UC) Luís Miguel Correia (CEIS20, DARQ, UC) and Nelson Mota (TU Delft). Joelho 8 publishes contributions from Ákos Moravánszky, Irina Davidovici, Matthew Teissmann, Alexandre Alves Costa, Chiara Monterumisi, Harald Bodenschatz, Joana Capela de Campos and Vitor Murtinho, Platon Issaias, Kasper Lægring, Nuno Grande and Roberto Cremascoli, and Jorge Figueira and Bruno Gil. These scholars discuss the multiple facets of the European city as the vital locus for the historical processes that populate our imagination as urbanites. In three complementary parts - Discourses, Projects, and Reviews - Joelho 8 presents a critical cross-section of ideas and practices for the European City developed over the last century. The articles included in this issue discuss several instances of the European city as a palimpsest, a physical and mental support where multiple historical phenomena are overlaid. Looking from different intellectual perspectives, Joelho 8 shows the European city as a place of coexistence, a stable, yet dynamic, organism against which the flow of time and the accumulation of experiences takes place. Joelho 8 allows us to travel in time, navigating through different aspects that have contributed to make the European city a cherished repository of collective memory and a shared cultural heritage.

  • Joelho 7 - Learning from Modern Utopias


    With the crisis of modernism, modernist utopias came to be seen as the cause of the fragmentation, suburbanization and dehumanization of the city and as a tool in the hands of real estate speculation. However, modernist utopias were critical visions committed to social, humanist and technical research for the improvement of living conditions in the industrialized city. On the one hand, one cannot deny the modernist attempts to reconcile the urban predicaments raised anew by the industrialization process and the creation of a new, post-industrial social condition. On the other hand, it can be argued that the problems the contemporary city has to deal with have much in common with those that gave rise to the modernist utopias: bigness and high density, circulation and traffic congestion, public health and social changes, cultural identity and technological development, capitalist profit and corporate power. It is therefore to be expected that links should be found between those utopias and contemporary strategies of urban design. The challenge launched by Joelho for this issue aims at exploring these links.