Neighbourhood: A Threatened Heritage in Contemporary Europe




Europe is currently experiencing an identity crisis. The defence mechanisms of the material heritage are presently insufficient to safeguard the significant European intangible heritage: people and their citizen relations gradually conquered throughout history, based on values ​​of proximity, tolerance and multiculturalism; in brief, on the basis of the "neighbourhood" exercise, a concept intrinsically linked to the idea of ​​Europe. What social heritage should be safeguarded against such phenomena as “ghettoization”, “gentrification” and “touristification” in European cities? This article focus on four neighbourhoods designed by Álvaro Siza, in Venice, The Hague, Berlin and Porto, but above all on their exhibition at the XV Venice Architecture Biennale, in 2016, and concomitant analysis, seeking to rediscover these places where a Europe of many identities still resides and is made up of multiple neighbours.


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Author Biographies

Nuno Grande, CES, DARQ, UC

Nuno Grande is an architect and Assistant Professor at the University of Coimbra (DARQ/FCTUC), where he obtained his PhD (2009). Guest Lecturer at the University of Porto (FAUP), where he obtained his degree in Architecture (1992). Researcher at the Social Studies Centre (CES), University of Coimbra. He was cultural programmer and curator: at Porto 2001 and Guimarães 2012, both European Capitals of Culture; at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2007 and São Paulo Architecture Biennale 2007 (with J. Figueira); at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 (with R. Cremascoli). He is author of several books and essays on Portuguese Architecture, in Portugal and abroad.

Roberto Cremascoli, COR arquitectos

Roberto Cremascoli is an architect, curator, and editor. He is the co-founder of the studio COR Arquitectos (Cremascoli Okumura Rodrigues) in Porto. Among the studio’s projects we may find the refurbishment of Grande Hotel do Porto and NAC,  the contemporary art centre of Marinha Grande, as well as Piazza Garibaldi and Salita di San Paolo in Cantù. He was Porto Poetic curator at the Milan Triennale (2013), and Álvaro Siza, Inside the human being at MART Museum in Rovereto (2014). In Rome (2016) he was responsible for the scientific content of the exhibition Álvaro Siza, Sacro, at MAXXI, and co-curator of the exhibition Álvaro Siza in Italia - Il Grand Tour 1976-2016, at the National Academy of San Luca. Still in 2016, he was co-curator of the Portuguese representation in the XXI Milan Triennale, with Objects after Objects, and with Nuno Grande in the XV Venice Biennale of Architecture, with Neighbourhood, Where Alvaro meets Aldo.