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What could be the thread that runs through the career of the Belgian architect Joël Claisse and the Porsche museum in Stuttgart? What do the sober and organised activities of a humanist and a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium since last year, have in common with this monumental project selected from about 170 entries that flowed in from all over the world, and cost an estimated 100 million euro? Nothing, it would seem, unless it has something to do with the degree of architectural diversity. This brings us to a discussion about symbolism in architecture and a respect for history, whether or not this concerns a project or a city. This respect increasingly forms the skeleton of architectural or urban projects. Work on the memory of the location and architectural retraining is good practice. By preserving the heritage, it avoids the trauma of the tabula rasa, and spares budgets and environmental resources. This method is most convincing if it avoids stylistic imitation, especially in the new additions. It is then, in the light of a new programme, that the designer weaves completely new relationships into functions of use and heritage values. Every re-education is a specific construction site. And if a theoretical approach to problems is necessary, the inequality of the projects implicates an experimental method as one could say that the existing tends to resist this link with new forms. Calm or daring, the play of contrasts between the materials or architectural approach with a sensitivity to detail, the work done to what exists adds an extra dynamic element. The classified or patrimonial buildings are renovated in order to restore the value of their architectural qualities, regardless of their new function. As far as industrial buildings are concerned, and they are flourishing in Europe, the numerous examples which have been saved from demolition and restored to their former glory, reveal that an extra architectural value can be added to their commercial value.
The Archi-Europe team