Preserving Modernism

Historic Preservation

Fall 2012

Theodore Prudon, instructor

The buildings and sites of the twentieth century have become our cultural heritage. These sites present preservation professionals with unprecedented challenges of both scale and complexity that were not foreseen when heritage policies and practices were initially formulated in the nineteenth century. To achieve meaningful preservation it is not enough to understand the philosophical and aesthetic considerations embedded in this architecture but it is also necessary to fully understand the functional, practical and physical factors that may have influenced their creation and construction.

The course considered design for new or continued use needs taking account ubiquity versus significance, historic building typology versus current functionality, design intent, newness and material durability versus the importance of the authenticity of the original fabric, all of which was to be placed in the context of current code, life safety and sustainability requirements. A general discussion of issues was supplemented with examples and case studies from the US and abroad.