CALL FOR PAPERS – 14th International docomomo Conference 2016


docomomo International invites researchers and practitioners involved in the process of preservation, conservation, renovation or transformation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement, to investigate on the theme: Adaptive Re-use, The Modern Movement Towards the Future (read more on About).


docomomo International is now accepting abstracts for the 14th International docomomo Conference that will take place in Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal, September 6–9, 2016. Please submit abstracts no later than October 18, 2015 (12 pm GMT), for one of the 29 thematic sessions listed below (download it here).


Sessions will consist of four papers, followed by 20 minutes for discussion. Each paper should be in English and take no more than 20 minutes to present. Conference papers will be published in the conference Proceedings.




You may submit your abstract by visiting the Ex Ordo abstract submission system: You will be required to setup an account first.


Once registered, the submission must be done, in English, by filling the following required information:


1. Title (65 characters max) & Abstract (400 words max);
2. Authors information (Name, University/Company/Organization, Country);
3. Biography (200 words max);
4. In the “Topics” section, please select one of the 29 thematic sessions listed in which you wish to present your paper;
5. In the “Additional Info” section, please indicate your phone number and address.


Abstracts should define the subject and summarise the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. The paper’s content should be the product of well-documented original research that is primarily analytical and interpretive rather than descriptive.
Papers may not have been previously published, nor presented in public.
Only one submission per author/co-author will be accepted.
Each speaker are expected to pursue their own institutional or other support to register, and for travel and accommodation.
Read the paper submission guidelines, in case of your abstract being accepted.


May – 28 June 2015

– Call for sessions.

31 July 2015

– Call for sessions’ notification of acceptance.

3 August – 18 October 2015

– Call for papers.

30 November 2015

– Call for papers’ notification of acceptance.

14 February 2016

– Full paper submission deadline (1st version).

– Registration deadline for speakers and session chairs.

13 March 2016

– Deadline for session chairs return papers with comments to speakers.

17 April 2016

– Full paper submission deadline (final version).

– Full submission of the key lecture of the session.

6-9 September 2016 – 14th International Docomomo Conference









Marginal Landscape

During the Modern movement design approaches and attitudes to the city explored optimistic, ecologically connected, and multi-disciplinary visions. The new challenges of a post-WWII era saw the built environment professions in a state of flux, jostling for position, being delivered new types of work or going through sometimes troubling periods of redefinition. A new appreciation for the value of “landscape” played a fundamental role in contributing to quality of lifestyles, environmental well-being, and the social and cultural identities of our cities.

Yet the extent to which the designed landscape has been accepted, acknowledged and valued for fulfilling a crucial role can still be called into question. For example, the heritage movement internationally, has been relatively slower in taking account of landscapes compared to the recognition given to monuments, buildings and the like. Ultimately much territory has been won in positioning designed landscapes and cultural or organically evolved landscapes on a similar ranking to, say, architecture, but to what extent has this territory been characterised by a firm or a fragile footing? Do the distinctive qualities of “landscape” compared to architecture, planning, or even urban design contribute to any tendencies towards it becoming marginalized in the trajectory of historical research, criticism, conservation, management and even within the professions themselves?

This session welcomes papers that address marginality as applied to a diverse range of issues and wide-ranging definitions, but ultimately in relation to landscape, re-use and adaptation, within the context of Modern movement sites. To what extent is the term “marginality” relevant in the context of landscape architecture? Is “marginality” something that results in the discipline being overlooked, of a lesser status, or of being relegated to an ad hoc consideration? Have landscape concerns been placed in the logistical “too hard basket”? How does marginality in the context of geographic location (such as isolation), politics, aesthetic values, complexity of cultural layers, living qualities of landscape, variously contribute to the re-use and adaptation of significant landscapes? In the present global context of population growth and rapid urban expansion and development, the session reflects on what has occurred to the legacies and visions of landscape architecture and their place within the new approaches and challenges that exist. What is, for example, the place of landscape within organisations such as docomomo itself? What is the future of landscape heritage in the context of the challenges delivered by social acceptance, use, economics, appropriateness, worthiness, etc.? If the ongoing survival of landscape and the clarification of the role that it plays in our cities and regions are to be advanced then the special qualities that make the history of the modern landscape, in the context of its conservation and management, need to be continually clarified.

Three to four papers will be selected from submitted abstracts, and presented together with the organizers’ keynote paper. Interrogation of the theme of marginality via practical case studies, interactive formats of presentations and innovative presentation approaches are encouraged. The session will end with a discussion and closing comments.


Session Chairs: Andrew John Saniga, Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator in Landscape Architecture, docomomo ISC U+L, Australia; Jan Haenraets, Atelier Anonymous Director, docomomo ISC U+L, Belgium.


Outside In: Landscape and Building

Language biases our reading of the built environment, just as it channels so much of our general experience of the world. The traditional paring of the words “house and garden” and “inside out”—in that order, at least in the English language—suggests that it is the building which comes first in our considerations, with the exterior setting following in a secondary position. In fact, the reality is almost always the reverse. The landscape comes first—not always a designed landscape, of course, but a site with a natural and perhaps even cultural history. This session proposes to reverse the order of study, to look at the building within a landscape and the relation between the exterior spaces and those inside. The Gulbenkian setting provides a worthy example of such an integration, for example its concert hall that opens to the garden. The landscape was designed as an integral part of the Gulbenkian cultural facilities, although its design followed shortly after the building was first conceived in competition. Today it is the garden/park that prevails. Other notable examples might include Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Arizona, Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann house in California, Alvaro Siza’s swimming pools on the shore at Leça, and Carlo Scarpa’s Brion tomb at San Vito d’Altivole.

The advent of advanced building technologies, among them long-span structures and large sheets of glass that could move laterally, facilitated the reduction of wall thicknesses to thin membranes. Where the climate and social codes allowed these possibilities were broadly applied. Considerable transparency followed, as did the easy flow from outside in and inside out. In regions such as Southern California, the sliding door and the building plans reflected an increased regard for the garden spaces as a seamless continuation of living.

This session welcomes papers that investigate the formal relation between outdoor and indoor space, as well as how life was lived in the two zones—but beginning with the outside. To what degree did the site suggest the materials and character of the architecture—or purposely stand in contrast to them?  How did garden design in the twentieth century influence the design of the building? What was the nature of collaboration between landscape architect and architect? How did the process of design proceed? How did an extreme climate or harsh terrain affect the outdoor-indoor relationship? Were the effects of the passage of seasons, and the passage of time, on landscape and building equal or imbalanced? How do we deal with issues of restoration or adaptive reuse when a landscape is far more ephemeral than construction?


Session Chair: Marc Treib, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of California, USA.


Architecture and Tourism: Rethinking Modern Leisurescapes

The emergence of mass tourism in the 20th century posed a new factor in the characterization of modern society. Guaranteed the access to better working conditions and to housing, the right to “rest” was, perhaps, the most important social achievement of the century, leading to the widespread regulation of paid vacations. Leisure, perceived as an activity in itself, would gradually replace work at the basis of human relations and, consequently, of spatial organization, in the sense that to a “leisure society” would necessarily correspond new forms of territorial perception and occupation.

It is on the implications of leisure and, therefore, of tourism in the physical transformation of the territory that this session aims to reflect upon. How the democratization of travel and holidays triggered the appearance of new leisurescapes and the development of specific types and ways of dwelling that privilege social encounter, recreation and outdoor living.

This general framework expanded to different contexts, preferably natural settings such as coastal borders, including beaches and thermal springs, but also mountains, lakes and rivers, where modern architecture and urban planning helped shape the scenographies of “play” for the masses. Architecture and landscape thus assume a fundamental role in the construction of the tourist imaginary, working as mechanisms of localization of the experience of travel and explored as icons of the modern way-of-life, of which tourism is an inherent aspect.

The proposed reflection is open to contributions that focus on the ability of architecture and urban planning to meet the growing demands of tourism development, restructuring the existing landscape in order to accommodate this new activity. The aim is to convene researches that address the cultural changes introduced by tourism in modern society through the territorial and architectural responses associated to it. But, also, and possibly more relevant today, works that approach the capacity of such production to survive and adapt to the recent evolution in tourism typologies, with mass demand giving place to more diversified, specialized and segmented needs. In fact, the main challenge posed to the leisurescapes of modernity is to remain sustainable in the present socio-economic situation and attractive to the contemporary tourist, in terms of environmental quality and users amenities expectations. On the other hand, as a result, in many cases, of formal experimentation on new functional programmes and typo-morphological models, some of these same infrastructures have become out-of-date and obsolete, placing the need to rethink their purpose and future use. Still, there are also examples that convey important lessons for today, putting forward pertinent alternatives to traditional forms of urbanization, more in tune with the increasingly temporary and sporadic character of current tourism practices. In this sense, re-use can be understood in a dual perspective: material and conceptual. And it is from this standpoint that “Architecture and Tourism: rethinking modern leisurescapes” sets out to establish new possibilities of debate.


Session Chairs: María Macarena Cortés Darrigrande, Architecture School, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile; Susana LuísaMexia Lobo, Architecture Department, University of Coimbra, Portugal.




Reuse and Valorisation of Modern Architecture in Small Towns: Images, Plans, Strategies

The debate on the historical towns (from Muratori, Caniggia, Cervellati onwards and in particular from 1945 to the ’70s of the 20th Century) is still of great interest, particularly in Italy and in Europe, especially nowadays when, due to the crisis, we can see that the population moves to smaller towns, often satellite towns of major cities. The proposal aims to open a debate on the issue of historical centres in an international context, by analyzing the problems at the present time through the lens of the presence of modern architecture in small towns, topic not yet adequately debated. In this sense we could consider the stratified historical and urban context of the villages where there is the presence of modern architecture produced by the research of architects belonging to the Modern Movement during the ’50s and the ’60s.

In these contexts the modern architectures are not always understood and valued, so that often the buildings are abandoned, underused and risk being torn down. The questions we need to answer are: how is modern architecture experienced and understood in small towns? How do local governments and citizens live and consider this heritage? What are the problems and issues of protection and valorisation?

The challenge is how to valorise and take on the modern legacy in relation to unfamiliar contexts, so that management and promotion will not remain uncertain, through the presentation of case studies or several different examples that can highlight the current situation. The ultimate goal of the session is on the one hand collecting examples of modern architecture in small towns and on the other hand organising best practices of valorisation exportable and advisable to administrators and citizens through participatory workshops.

Themes: 1. Modern architecture in small towns: examples of reuse; 2. Processes of valorisation of modern architecture in the historical towns; 3. Participatory workshops for projects of valorisation of modern architecture (focus on citizens).


Session Chair: Emma Tagliacollo, National Research Council of Italy, Institute for the Conservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage, Italy.


Urban Conservation, Modern Heritage and Public Policies: Towards a Sustainable Approach

Along the twentieth century, a significant number of medium-sized or intermediate cities grew and densified, building their urban environment by means of modern architecture in consonance with the population’s social and economic aspirations. In several cases, they did so by assuming urban plans that expressed the cities political ambition of becoming regional centres among the territorial networks dominated by the metropolitan phenomena. Modern architecture was able to represent these shared aspirations of social development while displaying a particular setting for each city. Countless of these intermediate cities have suffered gradual deterioration of the large heritage areas once characterized by modern architecture, while many face the challenge of its conservation, confronted to processes of urban development. Largely, whereas the urban fabric is characterized by minor structures, these areas include a number of modern buildings of significant monumental quality.

At the same time, there are also numerous the neighbourhoods that, although once emerged close to the idea of metropolitan development and the construction of the city through modern architecture such as housing developments and complexes, are nowadays subjected to substantial deterioration in the face of current urban dynamics.

The session aims at recognizing the developments on public policies and instruments of urban planning regarding sustainable conservation of urban heritage, especially modern heritage.

It welcomes papers on study cases that examine and review programs oriented towards the conservation of modern urban tissues, as well as innovative proposals on the subject considering a range that goes from architectural complexes – such as neighbourhood units – to the urban scale. Papers can also problematize and reflect on the challenges faced by sustainable conservation on the same scope.


Session Chair: Horacio Torrent, Pontificia Univerasidad Católica de Chile, Chile.




Reinventing Modern Children’s Spaces and Places

This session intends to discuss the development of modern child-centric environments as representative of distinctive modern movement contexts. Its rationale derives from the general interest given to children in western countries along the 20th century and the crucial role that play has gradually acquired in children’s growth process.

The project of social reform of the modern movement, its functional and rationalist principles supported by the use of new construction technologies and materials, was in line with the new educational principles and the new children vision of the first half of the century, envisaged by Ellen Key in 1900 as the century of the child.

The post-World War II period reinforced the importance of children in the reconstruction process. A new meaning was given to urban child-centric environments, and to their impact in children’s educational and developmental process. Public areas, especially in cities, gradually gave more importance to the creation of children’s spaces, and fully equipped play areas for children were widely built. Also new concerns relating to medical, anatomical anthropometric and ergonometric research, together with the importance given to the design and quality of industrial production, emphasised the importance of an appropriate and attractive design for children’s equipment and day-to-day products. Child-centric environments were the subject of numerous studies and debates, being accompanied by the publication of a vast number of articles, magazines and books.


Session Chairs: Alexandra Nave Alegre, Assistant Professor, CEris, ICIST, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Teresa Valsassina Heitor, Full Professor, CEris, ICIST, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; Sandra Marques Pereira, Invited Professor, DINÂMIA-CET’ ISCTE-IUL, Portugal.


Large Spaces into Specific Places. Challenges in Converting Buildings for Cultural Uses

Industrial buildings, outdated malls or even dairy factories have been and will be re-used for cultural purposes such as museums, libraries and exhibition spaces. For such activities the often large luminous spaces have been very feasible for conversion. The proposed session will discuss the outcome and future for such developments from the point of how successfully the balance between new use and the historical meaning and identity of the original architecture has been achieved. Using examples of modernist buildings which have achieved new status in cultural use or which are under debate at the moment several questions will be raised: although physical appearance of a building has been maintained, is the new use creating such a strong new identity that it diminishes earlier meaning of a building? How, if at all can the industrial or commercial history be shown in a building that is functioning as a museum with its technical requirements and image branding? If an industrial building is just a covering for a process of production, is then the new use merely the next process in it?


As museums are finding new roles to attract the public and libraries are developing into multi-purpose activity centers the planning and design of buildings is changing accordingly. What this means for the qualities and values of large modern buildings when being chosen for such re-use shall be examined.


Session Chair: Timo Tuomi, Adjunct professor, Department of Art History, University of Helsinki; Director, Espoo City Museum, Finland.




Industrial Buildings and Areas as Zones of Transformation

The changes during last decades for industries have been heavy everywhere – industries often withdrawing from the cities and leaving totally empty or half empty spaces behind.  In some cases complete communities are withering when industrial processes end. Surveying transformations of industry offer aspects which are unusual for renovation of other buildings types.

In the evaluation of built industrial heritage understanding of the history of technology and of the special processes attached to the area is needed, not only buildings but also fixtures attached to them, tanks, cranes etc. forming the industrial landscape. In many cases health risks have to be taken into consideration for example with polluted soil. A question arises: Who are the best specialists used for these preliminary evaluations and what kind of teams are taking part in the transformation processes.

In many cases finding the right new use/uses for larger industrial plants are long processes so the parts played by different stakeholders are crucial. This means appraising what are the valuable parts/areas to preserve and what is the reuse potential of the buildings.  Single buildings can are transformed for multiple functions but also large plants change; the question is to where there are many different future users – how can their interplay be directed? How can they benefit the surrounding communities? Large plants might have parts that will conserved carefully, other buildings that are changed heavily and also new infill buildings.

One aspect is the “message” of an industrial building/area in a new use – what message is given through new forms and materials? Often large industrial plants which have been looming behind high walls are open to the public for the first time even if they have been important for their communities. What is the way to tell the audience about the lost industrial processes now that the former gates are open?

Potential themes: 1. Finding new uses for former industrial plants and the interplay of new users; 2. The interplay of former industrial plants with new users with surrounding communities; 3. Evaluation of architectural and technological values as base of the design process of re-use; 4. New architecture versus industrial heritage; 5. The reuse potential of industrial plants; 6. Re-use of industrial plants in emptying communities.


Session Chair: Aino Niskanen, Professor, Aalto University, Finland.


Conservation Planning for C20 Buildings

A Conservation Plan can be a key tool for the conservation and successful adaptive reuse of modern heritage sites.   The process of moving from an understanding of the history and fabric of the site, to an explicit detailed assessment of the significance of both parts and whole, to the formulation of policies for retaining significance, has now been applied to a sufficient number of key modern sites to justify reviewing the advantages and specific challenges of using this methodology to deliver increased and shared understanding of significance, and to encourage owner/user buy in for future good practice.  (E.g. National Theatre London, Sydney Opera House, Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, USA).

To what extent does the format proposed by James Semple Kerr in Australia, in response to the Burra Charter, the guidelines promoted by Heritage Lottery Fund in the UK, and experience gained from strategic management of World Heritage Sites combine to provide a coherent methodology?  And to what extent does this methodology need to be modified for different cultural and geographic contexts?   Are there specific challenges unique to modern buildings which need to be addressed (for instance working with members of the original design team, or with no-longer produced machine made elements?

Can Conservation Plans allow building owners to make the conceptual leap from managing an essentially “new” building, to perceiving their site as a heritage asset entailing long term stewardship responsibilities.

Contributions from sites in regions other than Europe/North America and Australia would be especially welcome, as would ones dealing with intrinsically short-life materials, or intangible heritage issues.


Session Chair: Catherine Croft, Director, C20 Society, United Kingdom.


The Modern Campus: Landscape Identity and Architectural Adaptation

In their most recent iteration as self-consciously global, explicitly competitive, teaching and research enterprises, universities have conceived their campus environments as machines for intellectual innovation. In the early nineteenth century Thomas Jefferson appealed to a very different idea, describing his University of Virginia Campus plan as an “academical village”, and most new universities looked to repeat some variation of the village green ideal or the English college cloister. In contrast, campuses that were developed across the twentieth century drew upon a varied range of architectural and planning models from Ernest Flagg’s palatial complex for the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland (1901-1908), to Charles Moore’s Italian hill town concept for Kresge College at the University of California, Santa Cruz. And arguably no period has produced a richer set of propositions about intellectual community and collegiate life than the post-World War II decades, with exemplars including Basil Spence’s Sussex University in England (1959-1971); John Andrew’s Scarborough College in Canada (1963); UNAM campus Mexico (1949-52) and the landscaped campus designs built in Australia in the 1960s and ‘70s.

In fact, the modernist campus ideal was so potent in the post war period that the concept escaped the confines of the university and was applied to a range of coherently planned and landscaped environments, including corporate research centres, business parks, medical centres and even airports.

This proposed docomomo 2016 session seeks to look beyond the recognised architectural heroes of modern university design – such as Mies’ IIT campus – in an effort to uncover a wider, internationally-inflected palette of modern movement campus planning and design. We propose that developing a richer understanding of the breadth of architectural expression, planning and landscape concepts, and pedagogical thinking that informed this period of campus development is vital and timely. Universities, worldwide, in recent decades, have embarked upon ambitious physical expansion plans using architecture as a means of repositioning themselves in a competitive global educational marketplace. And as a consequence important modern sites and concepts are being thoughtlessly eroded by poorly conceived expansion and reconfiguration plans. The current redevelopment proposals for the Orange Coast Community College in California, a collaboration between Richard Neutra and Garrett Eckbo, is a clear case in point.

The session therefore aims to foster efforts to document and consider the spatial, material, social and design qualities of modern campuses so as to better inform conservation and adaptation responses that are sustainable for future generations. We seek papers that address and expand upon the following issues and questions:

Detailed examination of how particular and distinctive modern campuses (buildings and/or landscapes) were conceived, planned and realised, in response to educational, social, political and intellectual ideals, and how they have evolved over time;
Analysis of innovative propositions about urban and regional planning that were articulated through comprehensive campus plans;
Case studies of successful and unsuccessful conservation and adaptation programs that have re-purposed campuses for a sustainable future;
Accounts of community and professional led campaigns to preserve modern campuses that have both succeeded and failed to save exemplars and reflections on lessons learnt.
Session Chairs: Hannah Lewi, Associate Professor University of Melbourne, Australia; Cameron Logan, University of Sydney, Australia.


Retrofitting the Modern: The Preservation of Post-War Social Housing Estates and their Adaptation to Contemporary Environmental Standards

Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the need for housing has remained one of the main preoccupations of modern architecture. The leap from London’s 1870s suburbs, famously and dramatically depicted by Gustave Doré, to the Existenzminimum adopted as the topic for CIAM 2 in Frankfurt (1929) shows the growing concern with low income housing. Defining the minimum requirements of habitability, and designing affordable yet respectable housing estates specifics of their retrofitting of those, and trace general strategies to deal with this vital part of the patrimony of modern architecture.


Session Chairs: Luis Miguel Lus Arana, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering and Architecture, Zaragoza University, Spain; Lucía C. Pérez Moreno, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering and Architecture, Zaragoza University, Spain.


Revisiting African Modernism

This session seeks papers that revisit and assess Africa’s modernist buildings and landscapes, as part of today’s contemporary African architectural “scene”.

Africa’s history of architectural modernism and modernist landscapes is no longer unknown or obscure.  This session seeks to build on that established foundation by asking contributors to explore the potential contribution of the buildings and infrastructure of this era (c. 1945 – 1970s) to our understanding and engagement with Africa today. Does their original programme make them adaptable for 21st century contemporary urbanism? Are there specific case studies or examples of buildings and landscapes that demonstrate positively (or negatively) adaptive re-use possibilities or experience?

Past docomomo sessions on Africa have (arguably rightly) been occupied with debating Africa’s involvement in docomomo, as both a subject and a participatory region. This session recognizes the increasing inclusion of African nations; South Africa, Egypt, Ghana (proposed) into the docomomo “family”. It also acknowledges contributions from African and Africa-focused researchers in a number of past docomomo publications.

This panel session seeks to expand these contributions into a contemporary discourse, devoted to the investigation of the methods, and means, by which Africa’s modernist past can contribute more than just historical research to the Africans and Africa-focused researchers of the 21st century. We are particularly interested in contributions that consider built “ensembles” within urbanist contexts in African communities or cities, such as university campuses, housing masterplans, and industrial complexes/towns.
Session Chairs: Ola Uduku, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Miles Glendinning, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.




“A Mass of Tradition and Association:” Reviving and Reliving the Buildings Of Brutalism

The past decade has witnessed growing public and scholarly interest in the modernist buildings termed “Brutalist” that were constructed from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. While the definitions of the term Brutalism are still debated, its application generally refers to an international phenomenon characterized by the use of exposed materials such as brick and, perhaps more commonly, concrete, and a set of additional common denominators that address shape, surface and monumentality. The cultural and socio-historical circumstances of their erection vary greatly, and they were constructed for diverse uses in the realms of civic and public architecture, as well as for mass housing complexes and private dwellings.

In view of the environmental advantages of re-use, and through the growing public awareness of the built heritage of the modern movement, Brutalist buildings are beginning to be included in preservation schemes, and have become a significant source of inspiration for the revival of the use of exposed concrete in both domestic and public architecture.

Over the years, Brutalist buildings have met with harsh criticism and bias. Their ongoing usage in the twenty first century therefore calls for a fresh discussion of the critical and polemical issues pertaining to both their historical research and their adaptation. The latter has been a challenge, to say the least, or as Owen Hatherley states in A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (2007): “when the heritage industry lays its hands on Brutalism, it unsurprisingly gets its fingers burnt…”

This session calls for papers that investigate the challenges of the re-use and adaptability of Brutalist buildings in their diverse international guises. Papers may discuss transformations in the functions of these buildings, methods of reviving and adapting them as well as their role in urban or rural renewal. We invite papers that explore the approaches to Brutalist design and form in their adaptive re-use, as well as research that discusses the changing social and political function of these buildings. Range of topics may also include the public debates surrounding demolition versus the salvation of buildings, as well as the contribution of academic research and exhibitions to shaping decisions regarding questions of preservation.


Session Chairs: Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler, Sapir Academic College / Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Ruth Verde Zein, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, São Paulo, Brazil.


Conservation and Reuse of Modern Movement Houses

The thrust of this proposal is to make an in-depth study of the various paradigmatic houses designed by masters of Modern Movement architecture, from the point of view of conservation and possible reuse. The house is an architectural genre that has been able to integrate concepts and promote cutting-edge ideas, so a review of domestic spaces spanning the Modern Movement will shed light on its development and contributions. The production of individual houses in the last century has been, on the one hand, quite extensive and attractive but on the other hand, difficult to maintain and conserve.

Indeed, the theme of liveability and various physical aspects of the house render it the architectural typology par excellence, which is apparent in the diverse forms of social organization throughout the world. For that reason, the presentation of specific examples, with innovative concepts and analysis of the conservation of these spaces and their possible adaptive reuse must transcend mere description of physical phenomena. In particular, formal or constructive developments and new industrial materials play a fundamental role in the assessment of various examples, as well as the ability to preserve them. In most cases, the compositional richness and freedom of design have produced works that successfully combine traditional materials in novel ways. Here is the point at which interior design reaches its ultimate consequences, including the design of furniture and other accessories; likewise, these private buildings have been submitted, in some cases, to the challenge of being adapted both to the geographical environment and to the climate, seeking an ecological congruency for the well-being of the inhabitant.

Therefore, proposals for this session should emphasize, in addition to the relevance of the house regarding its design and construction, the various aspects and difficulties of its conservation, restoration or remodelling in relation to its current circumstances.


Session Chair: Louise Noelle Gras, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, docomomo México, México.


The Modern Healthcare Architecture: Obsolescence and Transformation

The Modern healthcare architecture is a program of modernity and innovation that informed the ideology of modern architecture. Due to spatial necessities and technological demands the transformation, deactivation or the demolish actions are a certainty. The Architecture preserving actions taken on behalf of Health Cultural Heritage are growing up in the last decades around the world, through entities and institutions that are concerned with preserving and protecting this type of architectural production. Worldwide movements are showing the importance of these actions to preserve this cultural heritage, mainly hospitals and sanatoriums. It is worth remembering that in Netherlands, with the imminent destruction of Zonnestraal sanatorium, an opportunity was offered to create docomomo International (docomomo Journal n. 27. June, 2002). In France, a recent movement tries to associate an asset value to sanatorial structures, mainly the ones built in the period between wars, with the purpose of preserving them (Cremnitzer, Jean-Bernard. Architecture et Santé. Les temps du sanatorium en France et Europe. Éditions A. et J. Picard, 2005).

The inventory realized by the International docomomo in 2011, Health and Modern Architecture, started with the intention: “to investigate the issue of health and how it is represented in the architecture of the Modern Movement, both in prevention and in care as well as cure” (docomomo ISC/REGISTERS: call for homework 2011 – HEALTH – mimeo). The argument of the theme´s choice drew the attention for “a broad variety of “medical oriented buildings” may be selected, going from hospitals to sanatoria and vacation colonies” (idem). The inventory methodology adopted for docomomo in 2011 proposed “comparative analysis”, having Paimio and Zonnestraal as highlights of Modern sanatorium buildings, giving “more national/regional background of the relations between health, hygiene and Modern Architecture” (idem). Despite this, Modern Health Architecture is not deeply studied and systematized. This session establishes as goals to recognize Modern healthcare buildings as modern typology that is yet to be understood in its role for Modern Movement ideals definition; to identify Modern healthcare buildings as subject of continuously space transformations and recognize it as paradigmatic buildings to discuss strategies of conservation and rehabilitation within Modern Movement ideology; and to identifying technology, form and expression knowledge as the basis of the intervention strategies definition.

As underlying issues the session aims to debate what is Modern healthcare architecture tolerance to change addressing identity and authenticity values and how can sustainability be assured beyond material boundaries considering political and environmental aspects.

As a list of potential themes that will particularly fit in the goals of the session we would like to propose:

The definition of the new programmes as a response to modern necessities, new therapeutics, and simultaneously as a contribution to the development of Modern Movement expression;
The role of healthcare buildings in the design of the city;
Spatial and functional transformations and adaptive re-use;
The specific technical solutions and materials as added values and the possibilities of adaptive re-use;
Spatial and functional transformations and re-use;
Reflections on legislation and regulation constraints.
Session Chairs: Renato da Gama-Rosa Costa, Heritage Department, Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo cruz (FIOCRUZ), Ministry of Health, Brazil; Ana Amora, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Claudio Galeno-Ibaceta, Architecture School, Catholic University of North, Antofagasta, Chile; Daniela Arnaut Godinho Antunes, Assistent at Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal.


Intangible Heritage and Re-Design

At docomomo’s 12th International conference John Allan argued in his keynote lecture From Sentiment to Science – docomomo comes of Age that one of the biggest challenges in the years to come will be the big amount of existing modern buildings awaiting intervention and upgrade, not only repair. The architect plays a key role in this assignment of adaptive re-use. Fortunately nowadays there seems to be a growing awareness amongst architects and clients that integrating the tangible cultural heritage values of the existing fabric can lead to very successful re-use projects. Yet, little attention is still paid to the question how the immaterial heritage of an existing building or site can play a role within the process of re-design – this in contrast to the growing significance attached to intangible cultural heritage by heritage professionals.

Therefore this session proposal aims to investigate the potentials of intangible heritage values for adaptive re-use. Exploring these potentials seems in particular interesting for modern buildings where the public often has difficulties to recognize the heritage significance of the physical structures. Recent redevelopment projects show that the translation of the immaterial aspects and narratives of a building into new spatial concepts can add a layer of identity and result in unique, site-specific designs. Rem Koolhaas’ re-design for the transformation of a former coal washing plant into the Ruhrmuseum at Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany (2010) is a successful example of such an approach. Kohlhaas took the original use of the modernistic industrial building from the late 1920ies as starting point for his re-design: the way of the coal through the building – from selection and treatment to distribution – became the new route of the visitors through the building. An escalator was added to the existing structure taking visitors up to the top floor from where they descend back to the ground floor offering an unexpected spatial experience. The history of use and users is, of course, just one possible heritage asset for spatial reinterpretation.

The proposed session aims to identify and define a range of aspects of intangible cultural heritage that can play a role in the re-design of a project, e.g. memories, social practices, use, morphology, building skills or design concepts and ideologies. What is specific for buildings of the Modern Movement and its successors? Which instruments and methods can be applied for identification and assessment of these intangible aspects? Other topics could address appropriate design methods and interdisciplinary collaboration between architects, historians and heritage professionals; assuming that the successful implementation of intangible heritage values into the design process asks for design tools and methods based on a broad knowledge of the past.

The topics of the proposed session invite architects, scholars and heritage professionals engaged in the transformation of the built heritage and lecturers/tutors involved in design education to participate.


Session Chair: Sara Stroux, TU Delft, Netherlands.


Fifty Years after the Second Vatican Council. Taking the Modern Church into the 21st Century

Fifty years ago, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) came to a close. While this gathering of the Church hierarchy essentially ratified ideas that had already become common practice amongst progressive Catholics, it had a tremendous effect upon religious art and architecture. The Council’s central idea, namely that faith would be better expressed by collective worshipping rather than individual devotion, required no less than a fundamental rethinking of the church as a building type. Its new role consisted in encouraging the active involvement of the faithful in the liturgy and expressing their collective identity. Many architects enthusiastically took up this challenge and broke away from tradition by introducing new spatial concepts, fashionable shapes and novel structural principles in their designs. Church architecture became a field of creative experimentation that had a significant impact on the built environment of the post-war welfare state. Today, this optimism is long gone. Apart from the general secularizing tendency and the competition with other religions, Christianity in the Western countries is affected by the poor economic climate and a severe institutional crisis. The increasing redundancy of church buildings is one of the most tangible results of this crisis. The future of this built heritage constitutes a key challenge for today’s church leaders and civil society as well as for the design community.

This session maintains that this phenomenon particularly affects the experimental churches of the post-conciliar period. Often located in peripheral, suburban areas, most of these buildings are not yet heritagized and, because of their young age, are not as firmly rooted in the collective memory as their older counterparts. Moreover, as they were often built with cheap materials and experimental construction methods, these churches age badly and require onerous maintenance. The literature on the social, cultural, economic, technical and even political aspects of adaptive re-use of religious buildings is generally based on experiences with ancient churches. This session seeks to broaden the scope of the existing expertise to a larger and more representative variety of buildings. We therefore ask to what extent this know-how is applicable to the post-conciliar Catholic churches and other Christian churches from the 1960s and early 1970s, given their radical departure from the traditional typology. To this aim, we invite papers discussing how adaptive re-use could take advantage of typical features of post-conciliar church construction such as its non-monumentality; the absence of a bell towers; the similarity in scale, expression and concept to the surrounding built environment; minimalist interiors without applied ornament; and, last but not least, the fact that these buildings were often conceived to accommodate also other functions than only religious services.


Session Chairs: Sven Sterken, Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Leuven, Belgium; Thomas Coomans, University of Leuven, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture, and Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation, Belgium.




Structures of the Modern Movement in the Post- WW II, Post-Colonial Societies

A new world order was ushered in by the demise of the colonialism when the World War II ended, and a wholly new generation of buildings of an optimistic world view had been constructed throughout the world: the Asia-Pacific region; the Indian sub-continent; and the African continent. In the period of scant seven decades, some structures had served their initial purposes, and were eventually demolished to make way for other buildings, or for the purpose of urbanization. Some of the noteworthy architectural accomplishments, however, have gone through creative transformations for different, yet appropriate new uses.

The session, “Structures of the Modern Movement in the post-WW II, post-colonial societies” proposes to examine cases of successful reincarnation of architecturally significant works by the first group of post-WW II Modernist architects in different countries. By defining the session devoted to buildings of the “post-colonial” societies, it is intended to highlight the accomplishments of a generation of architects in different countries who had been educated during or immediately after the colonization, whose architectural education and apprenticeship processes had gone through turbulent upheavals of political changes, compared to architects who had been unaffected by the global changes, but it is never intended to attach any significance to the geo-political transformations of societies in which the architects had practiced.

Proposals of scholarly presentations dealing with cases of successful re-use in buildings of significant Modernist values throughout the different geographical regions of the world are invited in the following broad headings:  1. New function given to the original structure; 2. Structural intervention to improve longevity; 3. Seismic retrofit; 4. Enhancement of environmental performance through better building envelope; 5. Building code compliance in different jurisdiction.


Session Chair: Jong Soung Kimm, SAC International, Ltd., Architects-Consultants, Korea.


Balancing Material Selection Process with Conservation

Past and current approaches in the retention of a building’s significance, integrity, and materiality remain a key issue in the conservation of modern movement and post-war buildings. Program requirements for adaptive re-use are often complex due to a desired change in function requirements that also include building climate control upgrades coupled with overall performance standards and requirements.  This session will aim to provide an in-depth examination of how to balance the selection of new materials which contribute to a successful solution – not only in achieving building conformance requirements but in balancing with a sound conservation decision-making process. The session will draw on appropriate material selection process, analytic methodologies, specifications, that underlie and promote sensitive decision-making protocols throughout each program.

We invite scholars, educators and architects to send working papers on these themes: 1. Interior materials; 2. Exterior materials; 3. Decision-making process in material selection; 4. Criteria of energy efficiency and the conservation of surfacing materials


Session Chair: Kyle Normandin, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), USA.


Innovative Construction Experiments

Innovative and experimental technologies in construction were known to be at the heart of (and development of) Modern Movement architecture. This spirit in experimental technologies and construction experimentation was later evidenced by building systems and assemblies that would only became visible and discovered many years later. This session will present selected examples of construction deficiencies and failures that illustrate how designers are either being dealt with currently and proposed or implemented solutions for their repair, retrofit or rehabilitation.

We invite scholars, educators and architects to send working papers on these themes: 1. Plastics and Synthetics; 2. New insulation materials; 3. Flat roof typologies; 4. Building Envelope Design.


Session Chair: Tapani Mustonen, docomomo ISC-Technology, Finland.




The Modern Interior – Toward a Re-Evaluation in the Context of Adaptive Reuse

Interior design is the most ephemeral form of spatial design. Whereas reuse strengthens the plea for conserving (and thoughtfully adapting) architectural heritage, it very often weakens the plea for conserving its interiors. The presence of original interior design and furniture undoubtedly makes the reuse of a building more difficult. It is clear that if the former are removed, the latter loses something of its essence. The dilemma becomes even greater when the interior has been conceived with the architecture as a Gesamtkunstwerk.

Our aim is to debate cases and methodologies from around the world, in which, on the basis of an thorough study of the original situation and ideas, the Modern Interior has been preserved, in its original or in a changed state, performing its original or a new function. In doing this, we would like to develop a new discourse, open up new avenues of thought, from a plural, inter-disciplinary perspective, i.e. beyond traditional boundaries, which applies the understanding and experiencing of the Modernist interior as the basis for decisions on its conservation and reuse. This also includes theoretical and critical contributions on how, why and by whom these decisions can be made.


Session Chairs: Zsuzsanna Böröcz, KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Belgium; Bárbara Coutinho, MUDE Museum (Lisbon) and IST – University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Call for sessions.

Call for sessions’ notification of acceptance.

Call for papers.

Call for papers’ notification of acceptance.

Full paper submission deadline (1st version).

Registration deadline for speakers and session chairs.

Deadline for session chairs return papers with comments to speakers.

Full paper submission deadline (final version).

Full submission of the key lecture of the session.

14th International docomomo Conference
May – 28 June 2015

31 July 2015

3 August – 18 October 2015

30 November 2015

14 February 2016


13 March 2016


17 April 2016


6-9 September 2016


Between Theories and Practices in the Conservation of Modern Heritage

Since ever the status of being modern has posed challenges for conventional restoration and conservation theories. With the rise of the “Modern Monument” the usual approaches have been stretched to their limits and even beyond, to the extent that the creations of the recent past have achieved their own space and identity, being apparently different from other kinds of historic construction. Nowadays, after many experiences, the conservation of modernist buildings can no longer be considered so exceptional and experimental, and we could wonder if there are sound reasons for a distinction in the conservation realm between modern and pre-modern heritage.

The preservation of twentieth-century architecture, indeed, has been changing, evolving, and expanding both in scope and complexity over the last twenty years. In the same way as Modernism is not reducible to the white MoMo western masterpieces, but is nowadays recognized as a much more complex unity of fragments, so preservation issues have to be considered together with changing political, social and economic situations, and with changes in our perception of what is the modern heritage and what does it mean preserving it.

The conservation of modern heritage has overcome the technical problems and is facing the challenges of the contemporary cultural, social and economic roles of heritage. Going beyond the concerns related to techniques and materials leaves room for much more fruitful issues, for questions about “why” we conserve rather than about “how”. Among these issues are highlighted the overcoming of monumental emergence, the reflection on values, the mechanisms of recognition, the constant evolution of understandings of what comprises heritage, the authenticity and reproducibility, the power of the icons and the acceptance of the time passing by also for what was modern and it is now heritage.

Are the disciplines of preservation on the edge of new boundaries? Is the conservation of 20th century Cultural Heritage ready to take over its well-known paradoxes? Are we threatened by these thresholds or are we just becoming aware of new perspectives?


Session Chair: Andrea Canziani, docomomo Italia, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.


CIAM Revisited

Active from 1928 to 1959, CIAM became almost a dirty word in the late 1970s, in particular because of its sponsorship of a wholly new Functional City, supposedly hegemonic in the Americas and Europe after World War II. The aim of this session is to explore the possibility of continued use and adaptive reuse, in a contemporary context, of urban and architectural design concepts put forward by CIAM members. It will welcome papers that question the conventional anti-CIAM wisdom still prevailing today in light of a balanced assessment of past failures and success stories, as well as reasoned experiments from the 1980s onwards. What if Jane Jacobs was not right after all, in both her critique and alternatives? Two main sub-themes are envisaged:

1. Reflections on the CIAM doctrine and its points, as presented in written documents and either corroborated or inflected by modern practice when the organization was operative, including CIAM ’59 at Otterlo.

2. Case studies dealing with projects that self-consciously or not took the CIAM doctrine as its positive reference and both altered and expanded its scope from the 1980s onwards in the Americas and Europe.


Session Chair: Carlos Eduardo Comas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


Second Life: Modern Housing and the Aesthetics of Growth and Change

The historiography of the Modern Movement championed the notions of authenticity and the original. By the same token, the textbooks used in architectural education failed to incorporate the performance of the buildings through time. Instead, they celebrated the pure and pristine condition of architecture before being actively inhabited. In other words, they promoted an aesthetic devoid of the habitus, the practices of everyday life, including the appropriations and the evolving transformations of the original design. A notorious exception to this came about in the late 1960s, when Philippe Boudon produced a groundbreaking investigation into the vernacularisation of Le Corbusier’s Quartiers Modernes de Frugès in Pessac. In his Pessac de Le Corbusier, Boudon documents the entwined relation between architecture and the sociology of the everyday. In other words, he examined the compelling transformation of machines for living into lived-in machines, the neighbourhood’s second life as it were. Eventually, in 2005, the local authorities, supported by the French press, applied for the recognition of Le Corbusier’s Pessac estate as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the direct consequences of this monumentalisation was a relentless attempt to retrofit the complex to its original condition.

The second life of modern housing projects needs further problematization. Whether in the Pessac estate, in the conscious restoration of Michiel Brink-man’s Spangen block in Rotterdam, in the contemporary refurbishment of Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith’s Park Hill in Sheffield, or in Lacaton& Vassal’s trans-formation of Tour Bois le Prêtre different strategies to update modern housing projects come about suggesting different positions regarding the inclusion of the transformative practices of inhabitation and users’ agency.

Curiously enough, the post-war CIAM congresses con-tended that architecture and planning should loose something of their finite character. It was claimed that a habitat should be planned and constructed so as not to resist the development of those they served. This principle would be marginally implemented in the next decades until it became currency in the 1970s when poverty alleviation strategies sponsored housing policies that focused on the progressive development of local communities. Balkrishna Doshi’s Aranya community housing and Charles Correa’s Belapur housing, both designed in the 1980s, are two major examples of this approach. Indeed, in these cases there was a deliberate drive to include adaptive re-use as part and parcel of the design strategy, accommodating growth and change over time while complementing the authority of the designer with the spatial agency of the inhabitant.

This session seeks papers that examine and discuss strategies for adaptive re-use in modern housing projects. To what extent can these strategies cater for a more inclusive habitat? What sort of architectural language comes with inclusive strategies that embrace adaptation and re-use as well as the agency of the inhabitants? What sort of rules can be defined? And what are the limits of such an approach before the original is lost under the incremental change of the life cycles of everyday inhabitation? And even then, should we ultimately accept this loss, or intervene?


Session Chairs: Dirk van den Heuvel, TU Delft, Netherlands; Nelson Mota, TU Delft.


Education for Re-Use

Education for re-use aims to share and to debate the experiences developed in the schools of architecture to train the students on the transformation and rehabilitation of modern buildings and sites. Modern Architecture, built between the 1920s and the 1970s, is now crossing a paradigmatic time because of its inevitable degradation in a complex context-changing urban dynamics, new lifestyles, emergent technological and spatial needs. Firstly, its special constructive condition imposes a pertinent research on technological systems and solutions. Secondly, its specific functionality demands creative and appropriate strategies for adaptive re-use and programmatic transformation. Thirdly, its recent recognition as local or global heritage asks for innovative design methodologies and theories.

In fact, the re-design of the modern architecture and urbanism is one of the main professional areas for architects all over the world, especially the young generations, at a time when cities are being densified after times of continuous expansion (see docomomo 2015 theme, “Expansion & Conflict”).

This situation propels the rise of a critical vision and of new meanings as regards the contemporary intervention on modern heritage, and thus, it becomes necessary to put the focus on architectural design education as a strategic platform to think a sustainable future of the Modern Movement legacy. The main questions are:

What have schools of architecture been doing to answer these new challenges? Or,
How can schools of architecture integrate the re-use of modern architecture in their educational and research activities?
Although there are diverse master and doctoral programs, it is urgent to introduce this topic in the main/basic educational programs that train architects to give them the theoretical frameworks, but also the design methodologies and tools to face a problem that has its specific conditions.

We invite scholars, educators and architects to send working papers on these themes:

Architectural educational courses/curriculum on the Re-Use of Modern Architecture,
Educational design experiences on the transformation of Modern Architecture,
Design methods and tools to Re-Use Modern Architecture, Landscapes, Sites and Cities,
Participatory experiences between students and users to transform modern heritage,
Theoretical framework to support interventions on Modern Architecture and Urbanism,
Interdisciplinary educational activities related to the Re-Use of Modern Architecture,
General architectural education versus specialist programs,
Session Chairs: Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Department of Architecture, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal; Carolina Quiroga, University of Buenos Aires, University of Belgrano, Argentina; Uta Pottgiesser, Ostwestfalen-Lippe, University of Applied Sciences, Germany.


Reuse as Activism: Towards Hybrid Strategies of Curating and Preservation of Modern Architectural Heritage

The economic crisis and permanent decline in available public and private investment in areas less attractive for power necessitated change in the behaviour of subjects operating in that marginalized sphere. Traditional methods relying on institutional support from the state or local administration have proved problematic, not only because of lack of public financial resources but also because of rigid rules currently represented by these institutions. Therefore alternative strategies often generated by the environment of activism and characterized by open hybrid way of planning, financing and implementation of projects entered the scene.

The restoration of monuments of modern architecture and especially of post-war modernism still represents such a marginalized area. Sustainability of a full-fledged layered material environment presupposes the integration of architectural heritage of the last century into a universal as well as local strategic planning. This requires not only an update of the relationship of the public to this heritage but first and foremost a change of attitude of the representatives of the academic institutions and of the institutions of heritage preservation. The prerequisite for a change of approach is the change of the perspective of view on this architectural heritage and its curating. It is shifting from an exclusive concern of the representative sample of the international elite culture to peripheral, banal phenomenon, which represent obsolete structures, abandoned, respectively undiscovered architectural works, complexes or whole cities. Somewhere here, within the deep natural interest in these “non-exclusive” themes we need to search for the roots of the new approach of handling the modern movement. New strategies of preservation of modern architectural heritage are generated somewhere on the border between activism and squatting, between architectural design and curatorship. These have in common a lower financial cost of the restoration and higher degree of personal involvement of all participants. Professionals, such as architects, architecture historians and conservators enter not only the planning process of the restoration, but also the decision-making and participative debates on the future functioning of architectural works, the financing of the restoration and its physical implementation.

The aim of the session is to present wide range of alternative approaches towards the process of restoration of marginalized parts of the modern architecture heritage and to introduce their unique strategies that might be inspiring for the future of Modern Movement.


Session Chairs: Henrieta Moravčíková, Department of Architecture, ÚSTARCH SAV, Slovakia; Maria Topolčanská, Department of Architecture, ÚSTARCH SAV, Slovakia.


docomomo International of Tomorrow

Heralded by Pevsner as the banner under which architects contributed through innovation to the march of progress, the original statement of the modern movement was denounced by several historians. Among them Tafuri who recognized in its premises a mere consolation fable, a myth. Nevertheless, despite some discredit, in the late 1980s the modern movement was waved to mobilize historians and architects to ensure its prolongation. With the foundation of docomomo International the modern movement was again championed, this time in connection with conservation, more concerned with continuity than change. However, in the spirit of the founders docomomo aimed not only to oppose the destruction and disfigurement of the movement’s most significant works, but also to challenge and perpetuate its values, to continue the unfinished project of modernity.

During more than two decades docomomo International went through several adjustments. Over the time, the network formed by 20 chapters, almost all from Europe has continually expanded to now count chapters in 70 countries and regions worldwide.

The thematic switch of its biennial international conferences initially focused on the history and preservation of social housing and collective features from the interwar period are indicative of a displacement of interests. If the conference in New York (2004) was the first to focus specifically on the post-WWII period, the meeting held in Ankara (2006) tried to escape the Western bias exploring “other modernisms”, thus deepening the diverse reading of the modern movement. In Helsinki (2012), while the restoration of icons was again documented, the concern for the ordinary was revived. In Seoul (2014) in addition to confirming its globalization, docomomo witnessed a notable rejuvenation of its audience, evident at the roundtable, which brought together young members, many from newly accredited chapters.

In reviewing the Eindhoven statement, the organization added the promotion of reuse to its mission. Faced with all these modifications, a fundamental question arises: to what extent is docomomo mission fulfilled?

In challenging our audience’s response, this session aims to consider the following sub-questions, which open more historiographical and theoretical perspectives.

If undoubtedly the iconic oeuvres of modern movement once restored become historical monuments, the more ordinary architectural production made for mass use has equally proved to become heritage? Despite the unloved claim repeatedly made on the object for being modern, does its legacy become a claim shared by both experts and the general public?

Which are the values and meanings conveyed by the restored modern buildings or by those properties included the World Heritage List? Do they remain witness of an epoch when the sharing of the wealth and collective welfare were commune ideals or has the fact of turning them into heritage radically changed their meanings?

Does the addition of reuse have consequences at symbolic and methodological level in the mission of docomomo? Are conservation and reuse similar practices, grounded on the same theoretical principles?

Does the globalization of docomomo network affect the mission and goals of the organization? How new chapters established in countries which yesterday were part of colonial empires and which today are looking more and more to emancipate from the Western cultural influence, and young generations who were born under economic neoliberalism conceive the architecture of modern movement and its protection?


Session Chairs: Maristella Casciato, Universitédu Québec à Montréal, Québec, Canada; France Vanlaethem, Universitédu Québec à Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Exploring Theories for Adaptivity

This session aims to explore the notion of adaptivity and related topics in architectural design, education and conservation in an interactive session. In fact, adaptation of existing buildings to new needs is inherent to common architectural practice for ages, but the reference to “adaptive re-use” in the Burra Charter (1979/2013) calls for a critical review of the underlying values of conservation and use of architectural heritage. In response to current issues of sustainability, climate change, new standards and new technologies, a reconceptualization of the conservation doctrines and design attitudes is urgently needed. Whereas the Modern Movement has fully embraced the “Form Follows Function” paradigm and often proclaimed total replacement instead of adaptation, the international conservation movement has been mainly concerned with the study and safeguarding of architectural heritage as historical evidence for future generations.

Although conservation is nowadays considered as “managing change”, the international charters emphasize the “don’ts” rather than the “opportunities” for change. They hardly address the architectural design challenges of re-use and upcycling in order to sustain architectural monuments as “living heritage”. For instance, the Venice Charter 1964 states that modifications of a monument demanded by a change of function may only be permitted if they will not change the layout or decoration of the building (art. 5). The Burra Charter (1979/2013) demands that a place (of cultural significance) should have a compatible use. This raises the question what parameters are available to judge the compatibility. The same is valid for the acceptability of adaptation by means of new additions, new services or other changes in view of the cultural significance, and implicitly, the aesthetic qualities.

As a partly unforeseen result of the conservation doctrines, new interventions for accommodating new needs have been designed in an increasing contrast with the inherited site in order to express its contemporariness. In the past three decades, the adaptation of built heritage to new functions has been adopted as a new design assignment which allows for ostentatiously contemporary interventions in the name of “Re-Architecture” and often with the pretext of “reversibility”.

These new infills and extensions were initially applied for the reuse of abandoned sites of industrial heritage where the architectural tolerance for change was relatively great. It was already a new stage in the evolution of the heritage concept that industrial sites could be included. Gradually, the radical approach of re-use and redesign has become also fashionable for much more sensitive buildings like churches, town halls and alike where the “cultural carrying capacity” to absorb changes in fabric, colours and forms without disturbing the integrity and significance is limited. Specially the adaptation of architectural heritage of the Modern Movement to new uses, energy saving and other requirements is a great challenge.

The goal of the session is to contribute to a common vocabulary for clients, architects, planners and conservationists to address values and implications of “adaptive reuse” and interventions in architectural heritage. Related topics to explore are compatibility, cultural carrying capacity, integrity and sustainability.


Session Chair: Marieke Kuipers, Delft University of Technology, NL Cultural Heritage Agency, The Netherlands.


Disruption and Continuity: the Challenge Of Conversive Modernism

Modernity emerged a century ago as total rupture against architecture of continuity and tradition that had a foundation on history. Modernity has claimed its own coherence that appeared as a new tradition and has built its own history. Although it was questioned in the postmodern era, it is widely accepted now as a cultural heritage. The crucial question is whether ordinary modernism, which is massive, must be conserved in a state of protected inertia or should be part of dynamic change, i.e. the change of social, technological and aesthetic conditions. The question is not simple to answer because it requires answers to many specific questions: what is modern, what is history, what is protection of the past, and what is conservation-and-change at the same time.

In the last ten years architecture has seen innovative interventions in many modern concrete buildings, which had either an architectural specificity either common or indifferent neutrality. These interventions did not seek the reconstruction of the initial coherence nor a new morphological cohesion but sought to highlight the rupture in continuity, i.e. the preservation of the fact of an obsolete architecture and the renewal of functions and forms within the modernity of contemporary materials and aesthetics. This is a radically modern conquest, because it follows the modern spirit and refuses academic protection: It has already given excellent examples in many buildings, from Oslo to Paris and Lisbon, and has been the subject of study in schools of architecture.

The objective of the session is to bring together presentations of architects who have been active in this kind of adaptive re-use (case studies) and theoretical contributions that will re-introduce critical questions on history and modernity, protection of the past and continual change. The invitation to the conversive modernism session is an invitation to an exchange of critical views on architecture as conservation and creation of buildings at the same time, in the spirit of an indivisible approach of design, theory, education and practice.

The session is related to the theme of theory, although it might be a joint session for the themes of buildings, technology, interior design and theory together. Theory is a common denominator and a criterion in how architecture is driven, designed and implemented. This session will not follow the regular form of conference papers but seeks to fit many short and less short contributions of 5 to 10 minutes for the presentation and criticism of case studies, the discussion of theoretical and critical views, educational programs and other issues. The challenge is a wider participation and a comparative confrontation of ideas, which will include active dialogue between participants.


Session Chair: Panayotis Tournikiotis, docomomo Greece, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.


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