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Creative Conservation of Heritage Values : Philosophical Interpretations and Architectural Interventions

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Contemporary practice of Heritage Preservation is currently regulated by a plethora of charters, decrees, conventions and recommendations, aiming to guide all aspects of heritage protection and management. However, despite all this specific technical and practical guidance, there has been far less emphasis on developing conceptual and theoretical tools which would enable a comprehensive consideration of heritage values. From a theoretical perspective, legal texts relating to the protection and management of heritage can only go as far as to express general considerations and due to their generality cannot avoid vagueness and ambivalence as practical principles. On the practical end, management and conservation plans regulating architectural interventions for the protection, enhancement, revalorization, reuse and presentation of heritage should treat monuments not as objects of the past disjoined from our times, but as embodied and still enduring human values. This book uses a creative approach to examining heritage issues, which brings together philosophical and architectural perspectives. A theoretical argument, based on transcendental phenomenology, philosophical hermeneutics and ontology is deployed to describe, understand, interpret and address the multiple nuances of meaning inherent and embedded in monuments and in heritage at large. In practical terms, it then shows how to implement this philosophical approach in architectural design proposals, thereby making the creative leap from analysis of values to their appropriation, from understanding and interpretation to concrete material implementation as a creative act.

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