The conservation of architectural heritage is achieved by various stakeholders together, ranging from researchers to practitioners, owners, heritage organisations and policy makersc. All these actors have different objectives, operate in various manners, and can have an impact on different aspects on different scales. As the type-specific values of architects’ houses are also related to various aspects on such different scales (the local urban fabric, the architectural oeuvre or professional network), each stakeholder plays an important role in the overall valorisation of an architect’s house. Several modalities to valorise these type-specific values often already exist within the framework of each stakeholder (such as specific restoration strategies and determinations of the heyday, guided tours, different sorts of listing, etc.). Yet, there is a strong focus on case-specific values while type-specific values are often overlooked, resulting in a disbalance between the actual values of the house and the ones currently being recognized and valorised.
Therefore, the research team of the project "Architects' houses in Brussels. Strategies for valorisation" is developing a hands-on toolkit to facilitate the successful recognition, integration, interpretation and qualitative assessment of the newly-identified layers of significance and subsequent type-specific heritage values throughout the heritage sector. The objective is to offer a high-quality methodology representing only a limited additional workload in time and effort to easily intagrate a new layer to architectural-historical analyses and value assessments. As such, we provide a qualitative and supportive base for improved descion-making and a more inclusive set-up of projects. Seen the variety of stakeholders involved in the valorisation of arcihtects' houses (such as architects, policy makers, academics, heritage organisations, etc.), the toolkit is available in different formats, tailored to the needs and specific workflows of each stakeholder.
The toolkit provides all necessary information, tools and guidelines to perform a micro-scale analysis on the individual scale of the building complemented with a meso-scale analysis (quick scan on the oeuvre and career) and macro-scale analysis (positioning of the house within the building type and its urban context) to easily retrieve and assess the type-specific values of the architect's house concerned. The analyses are all condensed in a highly graphical manner that allow an easy interpretation. For instance, the meso anlaysis is conducted through the creation of a set of interlinked schemes (see toolkit output example below). Moreover, seen that the added value of these schemes is not only limited to stakeholders involved with architects’ houses (they also include monographic information on architects and their oeuvres) a central repository for these schemes to facilitate future research and valorisation perspectives is being created. The toolkit is currently being tested, fine-tuned and optimized for the use by the various stakeholders and will be available from the summer of 2021 onwards.
More information available soon.
Output example: tools 3-6
On the left, the visual result of the quick scan of the oeuvre generated with the toolkit is shown. The map displays the geographical spread of the architect's oeuvre, colour-coded based on the construction date of his personal residence. On the right, the functional and formal typological assesse-ment of the oeuvre is summerized and positioned within the geographical-chrono-logical framework.
© Linsy Raaffels, 2020
4. Sources overview
For the completion of the Excel template, a general list with easy accessible and highly relevant sources (which are often already consulted in heritage studies on individual artefacts) is appended to rapidly gather the data on the oeuvre and career of the architect. As the sources and the necessary knowledge on other projects in the architect's oeuvre is kept to the absolute minimum, also the time and effort to be invested in this analysis is minimized. Furthermore, for each house in the register, a bibliographical note is being drafted to be appended to the condensed fiches, including references on the respective architect's house, its architect and his oeuvre to further facilitate the research.
More information available soon.