Athens Journal of Architecture (Oct 2021)

Holistic Approach in Recovery and Conservation of Modern Architecture as Sign of Historical Identity

  • Pasquale Cucco ,
  • Agustin Mariano Santoro

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 4
pp. 441 – 462


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In 20th century a new ideological paradigm emerged in architecture, leading to mutations of function, form and technology, and marking a break with the traditional configuration of spaces, compositional and aesthetic forms. This trend has imposed an architecture based on simple and functional shapes and industrial materials, without excessive ornamentation. Through some selection criteria it is possible to recognize in the modern production “signs and meanings” of historical-documentary value, to be preserved and protected. Currently, there is a lack of consensus in local and national regulations on the criteria to be used for the selection of works to be recovered rather than demolished, on the materials and construction techniques or about the interventions on the Modern Movement architecture, often guided only by economic criteria. The main challenge is how to recover the existing heritage and adapt it to the necessary conditions of habitability, functionality and sustainability of the XXI century, without breaking with its own identity characterized by rationalism, functionalism and industrialized technology. Through a case study in Argentina, this research intends to propose a methodology for the selection of modern works in order to apply recovery and conservation interventions and to guide any projects according to a holistic approach.