In many European historic city centres monuments currently are being re-used for retail functions. In general, a rehabilitation project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between developers, urban planners, architects and conservators. Often, interior architects only are involved in the project afterwards and do not participate in the conceptual phase. Nevertheless they can have an important input in the concept of the rehabilitation of the historic building, particularly when the new function concerns a retail function.
Two examples in the Netherlands of bookshops that are designed in historic buildings - Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht and Selexyz Verwijs in The Hague - are examined. There is a significant difference in quality between the two projects. For the project in Maastricht there was an extensive collaboration between restoration architects, interior restorers, interior architects and various other parties. This collaboration is reflected in the advanced quality of the restoration of the historic building on the one hand and the harmonious combination with the contemporary interior of the bookshop, on the other hand. In The Hague, there was hardly any communication between the interior architects and the restorers. Consequently, the whole of the project was of a lower quality.
A closer collaboration between interior architects and other parties should become a general behaviour when dealing with rehabilitation of monuments as retail functions. As interior architect my Ph.D. project - about the tensile area between retail and heritage - will partly address this issue.
|Keywords:||Interior Design, Conservation, Reuse, Rehabilitation, Monument|
Doctoral Candidate, Research Group ArcK, Department of Architecture and Visual Arts, PHL University College and Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium
Professor, department of Architecturen, Art and Design, PHL University College and Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium
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