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Too modern, or not old enough?

 
 
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Author kanfil
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 03:12 
hubert:
Olympic Park, that's a great idea, I think. But I guess, in Munich, nobody has ever thought about that, maybe simply because it is not old enough.


Are there already "modern" buildings or constructions from the end of the 20th or from the first 10 years of the 21th century with OUV ? And could they become a WHsite, in 40, 50 or 100 years?
Any proposals?

Author kanfil
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 03:21 
The city of arts and sciences in Valancia, Spain, by the Spanich architect Santiago Calatrava between 1996 and 1998. URL
It's one of the "12 treasures of Spain", together with some other WHsites. URL

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 04:45 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Just in case not all "readers" of this forum are aware, we have identified "Connections" for WHS

a. Whose main OUV derives from structures built in the 20th C
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tag.php?id=22
A, perhaps, surprisingly long list of 32?
b. Which contain signigificant structures from the 20th C which presumably contribute to the overall OUV of the site (or at least do not detract from it!)
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tag.php?id=729
c. Which contain significant structures from the 21st C which presumably contribute to the overall OUV of the site (or at least do not detract from it!)
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tag.php?id=716

In relation to the interesting question posed by kanfil it is perhaps instructive to look at the spread of current 20th C sites.
a. A fair number arise from war and associated events - perhaps it is true that historians will look back on 20th C as a century of war but I guess that partly depends on how the 21st turns out!
b. A fair number are really 19C "hangovers" from the earliest years of 20C and hardly capture the spirit and achievements of that century
b. A fair number of others relate to "significant" (though there might be some argument about a number of these) architectural developments in technology and style. Whether the first 12 years of the 21st C yet have any examples akin to these we could perhaps debate.
c. There is nothing really after the 60s (counting Sydney Opera House as a 50s/60s creation - construction started in 1959) so we potentially have a fair bit of "catching up" to do from the last 30 years of the 20th C!
d. There is some representation of 20C technology achievements in the form of Varburg, and Schokland (Rhaetian seems more of a 19C hangover and Zollverein/Fagus are there more for "style" than technology?) - but vast areas remain unrepresented - no airports, atom smashers, rocket launching pads, computer rooms, TV and movie studios, bridges/tunnels/skyscrapers etc etc. No one could really claim that the current list really "represents" the tangible OUV of 20C! But we know, of course, that the reasons for this go far beyond not having the "imagination" to identify and preserve that century's tangible achievements - the very nature of the WHS "scheme" discourages nominating such sites

Author kanfil
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:16 
The "youngest" world heritage site is the Sydney opera house (1973)
The other significant structures are buildings in an excistant WHsite/city. Most of these have a high architectural quality on their own. But the contribution to the overall OUV of the site has always been a discussion (cfr. Brugge: for every new building there's a struggle to get a permission)

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:41 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Sydney Opera House just took a long time to build - it is really a 1950s structure (Designed 1957)!

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 06:28 
Hi Kanfil, great minds think alike! I posted this a few years back:
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=181&pa ge=0#msg813

I will still stand by the City of Arts and Science in Valencia, it is a magnificent site, even if they are still building it (maybe they have finished most of it by now). El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is perhaps the most beautiful building I have visited, it even eclipses Sydney Opera house in my estimation as the finest arts building.
Spain is now littered with these new cultural projects and many are just expensive white elephants (nice but a complete waste of money) however CAS really did seem to be an important part of Valencia, a real triumph in my opinion.

I visited the Birds nest stadium in Beijing last week, which is also an incredible building (it should be for the money spent). But again it had the feeling of being a vanity project rather than an integral part of the regeneration of a city.

Solivagant:
no airports, atom smashers, rocket launching pads, computer rooms, TV and movie studios, bridges/tunnels/skyscrapers etc etc.

I do feel there is a fair bit of scope for updating the list to reflect the achievements of the 20th century and beyond and agree with Solivagant's assessment above. I would add a sports venue to this as well, hence the Munich Olympic proposal. But like we said there is more than just the sites not being recognised that keeps them off the tentative lists.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 07:26 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Well, a 20C "sports venue" IS on the list - albeit not one built specifically for the Olympics :- The Mexico city 1968 Olympics stadium as part of the UNAM inscription. Built 1952, it is perhaps not particularly noteworthy architecturally, apart from its (unfinished) Rivera murals and there is possibly room for a more "iconic" example. I take the point about "vanity projects" but so was the Eiffel Tower. If we are trying to apply a historical perspective to the list then something is going to be required to represent the economic and political growth of the Far East in the late 20 th C and beyond - a development which will certainly be viewed historically as one of world importance. There is nothing as yet from Japan, S Korea or China to cover this trend

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 07:38 
I didn't realise the Mexico Olympic Stadium was part of the inscription, I thought it was just next door to it. An added reason to visit it then!

In terms of the rise of East Asia perhaps Shanghai would be a good place to look at. On one side of the river is the Bund with its 19th early 20th colonial economic buildings and the other side has the brand new Pudong district with all the trappings of a modern 'Megalopolis'. Tells a good story but doubt China would want to limit development with a Heritage listing (didn't stop Macau though)

Author hubert
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 07:47 | Edited by: hubert 
One question with modern architecture is: how long do we have to wait to know reliably that a building or style was influential and outstanding. Who among the current star architects could have the same impact as the Bauhaus had?
One thing is to choose some outstanding iconic buildings (and those listed by meltwaterfalls would be a good choice). I sometimes thought that a serial nomination of modern museum architecture could be a great WHS in the future. Another thing is to ask which of these concepts and ideas could be transferred in the architecture of housing estates, for instance.
As an example: it is funny to look at the buildings by Frank Gehry, like the Dancing House in Prague or the Neuer Zollhof in Düsseldorf, but it is hard to imagine an entire residential area in this style.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_House
http://www.lummel.de/en/zollhof.htm

But it is still not clear how UNESCO will deal with 'older' modern architecture. Last year the Le Corbusier proposal was rejected, for good reason, I think, because some minor sites were included. But if the Schwetzingen Castle would be inscribed in 2012, it surely would be a wrong signal. And it is interesting to see what will happen the Frank Lloyd Wright proposal.

Solivagant:
no airports, atom smashers, rocket launching pads, computer rooms, TV and movie studios


I also agree, maybe a clearer statement of the UNESCO is needed that such proposals are welcome?

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 13:13 
I think the only way the Frank Lloyd Buildings will not be inscribed on their first attempt, is if it suffers the same fate as the Le Corbusier nomination. Though I doubt this will happen, the US did not seek a transnational nomination. There are now 11 sites for the FLW nomination (1 has been added since 2008). All 11 sites have been influential architectually and are worthy additions, but it is hard to tell how Unesco will view this. Do all 11 sites have OUV? The chosen sites cover most of Frank Lloyd Wright's very long career and showcase his architectual evolution over six decades, moreover, the nomination includes the best examples of his particularly influential styles. Public and residential sites are both included in equal measure in the nomination. Does anyone have an opinion on any potential weak points in the FLW nomination? There have been many important FLW buildings not included, some because they have more to do with Frank Lloyd Wright himself instead of his architectual influence. One coming to mind is Frank Lloyd Wright's Chicago home in Oak Park which was included on the previous US tentative list.

Author hubert
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 16:32 
winterkjm:
All 11 sites have been influential architectually and are worthy additions, but it is hard to tell how Unesco will view this.


I hope the UNESCO will join your opinion. For me, the OUV of the 11 FLW sites is undoubtedly given. And I also hope that a new Le Corbusier proposal will be submitted in the near future. As recommended, with his three most outstanding buildings.
But how many sites are appropriate to represent the work of an outstanding architect? I think of the Palladio WHS, where more than 40 buildings were included, almost all of his buildings, also those where his contribution was only minor or even questionable. Is it simply because Palladio is dead since 400 years? Well, the decision was in 1994/1996 and the criteria might have been changed.

Or to ask in general (although this is not the original topic of this thread): How many sites are necessary to represent a certain category? Do we need 727 Spanish rock-art sites? Or 111 pile dwellings? How many wooden churches are needed to represent this category? And are they so different from each other, that each country should have its own wooden church WHS?
And I am also thinking of the French nomination for 2012, "Bassin minier du Nord-Pas de Calais", that consists of 108 components.
And in Germany (together with the Czech Republic) a proposal "Ore Mountain Mining Region" is in preparation with about 50 sites (probably for inscription in 2014 or 2015).

Author Khuft
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 19:45 | Edited by: Khuft 
Solivagant:
b. Which contain signigificant structures from the 20th C which presumably contribute to the overall OUV of the site (or at least do not detract from it!)
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/tag.php?id=729


One structure not mentioned yet in the connection is the Louvre Pyramid by I.M.Pei.

When considering which late 20th / early 21st century architects deserve the WH accolade, probably one criterium to consider would be whether that architect was influential in defining a new architectural style. (Many of the architects which have been awarded the Pritzker Prize seem still to be very much influenced by modernism.) Some of the styles that could be considered would be:

Brutalism: several British buildings would fit the bill as the representative icons of this movement, e.g. the Trellick Tower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trellick_Tower). My personal favourite, though, is the Bangladesh National Assembly building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatiyo_Sangshad_Bhaban) by Louis Khan.

Metabolist movement: a Japanese architecture movement well represented by the Nakagin Capsule Tower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakagin_Capsule_Tower) by Kurokawa.

High-Tech architecture: the Centre Pompidou in Paris by R Piano and R Rogers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_Georges_Pompidou), or the Lloyds building in London (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd's_Building) by R Rogers are good representatives of this style, where the "nuts and bolts" (and pipes, etc.) of a building are laid bare.

Postmodernism: the iconic builiding for this movement was the Portland Municipal Services Building, by M. Graves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Building), built in 1982. However, the movement can be traced back to Robert Venturi - so a more relevant building may e.g. be the Vanna Venturi building. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanna_Venturi_House)

Deconstructivism: two architects spring to mind here: Frank Gehry with in particular the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guggenheim_Museum_Bilbao) - rarely has a single building completely redefined a whole city (Sydney being another example); and Zaha Hadid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaha_Hadid), for which several buildings might classify, though it may still be too early to select one / some of her future creations might yet become the one defining Zaha Hadid building.

Other styles may be considered too.

An interesting site containing buildings from several contemporary architects is the Vitra factory's area in Weil am Rhein, Germany - works of Pritzker Prize winners F Gehry, Z Hadid, Tadao Ando, Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA, Alvaro Siza are present there. In a sense, Weil am Rhein is a condensate of the architecture of the last two decades - and as such almost a cultural landscape of the 90s/2000s. See the following site for pictures of all the buildings of Weil am Rhein: http://www.vitra.com/de-de/campus/architecture-tour/

Author Khuft
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 20:27 
Just noticed that many of these fit with meltwaterfalls list. I think that by clustering them according to the styles they represent (and not just as an accumulation of iconic buildings) it may be simpler in the years to come to select those that may be worthy of the WH title.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 08:20 
Khuft:
Weil am Rhein ... almost a cultural landscape of the 90s/2000s

I like that idea, they are also very high quality and internationally influential examples, rather than just being representative. Especially the Fire Station and the Vitra factory.

In regards to the the FLW proposal I can't foresee too many problems, it may have to cull a few buildings, but even the Price Tower which I don't personally find that remarkable is the only real example of tower architecture so seems worthy of its pace.

Author Durian
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 29 Oct 2011 08:44 
hubert:
I also agree, maybe a clearer statement of the UNESCO is needed that such proposals are welcome?


I don't think we need UNESCO to have such kind of statement. The question of site recognition is purely the national interest, if the country recognizes the site, list it at national heritage, protect, and promote the outstanding value, then propose to tentative list. If the site is really have OUV with good reason and reliable comparative study, then I don't think ICOMOS or UNESCO will not welcome the idea to inscribe those sites. In case of Le Corbusier, the reason to reject it is quite good I'm have to agree with WHC and ICOMOS, and I don't think, except France and maybe Switzerland, all nominated countries are fully support the nomination, for example Japan, they even not recognize the Le Corbusier museum building as important heritage at all until French Government ask them to list it as national heritage for WHS preparation!

Many modern architecture can be listed as WHS in future , but at present who can guarantee that it's really have OUV, it can be listed by the reason of iconic site or beautiful piece of human work under criteria i or ii similar to sydney opera house, but not criteria iv or vi which surely guarantee the OUV of listed architecture and its impact to the world like Bauhaus.

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