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Cádiz Castle Restoration: Interesting Interpretation or Harmful to Heritage?

06:00 - 16 March, 2016
Cádiz Castle Restoration: Interesting Interpretation or Harmful to Heritage?, Before and After. Image via Leandro Cabello | Carquero Arquitectura
Before and After. Image via Leandro Cabello | Carquero Arquitectura

In 2011, after the partial collapse of the Matrera Castle in Cádiz, Spain (dating back to the 9th century) the city decided to restore the remaining tower, with the aim of preventing its collapse and protecting the few elements that were still standing. 

The challenge fell into the hands of Spanish architect Carlos Quevedo Rojas, whose design received the approval of the Regional Government of Andalucía, in compliance with the Historical Heritage law 13/2007, which prohibits mimetic reconstructions and requires the use of materials that are distinct from the originals. 

In the words of the architect: “This intervention sought to achieve three basic objectives: to structurally consolidate the elements that were at risk; to differentiate the additions from the original structure (avoiding the mimetic reconstructions that our law prohibits) and to recover the volume, texture and tonality that the tower originally had. The essence of the project is not intended to be, therefore, an image of the future, but rather a reflection of its own past, its own origin.”

The polemical restoration has provoked a broad international discussion about heritage restoration, and the Izquierda Unida group has said it will bring the case to the Andalusian Parliament’s Culture committee to see if the restoration was the result expected by the Ministry of Culture. On the other hand, while the building had previously received only sporadic visits, it has now become a new tourist attraction in the area

Why has a restoration based on the anastylosis technique – which exists around the world – caused so much controversy? It is it really a “heritage massacre” as the media has said? Do you think it could have been carried out in a better way?

Join the debate and leave your comments after the break. 

Debate: Pret A Habiter - Ready to Inhabit

14:28 - 2 March, 2016
Debate: Pret A Habiter - Ready to Inhabit

AAgora is a debate platform based at the Architectural Association, London, which aims to shed light on relevant architectural topics. These debates take the form of an open-table discussion which encourages the audience to participate at any time. AAgora's third debate will be "Pret A Habiter" - or, Ready to Inhabit - Towards Nomadic Homogeneity, in the city through the sharing economy and Airbnb.

Debate: On the Chicago Architecture Biennial

13:16 - 22 February, 2016
Debate: On the Chicago Architecture Biennial

AAgora is a newly-founded critical architecture debate platform at the Architectural Association in London, which aims to shed light on relevant architectural topics. These debates take the form of an open-table discussion which encourages the audience to participate at any time. AAgora's second debate will be "On the Chicago Biennial" - On Biennials, and how we define contemporary architecture.

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: On Turncoats, The Cass and Architectural Debate

09:30 - 26 January, 2016
Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: On Turncoats, The Cass and Architectural Debate, With a ban on cameras, recorders and phones, the only physical records of the Turncoats debates are hasty sketches by the audience. Image © Andra Antone courtesy of Turncoats
With a ban on cameras, recorders and phones, the only physical records of the Turncoats debates are hasty sketches by the audience. Image © Andra Antone courtesy of Turncoats

“I’d like you to join me in hell” declared Catherine Slessor, the first female editor of The Architectural Review in her opening speech for the design debate series Turncoats in late November. What followed was a blistering, hilarious and poetic assault on the world of vanity publishing confided to an audience of 200 critics, architects and designers in SelgasCano’s Second Home. Normally a review such as this one might be accompanied with a film of the event itself, but in this case that is impossible due to Turncoats’ blanket ban on digital recording equipment (including phones) - one of numerous theatrical twists which have made this unassuming project one of the hottest tickets in town.

Turncoats is the creation of former AR Deputy Editor and current Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation Phineas Harper, Studio Weave and Interrobang founder Maria Smith, and esteemed educator Professor Robert Mull, backed by the Cass architecture and art school. The series is like a hedonistic mash-up of an old school debating society and a ritualistic drinking game. Vodka shots, comedy warm up acts, sexy venues and mischievous polemical propositions make every Turncoats event a surreal and thought-provoking evening. The masterstroke is that not every invited panellist is speaking their mind – some are purely playing devil’s advocate. This reality-bending twist naturally invites a theatricality which blurs the line between argument and arguer, enabling a frankness of architectural debate rarely seen in our nervously polite industry.

Lisbon Architecture Triennale's Kick-Off Debate Madrid

11:47 - 9 November, 2015
Lisbon Architecture Triennale's Kick-Off Debate Madrid

The Crisis of Form
André Tavares debates with Juan Coll-Barreu and Nicolás Maruri

Madrid is the first international city to receive a debate to launch the 4th edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Under the title The Form of Form, this edition is curated by André Tavares and Diogo Seixas Lopes.

Lisbon Architecture Triennale's Kick-Off Debate London

11:41 - 9 November, 2015
Lisbon Architecture Triennale's Kick-Off Debate London

Communicating forms
André Tavares debates with Mark Tuff and Tim Abrahams

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale is very pleased to announce the kick-off debate - Communicating Forms – with André Tavares chief curator of 2016’s Lisbon Triennale, Mark Tuff and Tim Abrahams.

Architecture on the Frontline at The Battle Of Ideas

01:00 - 3 November, 2013
Architecture on the Frontline at The Battle Of Ideas , Popups, like this store by ///byn were just one topic under scrutiny . Image © Jiang Yong
Popups, like this store by ///byn were just one topic under scrutiny . Image © Jiang Yong

The Battle of Ideas is an annual, weekend-long series of panel discussions hosted at the Barbican in London, ranging across subjects from neuroscience to music and everything in between. With a strong thread of architecture and urbanism, this year offered a spectacular chance to probe the popular trends and fads in today's design culture.

Read on after the break for the highlights of the event.