The overwhelmed monument

A contribution by Prof. Dr. Silke Langenberg

Professor of Construction Heritage and Historic Preservation at the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich

Impulse lecture within the framework of the symposium
Yesterday. Today! Tomorrow?
From the museum of late modernism, its history and its future, monument protection, the “third place” or climate box versus climate crisis.
Part II, September 1 + 2, 2023
What next? More and more is not enough. Best Practices in Dealing with Redevelopment, Expansion, Rededication in Reflection of the Third Place’s Expanded Museum Function.

Black and white photo of two men on the right of the picture, who seem to be engaged in conversation and both point their index fingers at one spot. This spot is located on an architectural model.
Second design for the Kunsthalle Bielefeld 1964 with the dimensions 30 x 30 meters. Philip Johnson (left) and Henry de la Trobe. Photo: Kunsthalle Bielefeld
Two blocks of four photos in portrait format. Each shows a section of a building and a word in capital letters: Obvious, Accepted, The opposite of obsious, Incalculable, Forgotten, Hidden, Think ahead, Continue.
Glimpse of the lecture. Presentation slide on the question: What makes a building a architectural monument?

In the retrofitting of high-quality buildings and ensembles, architects work closely together with the specialist offices for the preservation of historical monuments. The resulting projects are the result of lengthy negotiation processes and trade-offs between past and present values that are not infrequently in conflict with each other. As a general rule, “old buildings” are expected to meet new construction standards. Under the title “The overtaxed monument”, the question of what historical buildings have to do – and can do at all – will be explored.

You can watch the recording of the entire talk here.

Portrait of white woman with folded arms, against gray background. She wears a black sweater and long blond hair tied in a braid hovh.
Prof. Dr. Silke Langenberg, Photo: Bernhard Huber, 2020

Silke Langenberg is Full Professor of Construction Heritage and Historic Preservation at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. Her professorship is affiliated with both the Institute of Historic Preservation and Historical Building Research and the Institute of Technology in Architecture.

It deals with theoretical and practical challenges of inventorying and preserving monuments as well as younger building stocks. Research focuses on the rationalization of construction processes as well as the development, repair and long-term preservation of serially, industrially and digitally manufactured structures. As part of a new research and exhibition project, she is addressing the heritage of minorities, marginalized groups and people without a lobby under the title “Whose Heritage?”.

Further blog posts related to the architecture symposium

The symposium is sponsored and supported by:

Black and white logo, the name of the institution flush left and the coat of arms of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia flush right.
Black and white logo, a black rectangle in which the name of the organization is written in capital letters.
Foundation logo, in green is written on the left in capital letters B & A with a circle around it. To the right is the foundation name written out in capital letters.


The advertising poster of the Architecture Symposium with writing in the bottom left corner: Part 2, September 1. + 2. .