Rescuing the Hidden European Wooden Church Heritage,
an international methodology for implementing a database for restoration projects
Programme European Community - Culture 2000
with the support of the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union
Promoted and organized
Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation
Collegio degli Ingegneri della Toscana
Faculty of Architecture, Brno University of Technology
Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology
Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology
Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology
Kharkiv State Technical University of Construction and Architecture
official web-site: www.european-wooden-religious-heritage.org
Preliminary remarks The enlargement of EU has represented a way to face with new opportunities of mutual enrichment for all members, in all the human field of interest. After the definitive destruction of the last barriers towards a re-united Europe, it is necessary now for new members to strengthen their consciousness. The artistic heritage of those countries should arouse as an important source of wealth for them, as well as a mean for confirming the European integration.
The project is focused on the ancient wooden architectural heritage of the Central-Eastern Europe, typical of their historical building philosophy. The main idea concerns the fact that the financial situation in many of these countries does not allow to save this kind of heritage that, due to its physical characteristics, is gradually lost. New generation does not identify themselves with the cultural heritage because they cannot appreciate it in its primary beauty. Many were already lost and, for the existing ones, there is the risk to have no opportunity to restore all; for some the fate is already sealed. But we can virtually keep the memory of their splendour, through a graphic reconstruction by the hands of the young specialists – future agents of changes – sided by national experts and those whose country has a high level tradition know-how (as Italy); hence making possible to bear witness to their existence, for next generation. Doing this work younger generation may identify themselves with cultural achievements of their country and in the future when financial situation allow they may resurrect their heritage according to the examples of graphic reconstruction they have made being. This project has both educational and social prospects.
The objectives of the project On the whole, the project it is aimed to represent a model of intervention through a process of mutual exchange and co-operation. In details it is aimed: 1) to create a database of the important Central Eastern Europe ancient wooden architectural treasures, already lost or which risk being lost in next years due to their bad condition of conservation; 2) to identify a selection bearing witness to the local architecture religious tradition, to be promptly rescued; 3) to find relevant solutions for keeping their existence alive and for recovering; 3) to bring together young people from different European countries in order to create a network based on a long-term co-operation bringing up necessary solutions for common European heritage 4) to exchange know-how across Europe in different disciplines, thus favouring the dissemination of the experience and the good practices.
Project location and duration From November 2005 till October 2006. It made up by 6 different phases, placed both in Florence than in the other cities-partners.
EU added value The project involves 6 Member States (Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania and Slovakia), and one third country, Ukraine, for its wooden historical heritage. Each team consists of the local university (the co-organiser) which has set up a working group of people from the field of architecture, history of architecture, and rehabilitation. Each group is represented by a professor (responsible for the management of the group) and two PhD. students in order to ensure both a qualified approach of experienced professors and new visions and spirit of young students. One of the aims is to establish a long-term co-operation between these universities and persons, especially students, to ensure a long-lasting effect of the project. The added value of the project is based on this co-operation of similar teams from different countries which will encourage the future co-operation between different players as well. This partnership scheme was set up with a great care and will be the most efficient in exchange of know-how on a European level thanks to the fact that in each partner is a 3 persons group with the same specialisation. This allows a greater project impact on future development and research in the area of preservation of European legacy of different types.
Project implementation, achievements and co-organisers involvement Two macro-phases are planned: the first is aimed to prepare a database of the most significant ancient wooden architectural structures in each country-partner; the second, to the practical definition of recovering proposals and the dissemination of results and best practices.
It will be necessary, at first, to jointly define the criteria for the selection of the examples, then for the research and study, then for their scheduling; to do that, all the partners will meet in Florence at the kick-off meeting, under the scientific co-ordination of the Italian partner. Then each working group will then work remotely: a) proposing a preliminary selection of 5 sites worthy of recovering, to be presented later; b) gathering information about historical, technical, structural, etc. aspects of the sites; c) finding solutions for the preservation of one of them, according its importance and conservation.
Most of the work will be done remotely. The main focus is though stressed on two 7-days international workshops bringing all the working groups together to exchange their solutions and get mutual achievements. They will then provide the Project Leader and the Scientific Co-ordinator partner the material for setting up a CD, a virtual exhibition as well as for Internet version. All the partners will take part in organisation of the final project exhibition held in Florence in October 2006 and then in the other partner’s cities.
Project beneficiaries The project will deliver a model which can be replicable by any institutional body (universities, public bodies and others), which experiences part or all the problems identified in it. The solution can be easily replicable, as it is the final result of a Pan- European co-operation in the definition of all working standards. Apart form providing solutions for preserving cultural and historical heritage the model is targeted to provide both educational and scientific purposes. The identified problems and offered solutions will also help relevant conservative and policy-makers to plan right preservation strategies when planning organisation and support for their national cultural and architectural peculiarities.