References of "Houbart, Claudine"
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See detailFrom the spirit to the letter of the charters : mind the gap for the future
Houbart, Claudine ULg; Dawans, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2015, June 22)

Since the 1960’s and the foundation of ICOMOS, charters have been considered as a sort of conservation gospel. In this presentation, we would like to question this fact, in the light of the very ... [more ▼]

Since the 1960’s and the foundation of ICOMOS, charters have been considered as a sort of conservation gospel. In this presentation, we would like to question this fact, in the light of the very particular production and reception conditions of the documents. What may be perceived as a mostly provocative approach seems to us a constructive basis for future reflections. When we read and use charters – in this presentation, we will mainly focus on the Venice Charter, the Nara document and the Riga Charter – , we forget too often that they have been written by human beings, sometimes very tired, in a hurry, and even arguing with each other. The study of the archival material related to the writing of the Venice Charter and the Nara document very clearly illustrates that these documents are rather a conceptual “bricolage” than indisputable normative texts as if they had been written by lawyers. In the case of the Venice Charter, the archive as well as the records of Raymond M. Lemaire, Paul Philippot or Gertrud Tripp make clear that the document has been written at the last moment and adopted too rapidly by an assembly too glad to finally have a updated version of the Athens charter. As a consequence, only a few years later, Raymond Lemaire and Piero Gazzola already questioned the validity of the new text in the light of the extension of heritage debates to the city centers. On the other hand, the fact that a French and an English version of the Nara document were written in parallel by Raymond M. Lemaire and Herb Stovel in 1994 has had immediate consequences on the content and the formulation of the text, which logically left both of them unsatisfied with the result. Even so, the Venice charter and the Nara document still have force of law today. Yet, besides the particular circumstances of their writing, we must keep in mind that these texts answered specific questions, closely linked to the context: a critical answer to postwar reconstruction for the first, and apparently opposed visions of authenticity between East and West for the second. As far as the Riga charter is concerned, the influence of the delicate context of the Eastern bloc collapse is evident. For this reason, using such documents today requires at least a critical reading, going back to the spirit beyond the text. Our presentation will illustrate ad absurdum, through recent case studies, how a cynical reading of such documents can lead to interventions dangerously in conflict with this spirit and the fundamental ideals of conservation philosophy. In the era of late capitalism and heritage globalization, are we allowed to forget the conditions and the context in which our doctrinal documents have been written to justify anything and everything and to meet, for example, the “tourist gaze”, the “nouveaux riches” taste or the architect’s egomania? Do architects really want to know what the writers of the Venice charter’s article 9 meant by the “contemporary stamp”? What are the limits of the tolerance towards reconstruction first expressed by the Nara document, and a few years later, the charter of Riga? So many questions that ICOMOS must face if it wants to pursue its guiding mission in a mostly financial world. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards an “integrated conservation” : the contribution of R.M. Lemaire and Piero Gazzola during the first decade of ICOMOS (1965-1975)
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Conference (2015, June 22)

Respectively elected first President and first Secretary General during the first general assembly of ICOMOS in Cracow in 1965, Piero Gazzola and Raymond M. Lemaire have deeply contributed to the success ... [more ▼]

Respectively elected first President and first Secretary General during the first general assembly of ICOMOS in Cracow in 1965, Piero Gazzola and Raymond M. Lemaire have deeply contributed to the success of the newly born organisation. During the first years, they didn’t only provoke the creation of numerous national committees around the world, but they also positioned ICOMOS as a major actor of the international conservation scene, through the organisation of conferences and an active participation in the debates initiated by Unesco and the Council of Europe, for which ICOMOS acted as a consultant. The study of Raymond M. Lemaire’s archive, kept at the KU Leuven in Belgium, clearly shows that one of the major concerns of both Lemaire and Gazzola, who had been, in 1964, amongst the main authors of the Venice Charter, was to broaden the scope of the document in order to address the issue of pre-industrial city centres, threatened by late reconstruction or development projects mostly promoting functionalist approaches. Depending on the time available, this presentation will address one or various aspects of Lemaire’s and Gazzola’s contribution to the emergence of integrated conservation, consecrated by the European Charter and the Amsterdam Declaration of 1975, that is: the new ideas (social value of heritage for example) developed during the expert meetings organised by the Council of Europe in 1965-1968, where they both represented ICOMOS. These ideas are synthesised in the report “Saving the face of Europe” in 1973, the relation between these theoretical contributions and Lemaire and Gazzola’s contemporary field experience, the role of Eastern Europe experiences (D. Libal in Prague and M. Horler in Budapest) in the development of an appropriate methodology to address urban issues, the differences between the concept of “integral planning” proposed by Lemaire in 1973 and the “integrated conservation” that was promoted by the 1975 Council of Europe charters, an epilogue could mention the revision projects of the Venice Charter between 1975 and 1981. Based on my PhD about R.M. Lemaire, recently presented at the KU Leuven (Belgium), this presentation aims at clarifying and illustrating the shift from monument restoration towards city “reanimation” or “rehabilitation” during the late sixties and seventies, as well as paying tribute to the action of two of the most important figures of the beginnings of ICOMOS. [less ▲]

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See detailRaymond M. Lemaire (1921-1997) et la conservation de la ville ancienne. Approche historique et critique de ses projets belges dans une perspective internationale
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Doctoral thesis (2015)

The specialised centre for conservation of the KU Leuven wears his name. Raymond M. Lemaire (1921-1997), art historian, is unanimously and internationally considered as one of the key figures of heritage ... [more ▼]

The specialised centre for conservation of the KU Leuven wears his name. Raymond M. Lemaire (1921-1997), art historian, is unanimously and internationally considered as one of the key figures of heritage conservation in the second half of the twentieth century. His name is immediately associated to the writing of the Venice charter, the foundation of ICOMOS or Unesco missions such as the restoration of the Acropolis or the Borobudur temples. But his work in Belgium, in the field of urban renovation is to a great extend ignored, with the exception of the Great beguinage of Leuven. Starting from Lemaire's personal archives, handed over to the KU Leuven after be became professor emeritus in 1991, our study aims at revealing his vision of urban rehabilitation, on the basis of microhistorical case-studies mostly situated in Brussels and of his contributions to the elaboration of an appropriate doctrine for the renovation of city centres. Considering this vision in relation with his practice in the field of urbanism, well illustrated by the planning of Louvain-la-Neuve, has lead us to see in Raymond M. Lemaire an updating of the "integral architect", an essential concept formulated by Gustavo Giovannoni at the beginning of the twentieth century. [less ▲]

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See detailCentre Adeps "La Marlette" (Pierre Corbisier); "Au blanc Lévrier" (DFG); Maison Brasseur (Pierre Farla); Orangerie du château de Seneffe (Samyn et associés); BAM (Christian Menu).
Houbart, Claudine ULg

in Ben Djaffar, Lamya; De Smet, Isabelle (Eds.) Guide d'architecture moderne et contemporaine 1885-2015. Mons & coeur du Hainaut (2015)

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See detailCastelvecchio Calvisio: et pourquoi pas un scénario ruskinien?
Houbart, Claudine ULg; Dawans, Stéphane ULg

in Crisan, Rodica; Fiorani, Donatella; Kealy, Loughlin (Eds.) et al Restoration/Reconstruction. Small Historic Centres. Conservation in the Midst of Change, EAAE IV meeting and workshop (Roma - Castelvecchio Calvisio, October 28-31, 2013) (2015)

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See detailThe Belgian Monuments Men During and After the Second World War
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Conference (2014, July 04)

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See detailDeconsecrating a doctrinal monument: Raymond M. Lemaire and the revisions of the Venice Charter
Houbart, Claudine ULg

in Change Over Time (2014), (fall), 218-243

Considering himself as the “main author” of the charter, Raymond M. Lemaire has been one of the first, together with Piero Gazzola, to plead for a revision of the document. As early as 1971, the two men ... [more ▼]

Considering himself as the “main author” of the charter, Raymond M. Lemaire has been one of the first, together with Piero Gazzola, to plead for a revision of the document. As early as 1971, the two men, respectively first Secretary General and President of ICOMOS, tended to launch a debate in favour of a better consideration of the social value of heritage, and the development of specific principles for historical cities conservation, to be included in the Venice charter. Lemaire’s recent experience in that field had indeed convinced him that, contrary to the assertion of article 14, “a literal application of principles valid for monuments, considered as such, is not always possible, nor desirable, for the ensembles”. The adoption of the Amsterdam declaration didn’t put an end to his efforts. Despite his unsuccessful attempt to get a revised version approved by the ICOMOS General assembly in Moscow (1978), R.M.Lemaire always remained critical towards the charter and the application of its principles in the field, underlining, in the eighties, its shortcomings in terms of cultural diversity and, in one of his last texts, in 1996, the negative effect of article 9, leading to the idea that “the mere essence of a conservation operation is a modernist intervention on the edifice or neighbourhood”. Beyond its interest for conservation history, the awareness of Lemaire’s early critical position towards the Venice Charter should inspire the current debates and help us overcome our reluctance to challenge the sacred principles of what we consider a doctrinal monument. [less ▲]

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See detailL'église Sainte-Croix (Liège): Scénarios pour l'avenir d'un patrimoine exceptionnel menacé
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Report (2014)

From the 17th until the 28th March 2014, the faculty of architecture of University of Liège has organised a workshop for its students (heritage conservation orientation), together with the students of the ... [more ▼]

From the 17th until the 28th March 2014, the faculty of architecture of University of Liège has organised a workshop for its students (heritage conservation orientation), together with the students of the joint specialized master in conservation and students from Hasselt and Antwerp Universties. The aim of the workshop was to consider different scenarios for the future of the church. This rich pedagogic experience, including lectures, a study trip and team work on the site, has resulted in a general report presenting scenarios for the future of the church, ranging from mere conservation and restoration to provocative perspectives such as demolition and different types of reuse. [less ▲]

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See detailRaymond Lemaire et la rénovation urbaine dans les années 1960-1970: entre théorie et pratique de la conservation
Houbart, Claudine ULg

in Aveta, Aldo, Di Stefano, Maurizio (Ed.) Roberto Di Stefano. Filosofia della Conservazione e prassi del Restauro (2014)

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See detailDe l'après-guerre aux années 1990. Raymond Lemaire, Paul Philippot et leur (non-)postérité
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Scientific conference (2013, March 26)

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See detailAutour de quelques projets récents et à venir à Bruxelles et en Wallonie
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Scientific conference (2013, March 25)

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See detailQuelques considérations sur la préservation de l'authenticité des quartiers résidentiels modernes du nord de Bucarest
Dawans, Stéphane ULg; Houbart, Claudine ULg

in Crisan, Rodica (Ed.) Conservation / Regeneration. The modernist neighborhood (2013)

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See detailRaymond Lemaire et les débuts de la rénovation urbaine à Bruxelles
Houbart, Claudine ULg

in Urban History Review / Revue d'histoire urbaine (2012), XLI(2), 37-56

Since the end of the 1960s, the archaeologist Raymond Lemaire, professor at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, has contributed to the questioning of the urban renovation methods adopted by the ... [more ▼]

Since the end of the 1960s, the archaeologist Raymond Lemaire, professor at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, has contributed to the questioning of the urban renovation methods adopted by the technical department of the City of Brussels administration for the most ancien districts of the historic centre. Through his role as an expert for the association « Quartier des Arts », he is entrusted with several studies aiming at the adoption of normative plans for some building blocks of high heritage interest. This allows him to put the principles he contributes to define, at the same moment, within international organizations such as ICOMOS or the Council of Europe, to the test of reality. Our contribution aims, through the significant example of the renovation of the « Sainte-Anne district », to throw light on this key moment of Brussels urbanism’s recent history and to take a critical look at Raymond Lemaire’s work. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Museum of Modern Art in Brussels: how 20 years of urban activism can fail
Houbart, Claudine ULg

Conference (2012, September 01)

The debate around the construction of the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels in the 1960’s and 70’s is the most revealing illustration of the urban struggle between « the ancients and the moderns”, in which ... [more ▼]

The debate around the construction of the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels in the 1960’s and 70’s is the most revealing illustration of the urban struggle between « the ancients and the moderns”, in which the associations play a crucial part besides the public authorities. From the beginning of the 1960’s, the implantation of the new building is the subject of numerous discussions where the “Ligue Esthétique”, a very conservative association proceeding from the Social Christian Party, founded in 1953, conflicts with the modernist designs of the Minister of Culture Pierre Wigny. Supporting the idea that the container should reflect the content, the Minister appoints the young architect Roger Bastin, whose project is also supported by the museum curator Philippe Roberts-Jones and the association “Les Amis des Musées”, lead by Count René Boël and comprising art patrons and lovers. Situated in a very delicate area of the city, besides the 18th century Place Royale and the Palace of Charles de Lorraine, the project plans the demolition of a historical building block occupied by dwellings and shops, and its replacement by a sculptural concrete building indicating the presence of the museum, almost entirely subterranean. This option earns the project the opposition of two more associations, which arise at the end of the 1960’s with very different backgrounds and aims. The “Quartier des Arts”, composed of members of the industrial aristocracy, politicians and public authorities representatives, is founded in 1967 with the aim of preserving the heritage of the area. Advised by the archaeologist and conservation expert Raymond Lemaire, the association is opposed to the demolition of one of the last ancient districts of Brussels. The ARAU (Atelier de recherche et d’action urbaine), founded in 1969 by the left wing sociologist René Schoonbrodt, fights for the maintain of the housing function of the city centre. The joint action of these very different groups of interest leads to a new version of the project and the giving up of the concrete signal building. But due to the length of the debates, more than a half of the ancient buildings have to be demolished and the other are very strongly restored: neither contemporary architecture, nor ancient heritage has won this urban battle. If the result of this long story seems today very disappointing as to urban design, the study of its mechanism is, on the other hand, particularly interesting: it reveals, through archival research, the complex relations between public and associative actors, where ideological and political considerations mix with personal – or even familial – relations and the hazards of urban life. [less ▲]

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See detail"Identical" reconstruction and Heritage Authenticity: introduction to the session
Dawans, Stéphane ULg; Houbart, Claudine ULg; Piplani, Navin

Conference (2012, June 06)

Introduction to the session ""Identical" Reconstruction and Heritage Authenticity", highlighting the most prominent issues of the current debate in an international context.

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