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16.00  Heritage and Architecture From a Teacher's and Student's Perspective

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11:00, Saturday 4 Jun 2016 (30 minutes)

The education program we teach our students in the Heritage and Architecture Department of the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology is based on design by research. To deal with heritage like monumental buildings as an architect, it is necessary to understand the site, the object, the history of place, the changes over time, and the impact of culture values during the design process.

We as teachers provide our students with an education method: “Design with History.” This has led to some successful projects from our graduates. Three of them have been selected recently for the Archiprix exhibition of best graduates in Architecture in the Netherlands. This paper will discuss and reflect on the method that we provided them with, how they developed this in their own approach and evaluate the solutions. I will thus present projects of: Oriana Kraemer, Katerina Krommyda, and Maarten van Kesteren.

This method shows students how to deal with built heritage in an urban context. In general, students need to research the site, context, existing building(s), materials used, and technical aspects of the site and buildings. They also need to define the research question they will investigate and research their specific topic related to that defined problem statement. The teachers provide them with basic instructions following the guidelines defined by the Department of Heritage and Architecture. Students are able to develop their own method and deliver a research report as well as a set of starting points for their design. The design based on the research is the final result of their graduation project. 

The three projects that I will discuss and critically analyze are examples from different students, on different locations, and following individual research approaches: Oriana Kraemer with a project to refurbish social housing blocks in Moerwijk, The Hague, founded on situational and societal research based on site visits and interviews; Katerina Krommyda with the renovation of the Delft Armanetarium based on an elaborated analysis of the location and cultural values; and Maarten van Kesteren with a situational and theoretical research to find reasoning for the implementation of the Shoah Museum in the Hollandsche Schouwburg in Amsterdam. 

All three students started with the same background and basic knowledge, but they were able to work out their own vision based on their individually shaped research methods. This is how I want to teach and facilitate young people to excel.

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