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The Govajdia Centre for Ironworks. Restoration of the XIX th century blast furnace

Part 2 Project 2012
Dan-Gabriel Cioclu
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, Romania
A few ruins stand witness to the complex of spaces and activities that embodied the XIXth century industrial ensemble of Govajdia. Although in a state of decay, they allow a full, but not instantaneous, lecture of the site’s history. It can be traced back from early historical records that the past of Govajdia has always been related to ironworks, local blacksmiths and workshops having existed for more than 500 years. This tradition of iron forging was about to reach it’s peak through the existence of the XIXth century furnace.

We have the testimony of a series of processes, stretching throughout the XIXth century, that have formed a community and have continued to sustain it for more than a century, and which have visibly, but not permanently, left a mark on the natural landscape and have reinforced an already existing identity.

A sensitive reading, but not necessarily a profound one, will reveal two major values that any future intervention should take into account. The first of these two is the historical, architectural and documentary value of the blast furnace and of the other ruins that stand witness to a way of life based on working with iron; the second one is the landscape value of the ensemble and its natural surroundings. Both values are equally strong and present (in different ways), so ignoring or subduing one of them must be considered impermissible.

The proposed project is based on the dialog between industrial heritage and landscape, consequently materialising this bond through an ensemble that reunites the memory of an industrial past, an attitude of submission towards the natural surroundings, and a relation to the area’s architectural-industrial specific, creating an image of the industrial landscape that once existed.

A strictly industrial reutilisation of these spaces would prove wrong, as well as an exclusively conservative approach. The key is creating an interactive space in which industrial activities, based on natural and material resources, will have been replaced by a cultural-touristic-educational function, based on the good use of human and cultural resources.

Dan-Gabriel Cioclu


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