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The Preservation Machine: An Alternative Proposal for Re-engaging with Heritage

Part 1 Project 2020
Oliver Gabe
Newcastle University | UK
The Preservation Machine aims to propose an experimental approach to preservation that responds to the commodification and disinterest of heritage buildings within the contemporary city. Initially starting with the preservation of Notre Dame, the Machine restores and reframes the cathedral into a new spectacular monument that is relevant again in today’s society. The Machine, fuelled by the tourist industry that it hosts and accelerates, begins to shift its gaze to its surroundings. Responding to the influence of the tourists, it begins to absorb the ignored surrounding buildings and reframe their perception, rejuvenating their cultural longevity. New and old architecture is combined and blurred within the Preservation Machine. The fragments of the old buildings can be experienced in an understandable and Instagrammable way as the machine absorbs and incorporates them into its architecture. By embodying the superficial nature of tourism and accelerating the industry to new heights, the machine acts as a mediator between the tourists and their perception of heritage. This re-engages the visitors with the historical buildings of the Ile-de-la-Cite, thus recreating the engagement with heritage that has been lost in the modern city.

Oliver Gabe


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