The memory of architecture and its continuity behind the urban memory

Batkova, Yuliia and Chizzoniti, Domenico; (2022) The memory of architecture and its continuity behind the urban memory. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1415-1422. ISBN 9781914241161

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The problem addressed in this research is that of the representation of socio-political power of the dominating group in the built environment. The city of Warsaw serves as a case study to identify the process of transformation of urban identity through the reconstruction after the war damages. From the lens of European identity some other case studies, such as Dresden, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia. All these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what was called the Iron Curtain under the Soviet sphere and for various reasons have suffered more or less extensive destruction. Specifically, after major destruction during WW2, the urban form of Warsaw represents the material character of the city's history, largely excluding the main narratives of its former numerous Jewish communities as an important source of identity formation. The purpose of the study is to understand how this process came about, and how a sense of continuity with the past can be re-established. Addressing the case of Warsaw, four main issues are here evaluated: 1) expressions of power represented by zoning and its transfer to the creation of historic districts; 2) the origins of disparity of physical historical and contemporary environment; 3) problems within the field of architecture and urbanism in Eastern Europe and their relationship to the context. Through the linear relationship between architecture, memory and urban transformation this paper reports, works as agent of continuity, which in conjunction with the role of memory in the cross-time experiences brings the full experience of the past still alive in the present, by a projection to the future.

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