„It’s all about emotional value…”

September 13th, 2017

Category: Press/Media, Architecture, Urban design

Projects dealing with revitalisation and heritage are an important part of Rijnboutt’s design activities.

What makes a building or a place a part of heritage? We talk about it with Wojciech Kasinowicz, architect at the Rijnboutt office in Krakow, Poland.

Buildings listed in the register of monuments or located in protected areas are usually seen as a part of heritage. This qualification is strongly supported by historical research preceding the administrative decision on protection. But actually it is all about emotional value…More and more often we appreciate the buildings that have their own history, context, story to tell. Authenticity of these places attracts us, even if the functions we introduce are contemporary.

How to find out whether a particular object is valuable? After all, this concept may mean something different to anybody …
At Rijnboutt we give the answer to this question through meticulously conducted analysis of a place or a building. Based on archival drawings or other illustrative material (photographs, prints, etc.) we carry out an analysis of the building history and the social background. What was the initial project? To what extent was it realized? What changes have been introduced over the years? Later on, in a broader scope, we examine historical and cultural determinants. Urban context, change of function over the time, typology of this object and similar ones. It all leads to the valuation of the place or building, helps to set the path. Even if our design intervention is strong, we can always settle it in the context of the object.

Where to find themes related to revitalisation?
There are many. In Kraków and other Polish cities there is a large scope of buildings that have lost their original functions and are located in prominent locations. In the era of electronic banking, banks are abandoning their representative headquarters. The factories or industrial plants, formerly located on the outskirts of cities, as a result of urbanization, now are almost in the centre. At Rijnboutt, we have successful examples of designing in such facilities as The Bank in Amsterdam or HAKA in Rotterdam. There are Polish counterparts of them, created during the same period. Similar character comes from similar functions. Our method of work fitted perfectly in these cases. Hence, I know we already have the answers to the challenges that are to emerge…

Want to know more? Contact Wojciech.