Revival of Disappearing Architectural Professions

From its start the aim of REDIAPRO – Revival of Disappearing Architectural Professions program has been to provide appropriate forum and possibilities for those institutions and private persons who have their mission to preserve those traditional building professions and craft traditions connecting to architecture, which represented building activities themselves for centuries, in different forms and scales based on the different time phases and locations.

Correct and authetic preservation of monuments clearly and unquestionably raise the demand for a professional knowledge – creator of the former ones -, that is not only available in theoretical form to be researched in museums, but also as a practical knowledge, furthermore it should be available in a well-practised form for the help of restorers and architects, at every single architectural or interior design intervention and always adjusted to the volume of the actual individual projects. REDIAPRO programme however tries to achieve even wider and more all-embracing results, likewise we can not only recognise heritage value on the level of the individual buildings, but in the same time in a larger synthesis of these elements and in the coherent system of different characteristics – distinguishing local, municipal, regional, countrywide (nationwide) or even higher levels.

In the times before the globally organised manufacturing and trade of building materials the determining building characters and differences were originated from the climatic and environmental conditions of the given region. These territorial characteristics could also partially overwrite the different styles of the ages and the technological trends of architecture, creating unique modifications and separate formal manifestations – however their full scale achievement could only happen within the domain of vernacular architecture. Keeping this comaprison in mind, REDIAPRO programme wants not only to provide a synthesis of problems on the level of public or residental houses of greater volumes (urban dwellings, multi-storey houses), but it also considers buildings of smaller scale and even in the rural or village environment as equally important. And even this latter area – the mass private house constructions, refurbishments and reconstructions – where significant changes would be claimed by the contributors of the programme, by trying to change the architectural thinking of the wide public.

In accordance with the basic theories of critical regionalism conceived by Kenneth Frampton, the main objective of the programme is to support a modern architecture originated from the own identity of the separate regions, which can re-emphasise these determining regional images. This sort of adaptation – after the aims of the programme and with respect to the possibilities – should take place on the basis of the locally still available traditional materials of these individual regions. So principles determined in REDIAPRO does not exclude the usage of modern technologies or global architectural endavours either, but it considers usage of traditional and thereby sustainable materials as primary. During the utilization of both traditional and modern building technologies it is a basic expectation that the representation should be honest, that means even during the application of historical forms or angles these elements can only come from the attributs of the given material and the used building technology – so the look should not fake the characteristics of the construction itself.

Harmonised utilisation of these three principles together – not only at historic reconstructions but in the case of sustainable architetcure as well – requires the existance of such craftmanship and knowledge, as only that can give chance for the realisation of an architecture which fits to the exisitng surroundings respectfully and which is formed from local, economically obtainable materials instead of catalogue products of the large scale building industry.

Vocational knowledge of future masters idealised by this programme will not be considered as only traditional or only modern and their field of work will not be historic restorations only or new constructions only, but their wide store of learning should be connected with the different building materials themselves and the behaviour of these between different conditions, making it possible for architects and masters to choose the building methods to be used after the character and primary characteristics of the project, adapting either traditional or modernised solutions, and if required, mixing these options with each other.

The success for the architecture that keeps regional architectural values in mind, respects ecological aspects, being based on the usage of local materials and being respected by gross of people – beyond the eligible architectural or heritage approach – comes mainly from the successful development of the regionally organised construction model. This model has two basic pillars: re-opening of the sources of local materials and the masters acting locally, while the third essential support is the vocational training itself which provides appropriate and complex knowledge operating with well-developed learning materials.

The construction industry being regionally organised, using traditional materials and requiring specific craftmanship knowledge can only reach its target and gain significant segment in competition with large scale industry if it can collect considerable support from the society and this will reveal itself in client conceptions, on the other hand if within the individual communities the demand for the valorised disappearing professions is significantly raised, which is gratified by a vocational training supported by state or EU funded programmes. As the social recognition of a new ‘Arts & Crafts’ movement has a key importance, the success of the original movement started by William Morris can also give useful strategic points of views.

Project Code: 2014-1-HU01-KA202-002280
Partnership of the Project
Project Meeting in Cluj Napoca, Romania
Project Meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania
Project Meeting in Perugia, Italy
Project Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Project Meeting in Granada, Spain
Project Meeting in Budapest, Hungary