Publications of Claudine Houbart
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See detailGrand témoin - conclusions et perspectives
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Speech/Talk (2021)

Conclusions et mise en perspective des interventions à l'issue des deux jours de la manifestation.

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See detailThe Abode of Chaos: a Refreshing Challenge for Conservation Theory and Practice
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Verbeeck, Muriel ULiege

in ICOM-CC Modern Materials - Contemporary Art Newsletter (2021), 12(Triennium 2021-23), 27-28

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See detailThe Abode of Chaos. Cultural Significance Assessment
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Report (2021)

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See detailLes églises rurales: un potentiel à activer
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Cahier Espace public (2021), (39),

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See detailVestiges de l'hôtel Aubecq, Bruxelles
Eisazadeh Otaghsaraei, Negin ULiege; Bodart, Céline ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Report (2021)

Report of the workshop organized in March 2019 with a group of students of the Faculty of Architecture of University of Liège.

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See detail“La reconstrucción como un acto creativo”: sobre la anastilosis y la restauración en torno al Congreso de Venecia
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Conversaciones (2020), 9

Con base en la observación de Nicholas Stanley-Price de una divergencia entre principios y práctica en la reconstrucción, el presente artículo analiza un momento clave en el desarrollo de la doctrina del ... [more ▼]

Con base en la observación de Nicholas Stanley-Price de una divergencia entre principios y práctica en la reconstrucción, el presente artículo analiza un momento clave en el desarrollo de la doctrina del patrimonio en el siglo XX: el Congreso de Venecia. Mediante un análisis de las sesiones del congreso, la exhibición que lo acompañó y la redacción de la carta que fue uno de sus resultados, se cuestionan las visiones de los expertos de ese tiempo acerca de la reconstrucción de sitios arqueológicos. El resultado es un paisaje contrastado en términos de proyectos y principios, y la observación de una cierta incomodidad ante la práctica que, después de las reconstrucciones de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, se justifica, para gran pesar de una parte de la profesión, por el desarrollo de la economía turística. [less ▲]

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See detail“Reconstruction as a creative act”: on anastylosis and restoration around the Venice Congress
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Conversaciones (2020), 9

Based on Nicholas Stanley Price's observation of a divergence between principles and practice in reconstruction, this article examines a key moment in the development of heritage doctrine in the 20th ... [more ▼]

Based on Nicholas Stanley Price's observation of a divergence between principles and practice in reconstruction, this article examines a key moment in the development of heritage doctrine in the 20th century: the Venice Congress. Through an examination of the sessions of the congress, the accompanying exhibition and the drafting of the charter that was one of its outcomes, it questions the views of experts of the time on the reconstruction of archaeological sites. The result is a contrasted landscape in terms of projects and principles and the observation of a certain unresolved uneasiness in the face of a practice which, after the second reconstruction, is justified, to the great regret of a part of the profession, by the development of the tourism economy. [less ▲]

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See detailRegeneration of Historic Urban Centres
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Conference (2019, November 05)

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See detailQuelques réflexions autour d'un texte de Théodore Scaltsas
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Dawans, Stéphane ULiege

in Chavardès, Benjamin; Dufieux, Philippe (Eds.) Les enjeux théoriques de la réhabilitation. Actes du 3e séminaire du réseau Architecture, Patrimoine et création (2019, January)

Face à l’extension du champ de l’intervention sur l’existant et au brouillage des limites entre rénovation et restauration d’édifices et d’ensembles allant du monument historique au bâti générique, ancien ... [more ▼]

Face à l’extension du champ de l’intervention sur l’existant et au brouillage des limites entre rénovation et restauration d’édifices et d’ensembles allant du monument historique au bâti générique, ancien ou récent, il semble plus que jamais utile d’accepter la notion de bricolage conceptuel et de réfléchir à une « boîtes à outils » permettant aux futurs architectes de faire face à la complexité des enjeux de la réhabilitation. En effet, face à ceux-ci, les théories de la restauration monumentale qui sont enseignées dans les instituts et facultés d’architecture atteignent parfois leurs limites et nous semblent devoir être complétées par/confrontées à de nouveaux concepts ou théories susceptibles d’élargir et même de renouveler notre vision des choses. C’est ainsi que depuis plusieurs années, nous avons choisi de faire un pas de côté et d’interroger des champs aussi éloignés que la logique formelle, l’ontologie de l’art et les théories littéraires et travaillons actuellement à une anthologie critique de textes variés mais tous susceptibles d’intéresser les conservateurs (du patrimoine mobilier et immobilier) et donc aussi, les architectes intervenant sur l’existant. Parmi ces textes, oeuvres d’auteurs en grande partie méconnus dans le champ du patrimoine, « Identity, Origin and spatio-temporal continuity », du philosophe Théodore Scaltsas, professeur à l’université d’Edimbourg, et extrait d’une revue en grande partie écrite en langage mathématique, nous parait particulièrement intéressant à analyser lors du séminaire. En utilisant des exemples aisément transposables au milieu de l’architecture, il aborde notamment la question de l’intention d’une reconstruction de manière originale et interpellante, qui n’autorise plus les fréquents amalgames justifiant tout et n’importe quoi et émanant non seulement du monde économique mais aussi des milieux du patrimoine dits autorisés. Par ailleurs, il enrichit le débat sur l’authenticité d’une dimension peu prise en compte à ce jour et particulièrement éclairante dans le cas des productions modernes et contemporaines, qui constituent l’un des enjeux les plus actuels de la réhabilitation. [less ▲]

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See detailDe(con)struction-(re)construction: urban scenography in Belgium in the 1960's
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Gremium (2019), 6(11), 46-61

In the decades following the second world war, the Belgian cities of Brussels and Liège, which didn’t suffer from any large-scale destruction during the conflict, are subjected to modernistic urban ... [more ▼]

In the decades following the second world war, the Belgian cities of Brussels and Liège, which didn’t suffer from any large-scale destruction during the conflict, are subjected to modernistic urban policies leading to the disappearance of whole sections of their traditional urban fabric. Helped by private agencies, cities’ administrations develop ambitious plans aiming to update their built environment and road system, in order to answer the needs of motorised traffic and modern lifestyle. This paper focuses on a practice developed in parallel to this prevailing tendency: under the direction of the city architects Jean Rombaux (Brussels) and Jean Francotte (Liège), some fragments of ancient buildings to be demolished are carefully dismantled and stored, with the aim of being reassembled in order to recreate fragments of idealised traditional townscapes. Through the examples of the Lombard-Violette and Saint-Georges blocks, respectively in the city centres of Brussels and Liège, this paper addresses the reasons behind the operations and the successive projects, and discusses the status of the results. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Historic Urban Landscape approach to urban management: a systematic review
Ginzarly, Manal ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Teller, Jacques ULiege

in International Journal of Heritage Studies (2019)

In 2011, UNESCO adopted the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) recommendation and called for the application of a landscape approach to ensure the integration of cultural heritage policies and management ... [more ▼]

In 2011, UNESCO adopted the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) recommendation and called for the application of a landscape approach to ensure the integration of cultural heritage policies and management concerns in the wider goals of sustainable urban development. This paper tracks the genesis of a landscape approach to heritage conservation, and then presents a systematic review of the literature on the HUL. More than 100 publications from 2010 to early 2018 were analysed. The applied methodology combined an inductive categorization method with a deductive data mining method. The objective is to determine whether the academic discussion is addressing the different dimensions of the HUL approach, including the holistic, integrated, and value-based dimensions, and whether it is progressing through time to move from a conceptual to an operational level. Results show that while the discussion is heavily focused on values, the operationalization of a value-based approach is still lacking, as it is not fully contextualized in relation to local heritage discourses and the dynamics of heritage governance. Results also show that many case studies applications are in “non-Western” cities, thus opening the debate about the accountability of a value-based approach in contexts that tend to be dominated by groups with the most political power, and where conservation practices mainly focus on the mobilization of material heritage to foster its economic value. Nevertheless, the transition from international guidelines to contextualized local endeavours and policies remains a challenge to be solved. [less ▲]

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See detailRaymond M. Lemaire, the Grand Beguinage of Leuven and the reinvention of the traditional city
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Conference (2018, August 31)

Commissioned by the University of Louvain and mainly carried on between 1962 and 1972, the renovation of the Great Beguinage under the exclusive supervision of Raymond M. Lemaire (1921-1997) has been a ... [more ▼]

Commissioned by the University of Louvain and mainly carried on between 1962 and 1972, the renovation of the Great Beguinage under the exclusive supervision of Raymond M. Lemaire (1921-1997) has been a crucial milestone in the development of conservative urban policies at the turn of the 1960’s. Widely celebrated as a implementation laboratory of the contemporary Venice Charter, of which Lemaire was one of the writers, the operation was considered a pilot project by the council of Europe and contributed to the promotion of the concept of integrated conservation. It is now inscribed on the world heritage list. The in-depth study of the beguinage I had the opportunity to carry on during my PhD research, based on an extensive archival and photographic material, revealed that rather than a conservative project, respectful of the historical layering of the place, the operation had often consisted in a deep restoration of the individual buildings (houses and convents), bordering on reconstruction, in order to provide an ideal overall image of the pre-industrial city. At the light of Lemaire’s contemporary texts and reports presented on the international scene (Council of Europe, Unesco, ICOMOS), emphasising the benefits of a « traditional » environment for a healthy social life in response to the rising criticism towards the modernist model, the projects appears to have been a manifesto rather than a laboratory. At the turn of the 1970’s, the success of the project helped Raymond Lemaire to get many commissions in Brussels, and what is particularly interesting for this session is that, while promoting a quite scientific approach of the urban areas to renovate, Lemaire cannot help but try to reproduce the ideal beguinage model. Confronted to a much more heterogeneous built environment, with a more complex historical layering than in Leuven, he can’t escape the temptation of reinventing the pre-industrial city architecture and urban layering on the basis of scarce fragments. Ranging from pastiche to late-modern re-interpretations, his projects, often not or very partly realised, illustrate not only his aesthetic parti pris but above all, his faith in the power of pre-industrial architecture, even reinvented, to make the city a better place to live in. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Great Beguinage of Leuven: an Early Challenge for the Venice Charter
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Opus (2018), Nuova serie(2), 105-128

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See detailConservation Ethics in the 21st Century: Towards an Extended Toolkit
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Dawans, Stéphane ULiege

in Szmygin, Boguslaw; Schädler-Saub, Ursula (Eds.) Conservation Ethics Today: Are our Conservation-Restoration Theories and Practice Ready for the 21st Century? (2018)

In his now classic essay on the « Régimes d’historicité », the French historian François Hartog (2003) has very well described the effect of globalisation, democratisation and mass consumerism on our ... [more ▼]

In his now classic essay on the « Régimes d’historicité », the French historian François Hartog (2003) has very well described the effect of globalisation, democratisation and mass consumerism on our relation with the past and thus, with heritage. In the course of the 1970’s, at a time when the ink of the Venice Charter was barely dry, postmodernity triggered a loss of collective anchoring and memory, paradoxically accompanied by an amplification of the thirst for commemorations, in the name of identity or heritage. Pierre Nora’s great endeavour « Les lieux de mémoire », fully corresponds to this « presentism » era, including aside from monuments, museum and archives, intellectual constructions such as the Larousse encyclopaedia (Nora 1989). It very well illustrates the « extension of the heritage domain » as defined by the sociologist Nathalie Heinich (2009). In our « post-monumental » era, anything can possibly become heritage, regardless of scale, of artistic qualities, of age or ontological degree – from tangible to intangible. This is a sign of times. Following the example of Nelson Goodman replacing the essentialist definitions of art with the question « When is there art ? » (Goodman 1976), we should consider focusing on a dynamic and operational definition of heritage. The question « When is there heritage ?» better correspond to contemporary cultural studies and our attempt to understand « heritagization »; it contains the idea of a performative action, implying new actors, new dynamics, new process, new research questions, new difficulties and new opportunities. And by necessity new concepts. We are far from rejecting theories from the past which provided us with effective and stimulating tools. But who could still imagine today, in the situation we described, that any system could fully encompass the heritage reality as the grand theories – Brandi, Riegl,… – succeeded to do? The repeated attempts to get the Venice charter revised from the 1970’s on (Houbart 2014), and the multiplication of thematic documents and charters are the best illustration of this impossibility. But while postmodern thinkers made us suspicious towards large systems, they also made us more modest and above all, more inclined to respect « bricolage », as a most helpful attitude after a shipwreck. We believe that the current return to a case by case approach – as promoted from the interwar period by theoreticians such as Ambrogio Annoni (1946) – often mostly relying on practical constraints such as reuse and technical performances, combined with the use of decontextualised concepts – separated articles from the Venice Charter, for example – and practices – using the Ise shrine periodical rebuilding to advocate any reconstruction project – doesn’t mean to accept a cynical relativism in answer to the cause of a capital-intensive machine. But in practice, we cannot deny that it has sometimes been the case: the clearest examples are the debates addressing the reconstruction of monuments all over Europe, based on a jumble of arguments confusing the pure mercantilism of the tourism industry or unconfessed political reasons with post-conflict identity issues or religious traditions (Monumental 2010). Reflecting on such reconstruction projects, raising questions of identity, has convinced us of the incompleteness of the toolkit we inherited from 20th century theoreticians. Though still perfectly relevant to address the issues that were already present at the time when they were elaborated, they might prove inappropriate to address new types of heritage, new concerns, new issues such as cultural tourism, inclusive approaches, modern heritage or the digital turn. In this context, we have been drawn to look at texts outside the conservation sphere, starting from ontology of art and analytical philosophy. We discovered that taking a step to the side could provide a stimulating insight on heritage conservation problems. In fact, it is not surprising that, facing what many have called a heritage inflation, some new actors could help us. Now that heritage has quitted the monuments sphere to encompass any material or immaterial reality worthy of conservation and that the expert point of view is challenged by the ones of a broad range of stakeholders, from the user to the investor, it becomes interesting to look at this reality from different points of view borrowed to a wide range of human sciences such as law, communication, aesthetics, semiotics, anthropology or philosophy, to name a few. Together with our colleague Muriel Verbeeck, we are currently gathering texts in order to propose an anthology that could complement the existing ones in helping to fill conceptual gaps and throw a reinvigorating light on new problems raising old questions. The originality of the project is to chose most texts outside the conservation world, and to address movable and immovable heritage at the same time. During our presentation, we will provide some examples of the usefulness of these new concepts, some already known by a number of conservators – such as the distinction proposed by Nelson Goodman between allography and autography (Goodman 1976) –, some not – the impact of intention on identity, based on texts by Theodore Scaltsas (1981), for example –, and will encourage the members of the committee who might be interested in this approach to contribute to the project. [less ▲]

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See detailEglise du Grand-Séminaire. Liège. 2018
Eisazadeh Otaghsaraei, Negin ULiege; Coq, Maxime ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege

Report (2018)

Rapport du workshop annuel Revive Heritage, consacré en 2018 à l'Eglise du Grand-Séminaire de Liège

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See detailBelgium - La collégiale Sainte-Croix à Liège
Houbart, Claudine ULiege; Piavaux, Mathieu

in Machat, Christoph; Ziesemer, John (Eds.) Heritage at Risk. World Report 2014-2015 on Monuments and Sites in Danger (2017)

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See detailConservation/adaptation. Keeping alive the spirit of the place. Adaptive reuse of heritage with symbolic value
Fiorani, Donatella; Kealy, Loughlin; Musso, Stefano et al

Book published by EAAE (2017)

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See detailCollection Archidoc
Beguin, Aloys ULiege; Charlier, Sébastien ULiege; Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Devivier, Jolan; Hubert, Jean-Charles (Eds.) Nicolas Simon architecte (2016)

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See detailDu stilus à la plume ... du chapeau. Quelques réflexions sur la notion de style
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Bruxelles Patrimoines (2016), (18),

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See detailTowards an “integrated conservation” : the contribution of R.M. Lemaire and Piero Gazzola during the first decade of ICOMOS (1965-1975)
Houbart, Claudine ULiege

in Szmygin, Bogusław (Ed.) Heritage in Transformation. Cultural Heritage Protection in XXI century. Problems, challenges, predictions (2016)

Respectively elected first President and first Secretary General during the first general assembly of ICOMOS in Cracow in 1965, Piero Gazzola and Raymond M. Lemaire have deeply contributed to the success ... [more ▼]

Respectively elected first President and first Secretary General during the first general assembly of ICOMOS in Cracow in 1965, Piero Gazzola and Raymond M. Lemaire have deeply contributed to the success of the newly born organisation. During the first years, they didn’t only provoke the creation of numerous national committees around the world, but they also positioned ICOMOS as a major actor of the international conservation scene, through the organisation of conferences and an active participation in the debates initiated by Unesco and the Council of Europe, for which ICOMOS acted as a consultant. The study of Raymond M. Lemaire’s archive, kept at the KU Leuven in Belgium, clearly shows that one of the major concerns of both Lemaire and Gazzola, who had been, in 1964, amongst the main authors of the Venice Charter, was to broaden the scope of the document in order to address the issue of pre-industrial city centres, threatened by late reconstruction or development projects mostly promoting functionalist approaches. Depending on the time available, this presentation will address one or various aspects of Lemaire’s and Gazzola’s contribution to the emergence of integrated conservation, consecrated by the European Charter and the Amsterdam Declaration of 1975, that is: the new ideas (social value of heritage for example) developed during the expert meetings organised by the Council of Europe in 1965-1968, where they both represented ICOMOS. These ideas are synthesised in the report “Saving the face of Europe” in 1973, the relation between these theoretical contributions and Lemaire and Gazzola’s contemporary field experience, the role of Eastern Europe experiences (D. Libal in Prague and M. Horler in Budapest) in the development of an appropriate methodology to address urban issues, the differences between the concept of “integral planning” proposed by Lemaire in 1973 and the “integrated conservation” that was promoted by the 1975 Council of Europe charters, an epilogue could mention the revision projects of the Venice Charter between 1975 and 1981. Based on my PhD about R.M. Lemaire, recently presented at the KU Leuven (Belgium), this presentation aims at clarifying and illustrating the shift from monument restoration towards city “reanimation” or “rehabilitation” during the late sixties and seventies, as well as paying tribute to the action of two of the most important figures of the beginnings of ICOMOS. [less ▲]

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