Historical labs

El quart projecte europeu del Réseau Art Nouveau Network, "Modernisme i Ecologia”, preveu una sèrie de cinc Laboratoris Històrics amb l'objectiu de compartir coneixements a escala europea. Aquestes jornades d'estudi gratuïtes combinen recerca, experiència i saber, de manera que puguin resultar interessants tant per als professionals com per als amants de l'Art Nouveau.

Historical Lab 2
Tourism and the Preservation of Art Nouveau Heritage: a source for funding…a source of problems?, Barcelona, 4 June 2011

Programme and abstracts (French, English and Catalan)



Historical Lab 2 Tourism and the Preservation of Art Nouveau Heritage, Barcelona, 4 June 2011
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Orlando INCLAN CASTANEDA, Architect, Taller de Urbanismo de La Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad, La Habana

Projects of intervention on the Cueto Palace as city centre hotel. Opportunities and risks
On one of the most important squares of the Historical Centre of Havana, and on a corner lot, the parcel is owned by the former Hotel Palau Cueto (1908). Designed and built by spanish emigrants, his name Alone reveals the imprint of Catalan culture in the city. Originally a manufacture of hats, then a hotel, later a squat and today a building under restoration, this symbol of Art Nouveau and modernisme, comes as the result of the development of Catalan families settled in Cuba. As part of the restoration of the city’s oldest area, this building is under construction since 2000 and received various proposals for rehabilitation as a hotel. Several architects and experts worked on the restoration of this well-known building of Havana, of which only the facade has stood the test of time. The project in progress has been launched in 2008. Several questions arise related to compliance with an interior design that does not exist, and whose purpose is to recall a design that has never existed. Is the “reproduction” of Art Nouveau codes viable to promote a hotel in the historic centre of Havana? Is this Art Nouveau façade endangered by the new interior design? How to get the balance between profits and dangers of tourism faced by our heritage Art Nouveau?

Document PDF (in French) 

Saïda PALOU, Doctor in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Professor of Tourism at the University of Girona, Barcelona

Touristic functions of the architecture and the urban landscape: the case of Barcelona
The architecture becomes an important reference framework in the daily experience of visiting Barcelona. It is a distinguished emblem of the image of the city, but also it creates one of the main advantages in the process of rising economic, cultural and symbolic capital of the destination-city. Particularly, the modernist patrimony is seen as a prestigious and singular insignia, a point of interest extremely important. Actually, at the beginning of the XX century, it became one of the most important items of the urban landscape for tourists. This presentation is a reflexion about the different ways of living and representing the architectural landscape according to the visitors travelling to Barcelona, taking into account the touristic functions conferred to architecture and the role of the tourism in the architecture creation or conservation and its paradoxical effects.

Document PDF (in English) 

Antonio ZAVAGLIA, Architetto, Regione Lombardia

The Crespi d’Adda Workers’ village and the Hydroelectric Plant Taccani
Crespi d’Adda is the most important example in Italy of a workers’ village and has been perfectly preserved. Built between 1878 and 1930 as a model town, it was designed in response to businessman Cristoforo Benigno Crespi’s social and manufacturing philosophy. Art Nouveau influences can be found both in the single- and two-family houses designed by architects gaetano moretti and ernesto Pirovano between 1889 and 1894 as well as those added some decades later by gaetano moretti. Moretti also designed the outstanding hydroelectric plant taccani Crespi, built in 1906, where he succeeded in placing an industrial complex in harmony with the river landscape. Both the village and the hydroelectric plant together with other examples of industrial archaeology along the Adda River are among the most interesting examples in Lombardy, which both fit within and enhance the environment with their unique mix of art, nature and history. In 1995 the Crespi d’Adda village was granted uNesCo world Heritage status.


Geir STEINAR, Destinasjon, Ålesund & Sunnmøre, Ålesund

The meaning of Art Nouveau in tourism and city development
Ålesund is a small town in Northern europe, young at heart in tourism, but with a growing importance as a Norwegian tourism product. The awareness of architecture, the town’s historical gift and marketing have the last decades brought international attention to the Art Nouveau town of Ålesund. The town has been elected as the most beautiful town in country, and the tourism industry has become more important for city development. Conservation of historical buildings in town has greater importance than earlier, but growth and efficiency put authenticity under pressure.


Andreia VALE LOURENÇO, Museu da Cidade de Aveiro, Aveiro

Aveiro and the discovery of the Art nouveau local heritage: strategies to help and manage the visitors
Aveiro’s Art Nouveau Heritage is comprised of a set of façades, organized in a guided tour, starting in the local Art Nouveau museum. This poses a challenge… in a city where the number of visitors is rising, how to harmonize the needs of the visitors with the Art Nouveau museum building conditions? This presentation will focus in the organization of the circuit, a tool to convey information about the Art Nouveau movement, but also a strategy to preserve the museum building by managing the number of visitors inside the original building at one given time.

Document PDF (in English) 

With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Responsible publisher: Arlette Verkruyssen, General Director,
Brussels Regional Public Service - Bruxelles Développement urbain (Brussels Urban Development),
CCN - Rue du Progrès 80, B. 1, 1035 Brussels - Belgium