Overseas Case Study on the Protection and Transmission of Contemporary Architecture II -Field Survey in European Countries-

A sample of an ACR label prepared by the Ministry of Culture for distribution (France)
Auditorium Parco della Musica, designed by Renzo Piano, considered a contemporary architectural work of "cultural properties in progress" (Italy)
Erik Christian Sørensen's own home, being preserved, renovated, and operated as a rental property (Denmark)

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation (JCICC) is currently undertaking a research project overseas, specifically concentrating on innovative approaches to conserving modern architectural heritage. This project is part of the “Overseas Case Study on the Protection and Transmission of Contemporary Architecture,” commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. After conducting a field survey in Taiwan in September, we extended our research to include field surveys in France, Italy, and Denmark from October 3 to 13.
 Over the past three decades in Europe, the recognition of modern and contemporary architecture as a valuable social asset has gained widespread acceptance. This was notably encouraged by the Council of Europe in 1991, which recommended that member countries adopt specific strategies to safeguard 20th-century architecture. Furthermore, the guideline on “architectural culture (baukultur)” for social development was emphasized during the meeting of European ministers responsible for culture at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos. Amidst these social trends, in 2017 a new law was implemented in France called the “Law on Freedom of Creation, Architecture and Heritage” (LCAP Law). This legislation incorporates the “Remarkable Contemporary Architecture” (ACR) labeling system, designed to promote the conservation and appreciation of modern architecture. In Italy, the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Contemporary Architecture within the Ministry of Cultural Property and Cultural Activity (which is now the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity within the Ministry of Culture) was established in 2001. Since its inception, the Directorate has consistently undertaken surveys aimed at identifying contemporary architecture with significant artistic value across the entire territory. In Denmark, while there are no specific administrative initiatives dedicated to conserving modern architectural heritage, a private philanthropic organization called “Realdania” has taken on this responsibility. Established in 2000 as an extension of a real estate financing business, Realdania is actively pursuing initiatives to safeguard Danish architectural heritage through investments. Their efforts also focus on the preservation and development of modern Nordic design masterpieces created by Danish architects.
 During this survey, we conducted visits to the French Ministry of Culture, the Italian Ministry of Culture, and Realdania, engaging in interviews to gain insights into their activities, challenges, and outlook regarding the conservation of modern architecture. The purpose was also to verify the status of the targeted modern architecture on-site. While significant efforts have been made to conserve modern architecture, it remains challenging to assert that modern architecture has fully garnered recognition and status as cultural heritage in each country. It was confirmed that these organizations are seeking new forms of conservation suitable for modern architecture through continuous dialogues with diverse stakeholders and the implementation of experimental trials of conservation and sustainable development.
 The results of this survey, along with the results from our field survey in Taiwan and a bibliographic study into the relevant legal systems in each country or region, will be consolidated into a final survey report in November 2023. This report will be open to public via the Institute’s online repository.

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