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Heritage and Urban Regeneration Workshop

posted Mar 19, 2010, 11:45 AM by Claus Zapffe   [ updated Dec 9, 2010, 11:34 AM ]
19 - 25 April 2010 
Location: Dumbraveni, Romania
Funding framework: EDUAC 
In April 2010 ESUA held the Heritage and Urban Regeneration test course in Dumbraveni, Romania, proposing urban regeneration of a well-preserved historic town

The short course focused on the urban centre of an old Armenian town in Transylvania in Romania (see areal picture above). Dumbraveni was once an important twon trading in cattle and skins, and is home to both the Appaffy Castle and an Armenian cathedral, both national monuments. Today only a few families of the original Armenian population remain, most of the town is now bing inhabited by ethnic Romanians and other ethnic groups.
The key challenge was the recovery of the historical roots of the town, including discussions on the recovery of old crafts skills, and the proposal of conservation and regeneration strategies for a community in decline. 

Practical challenges that were discussed during the short course were conservation techniques, urban design for regeneration in historic settings, building crafts and skills overview, and the real-life situation of collaboration with engineers, technical experts and government officials.

The short course was organized by the CPPC - Centre of Professional Training in Culture from Bucharest, in collaboration with the Architecture Department of the Politechnic University of Timisoara. 

The short course was divided into two parts. In the fist part of the short course the students analyzed the town in small groups together with historian Isofina Postavaru, and developed under the lead of the tutors from the Politechnic University of Timsioara experimental design proposals for the town square. Students produced detailed plans including proposals for urban furniture and proposals for the re-connection of the old castle to the urban core of the town.

During the second part of the short course the students worked in groups of two on proposals how to bring back converted houses to a historical correct appearance.

The short course is followed up by the participation of ESUA in the opening of a new Armeninan Museum in the old castle of Dumbraveni in the summer of 2010, coordinated by Alexandru Oprea. More co-partnered ESUA events are planned in Dumbraveni in the coming years.