A Methodological Proposal for Building Conservation: A Case in Guimarães, World Heritage City

A Methodological Proposal for Building Conservation: A Case in Guimarães, World Heritage City

Isabel Vaz de Freitas (Portucalense University, Portugal), Ricardo Erasun Cortés (Arqueoges, Portugal) and Paulo Pereira Leite (Arqueoges, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6283-2.ch003


Guimarães is a Portuguese medieval town classified as a world heritage site. The historical city center of Guimarães has been shaping and its heritage shows the passage of time. The main goals are to analyze the organic and dynamic passage of time, and prepare a micro study and an historic analysis of a structure and the surrounding urban area. The authors intend to capture the time passage in the perspective of a city as a construction of an aggregation of elements and multiple layers. It is questioned what changes occurred from the generational passage in the building, considered here as a case study, and what implications for the structure of the urban mesh. Historical documental sources were analyzed and a structural examination by photography design was carried out from an analysis of the constructive, artistic, and the architectural structure of this house. The documental references from the beginning of the 16th century to the 19th century were revised. They were the support of the operational analysis that permits crossing data from the end of the Middle Ages until our days.
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The detailed and deep analysis is crucial to the enrichment of the urban city reading based on the capture and understanding of the social, spiritual, artistic, aesthetic, natural, scientific and cultural values (ICOMOS, 2005). In addition, to capture the passage of time in the perspective of a city as a construction, an aggregation of elements and multiple layers (Ramos & Silva, 2005) to establish how it is significant analyze carefully the historical passage of time for the conservation process enrichment. In this context, any intervention in build heritage must achieve the research process developed by specialized team in collaboration with multiple professionals as historians, physicists, chemists, biologists, architects, among others (Acierno, Cursi, Simeone & Fiorani, 2017).

The dynamics of societies over time and space and the marks left by this continuous happening, disclose these places and monuments and stimulate the impregnation of such places with unique characteristics that provide diversity, identity, significance and values of diverse typologies (Fredheim & Khalaf, 2016). This distinctive representation of places gives them a unique spirit that results in tangible and intangible attributes that allow a new understanding of the existence of the place (ICOMOS, 2008). In this way, the structures and each of the elements and building components are a living testimony of the past and carry the history of the city. Highlight the prominence of a deep study and architectural analysis taking into consideration the tangible and intangible heritage reveled trough historical lectures as memories, written documents, narratives, legal documentation, among others (ICOMOS, 2008).

Stephenson (2006) consider that identity (self-identity and group identity) have a strictly connection with Man actions and history – time and space. Thus, portraying a landscape allows us to understand the diversity and human activities in a certain place. The identity of a city center is a result of the carried heritage associated with the development that occurred (Ertan & Ergecioglu, 2016). These are the two main elements - human and territory - that profile and constitute the identity of places. In addition, this identity represents the personal and collective social experiences and an action in time and space that typifies objectively and in symbolic way the human presence. The collective dialogues of building identity (Apaydin, 2017).

Consequently, the human presence causes continuous impacts, “under the impact of new contemporary development trends, cultural landscapes meet strong pressures from the immediate environment, global climate change or economic and cultural globalization” (Ioan et al., 2014, p. 214). In the urban landscape, where movements and social action develop dynamically and intensely, and social and cultural interaction is branded by being distinct and diverse, transformation occurs rapidly, sometimes with destruction, sometimes with a prodigious resistance and success of the built heritage due the resistance actors (community), as it is signalized by Hammami and Uzer (2017).

However, the rapid path of time associated with uncontrolled development is a risk to the heritage conservation and to the historic urban landscape. Assumed that, the landscape is currently under severe threat of extinction or an extremely rapid changing (Terkenli, 2001, p. 206). Zeayter & Mansour (2017) alert to the negative impact of globalization, climate change, urbanization and uncontrolled tourism which aggravate the need to preserve historic cities and protected places.

Different conclusion is to pursuit in a city conservation project that the heritage should be seen as fossilized. In line with Jigyasu (2014) the heritage is a repository of information that needs to be readjusted in a dynamic system. As Bandarin and Van Oers (2012) argue, there is no city in the world that conserves its originality in its deep concept. It means that the attention over the city and its requalification needs to follow a profound and substantiated decision.

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