The Venice Charter Revisited: Modernism and Conservation in the 21st Century

Chapters by Ettore Mazzola, Steven Semes, Krupali Uplekar and Samir Younés

The Venice Charter of 1964 was a major step towards better conservation of traditional buildings and places. It has since become the founding document of ICOMOS, the organization for professionals in conservation. However, the requirement of clause 9 that new work "must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp," has been misused to justify clashing new buildings in old places around the world.

The results have attracted condemnation by citizens from Sydney to St Petersburg and beyond, and have prompted UNESCO to reconsider the issue of new buildings in historic urban landscapes. The Venice Charter Revisited: Modernism, Conservation and Tradition in the 21st Century is a timely look at how planning has gone wrong, why it needs to be fixed, and how we can heal the mistakes of the past within the spirit of the Venice Charter.

With over 700 pages and with more than 350 black and white photographs and diagrams, and including the full text of the Venice Charter and the INTBAU Venice Declaration—which seeks to guide development in historic areas to a more harmonious relationship with its surroundings—these 64 essays on new buildings in old places provide an authoritative source on heritage and planning in a diverse and rapidly developing world.