(1) Built Heritage of Singapore’s Early Tertiary Institutions
The theme for this paper is “Architectural heritage as a pedagogical resource’. The buildings under discussion in this paper, namely Tan Teck Guan Building and College of Medicine Building at College Road; the Former Raffles College at Bukit Timah and the Former Nanyang University Library and Administration Block at Jurong, are all gazetted monuments. This fact, attests to their existence, not merely as structures, but also as designs and of aspirations of their time. The structures are also testimony to the men and women, who have passed through them, graduated and continued the journey to contribute to Singapore’s development. This presentation shares the various needs or reasons for their construction. The ways in which they contributed to society, as well as to what they stand for today. As national monuments, some of them have undergone adaptive re-use. But under preservation guidelines, what has been retained under the Preservation of Monuments Act, continues to be explored for meanings, symbolism as well as function. As institutions of higher learning, generations would have left their mark on these buildings as well. Coming from the Preservation of Sites and Monuments, the focus will be on the architectural aspects, and how history came to shape them as institutions that still stand after 115 years.
About the author:
Chern Jia Ding
Preservation of Sites and Monuments – A divison under the National Heritage Board
Chern Jia Ding is the Senior Assistant Director at PSM. He heads the Monument Inspectorate that guides the preservation and protection of sites and national monuments. Before joining PSM in 2010, he was an architectural consultant in private and public practice. He contributed an essay “Traditional Chinese Architecture in 19th and early 20th century Singapore” for PSM’s publication – “Decoration & Symbolism in Chinese Architecture: Understanding Singapore’s Historic Chinese Building”. He graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1996 with a Bachelor of Architecture.
(2) An Acropolis for the new nation: the campus of the University of Havana
The University of Havana, founded in 1728, is the oldest Cuban University and the only one on the island for more than 200 years. Its original site was the Convent of Santo Domingo in Old Havana, a building unfortunately demolished during the first half of the 20th century. However, the Havana´s Alma Mater had changed its headquarters in 1902 to the modern neighbourhood of Vedado, in the midst of the turbulent period of the American occupation that followed the end of Spanish domination. Once the university community was installed, it began the design of a new campus stylistically consistent with the prevailing nationalist spirit. In approximately four decades, the Havana campus adopted the characteristics that it largely preserves to this day. It is one of the most complete neoclassical eclectic ensembles in the country and exhibits various historical and artistic values. The structures devoted to specific uses combine the quality and coherence of its design with symbolic elements of universal and local scope. Thus, alongside multiple references to classical traditions, national allegories contributed to the construction of the discourse of the new nation. Furthermore, its privileged location at the intersection of the modern and traditional areas guarantees its status as a significant urban landmark. Assuming the most inclusive concept of university heritage that integrates both material and immaterial culture, in our paper we will discuss the architectural and urban values of our campus from a comprehensive approach. The relationships of its material and immaterial culture, as well as of its movable and immovable heritage, will be analyzed through the scope provided by the concept of genius loci or “spirit of place”. Likewise, we will present experiences of conservation, interpretation and promotion developed in the last 10 years after the creation of the University Cultural Heritage Unit.
About the authors:
University of Havana
She is an Art Historian, graduated from the University of Havana in 2007 and holds a PhD in Art and History from the University of Granada (Spain, 2016). Her doctoral dissertation was devoted to cultural heritage management in universities. Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Havana, she teaches Latin American Art and Architecture and History and Theory of conservation of Cultural Heritage. Founder Director of the University Cultural Heritage Unit of the University of Havana since 2010. She is the President of ICOMOS Cuba, member of the National Commission of Landmarks and President of the National Network of University Museums and Collections. She obtained the National Prize of the Academic Critique for her book The Cultural Heritage of the University of Havana (2014). She has been a lecturer and an invited researcher in European and Latin American universities.
Norailys Guerra Hernández (Presenting)
Universidad Iberoamericana de Mexico
Bachelor in Art History (University of Havana, 2017). Student of the Master Program in Art History at the Universidad Iberoamericana de Mexico since 2019. Her Diploma Thesis was devoted to the study of the architectural and urban heritage of the University of Havana campus. From 2017 to 2019 she worked as a junior researcher in the University Cultural Heritage Unit at the University of Havana.
(3) History of Anatomical Theaters at the University of Padua
Modern anatomy was born at the University of Padua thanks to Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and his masterpiece De humani corporis fabrica. Vesalius re-founded anatomy, emancipating it from that of Galen, by carrying out autopsies on anatomical theatres that can be disassembled inside the old court of Bo Palace, seat of the University of Padua. The revolution continued after Vesalius with the construction of the first permanent anatomical theatre in 1594 by the will of Hieronymus Fabricius (1533-1619). This theatre was the precursor and source of inspiration for many later European theatres. The theatre underwent several structural changes over the centuries and it was used until 1874, when the Medical School was moved to the former monastery of Saint Mattia. Here there were built five new anatomical theatres with different didactic purposes. At the beginning of the 20th century, the building of the former monastery was completely demolished and in its place, new Institutes of Anatomy and Forensic Medicine were created. Here, the first building to be built was a new anatomical theatre, called “Aula Morgagni” and it is still in use today. The aim of our research is to describe the architectural development, the history and the evolution of University anatomical theatres of University of Padua, comparing their structural differences with the didactic purpose.
About the authors:
Giovanni Magno (Presenting)
University Museums Centre CAM, University of Padua
Giovanni Magno is a bioarchaeologist and paleopathologist. He is currently a researcher for the University Center for Museums (CAM) of the University of Padua, and working on the study and cataloguing of the medical collections of the School of Medicine of the University of Padua. He has collaborated with various national and international museums in the study of human and naturalistic remains for the biocultural reconstructions of ancient populations, with a specialization in skeletal pathologies, bone traumatology, funeral rituals and artistic anatomies.
University Museums Centre CAM, University of Padua
Alberto Zanatta is the curator of the Morgagni Museum of Pathological Anatomy of the University of Padua, Italy. His fields of interest are anthropology, paleopathology and history of medicine, in particular medical museology. He made important contributions in the paleopathological study of the remains of historical figures like Giovanni Battista Morgagni and Gaspare Pacchierotti, with the use of molecular pathology techniques. He teaches the history of medicine and bioethics to medical students.
QNA Part 1
(4) Early Soviet Historiography of Architecture and Urban Forms from the Perspective of Hannes Meyer’s Private Library in Weimar
The history of mutual contacts between Soviet architects and Hannes Meyer, the second director of the interwar Bauhaus, during the 1920s and 1930s was an essential part of European Modernism. Hannes Meyer was a witness and active participant of these various contacts between the Western and Soviet Modernist architects, and his private archive serves as a confirmation of it, which is located at the Modernist Archive at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Also, his small collection of rare Soviet images and publications in Weimar is a fragment of the Soviet historiography of architecture and urban forms from the 1930s. My research is the contextualisation and analysis of Meyer’s personal visual and textual materials from the part of the university collection, which are the confirmation of this collaboration and his professional interests toward the works of his Soviet colleagues. One of the main focuses of my critical analysis is on the Russian books from Meyer’s private collection, which he obtained during his time in the USSR and after, and those books can represent an early pre-war Soviet historiography from the Stalinism era. The publications represented the texts on the theory and history of architecture, city, and urban forms from the Soviet academics in Moscow. My research analysis enlightens how the selected unique materials demonstrate the professional contacts of Meyer and his individual interests toward the Soviet architectural practices and academic discourse in the USSR. My critical analysis of his personal visual and textual materials from the Modernist Archive at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar analyses the part of the Soviet historiography of architecture and urban forms during the late 1920s and 1930s, and interprets the early Soviet urbanistic debates, which were presented in Soviet professional rhetoric during the second part of the 20th century.
About the author:
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Germany) and Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Šafárika v Košiciach (Slovakia)
Aliaksandr Shuba earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Cultural Heritage Studies from the European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania. From 2017 he worked as an Early Stage Researcher under the urbanHIST project, and is a PhD candidate with the research project “The Soviet historiography of urban planning in the 20th century. A critical analysis of cross-nationally oriented publications in the Slavic languages” under the supervision of prof. Dr. phil. habil. Max Welch Guerra at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany and prof. PaedDr. Martin Pekár, PhD at the Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Šafárika v Košiciach, Slovakia. Currently, he is working as a teaching assistant under the STIBET Assistantship at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and continuing his studies on the PhD level.
(5) Changes in the social role of a centenary institution on the outskirts of São Paulo
The Adventist University of Sao Paulo (UNASP) is a centennial institution located on the outskirts of the city of São Paulo. Founded in 1915 by North American and European Christian missionaries, its goal was to train young Brazilians to be teachers and pastors and spread the Adventist message across Brazil. Throughout this century, the institution grew, and the city of São Paulo grew as well. The institution started to offer several higher education and postgraduate courses, in addition to improving the structure for its basic education. The city of São Paulo, which, in 1915, was far on the horizon and had approximately 300,000 inhabitants, now disputes every square meter of the Capão Redondo neighbourhood, which alone currently has almost 300,000 inhabitants. In 2018, the institution was declared a Heritage of the City of São Paulo by its Municipal Council for the Preservation of the Historical, Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the City of São Paulo. For this reason, this university campus is currently considered cultural, architectural, and environmental heritage for the city and a reference for this neighbourhood. With this historic registration process, this campus is currently protected by local legislation: the original historic axis of the old college whose existing design is still the original; the Central Square; most of its buildings; and the large remaining green areas, that used to belong to the region’s original forests. Going along with the themes proposed in this symposium, this research intends to observe this institution’s heritage preservation, its place in the urban landscape of Capão Redondo and the changes in its social role.
About the author:
University of Sao Paulo (USP)
Emily Bertazzo is a Master’s student in the Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Program in Brazilian Cultures and Identities at the Institute of Brazilian Studies of the University of São Paulo (IEB-USP). Producer and cultural manager with a degree in International Relations, works on projects regarding memory and heritage. She was the producer responsible for the UNASP (Adventist University of Sao Paulo) Memory Center Implementation Project (2016-2019). The museum was inaugurated in May 2019, and she is its current coordinator. Since 2019 she has participated as a researcher in the Research Group UNASP’s History and Memory Studies Laboratory (LEHME). Emily is the organizer and author of the book “UNASP through Time: History, Traditions and Transformations” (2021). Also, the author of the book ”UNASP Gourmet”, which rescues the gastronomic culture of UNASP (2017). She was the Cultural Producer of the 100 commemorative events and products for the UNASP’s centenary in 2015.
(6) From Saint Ivo’s Palace alla Sapienza to the City University of Rome: the dialogue between art and architecture within the 1930’s
The Sapienza University City was built from 1932 to 1935, and it became the new seat of the historical Studium Urbis, founded by Pope Boniface VIII in 1303. Marcello Piacentini, who was in charge of a prestigious group of architects, realized a feat that had long been imagined, creating a complex architectural space that found an expression also in the artworks made during the same years. In fact, contemporary artists, such as Mario Sironi, Arturo Martini, Giulio Rosso, Corrado Vigni and others, were called to decorate these spaces. Furthermore, the University inherited other works of art from the ancient seat, the Saint’ Ivo’s Palace alla Sapienza, today the main location of the State Archive. This transfer of artworks, mainly sculptures, has never been thoroughly investigated and today in the University City there are statues and busts saved in warehouses, without identity and relationship with the buildings. This research aims to reconstruct the passage of these objects thanks to recent documentary discoveries: the show the original design plans and the decorative logics that merged art and architecture in a concrete and well-defined dialogue.
About the authors:
Eliana Billi (Presenting)
Sapienza, University of Rome
Eliana Billi achieved her degree in Art History at Sapienza University of Rome in 1999, where she also obtained the post-graduate qualification and PhD in Art History. Between 1993 and 1997 she attended the Central Institute of Restoration where in 1998 she graduated in Cultural Heritage’s Restoration. Since the beginning she has always put together her professional work as a restorer with her activity of scholar, focusing on research and education about preservation and restoration of Cultural Heritage. Since 2015 she has been Museology, Art Criticism and Restoration Researcher at the Department of History Anthropology Religions Performing Arts of Sapienza University. Between 2015 and 2017 she directed the restoration works of the mural painting L’Italia tra le Arti e le Scienze by Mario Sironi in the Aula Magna of Sapienza University and she’s currently the Scientific Director of the cataloguing project of the artistic heritage of the University City of Rome.
Cecilia de Filippis (Presenting)
Sapienza, University of Rome
Cecilia de Filippis graduated in Art History at Sapienza University of Rome in 2014 and she attended the Master in “Experts in the protection of cultural heritage” at University Roma Tre. She collaborated in the research on the reconstruction of the conservative history of Mario Sironi’s mural in the Aula Magna of Sapienza University. She is continuing her research on the Studium Urbis of Rome in the PhD project, conducted at Sapienza University of Rome with the tutor prof. Eliana Billi: the main themes are the architectural transformations and the events related to the artistic heritage of the University from the Second World War to the Eighties, reconstructed through the archive documents of the University.
QNA Part 2