An architectural Fairytale

“The problem with heritage is not to preserve it, but how to live it. How to make it live.

Otherwise it is just a static monument of the past.

Through memory we can induce creativity and change.”  – Paolo Baratta, 2016

—-CHAPTER 01—-

I am chaos.

I can be so many things, I can certainly be the solution to all problems anyone has ever had.

I can surely save the world.

If I were to just exist…

And then one day it came! Of course, not all at once, it was just a spark. But then one thing let to another and then there was so much stress and so much work, and now I’m complete! I have a soul and ideas, I am smart and kind and beautiful.

I am the solution to all problems anyone has ever had.

I will definitely save the world.

—CHAPTER 02—

It’s over.

I was so much more than that.

Who did this to me??I had ambitions and dreams, I was special! I was going to change the world and now I’m reduced to only concrete and glass, construction workers mood, contractors money, budget, time and even weather! I am elevator shafts, steel frames, staircases, emergency exits, ventilation.

I was different.

I was special.

I could have been anywhere and I was everywhere – and now I’m just here…in the dirt and in the cold. Just the shallow shell of mine.

—CHAPTER 03—

FULL HOUSE!

I am magnificent! Look at me, I stand so tall! I am new, shiny and beautiful! Rich young people moved in in me, they like me, although they are not always as happy as I pictured once. They cry and fight, they are afraid and sometimes they shout to each other. But they are here. Now they give me meaning. After all this was one of my greatest ideas from the start. So it seems it wasn’t so bad after all.

Only that… some of them use me strangely. To be honest – I like it. Once they change me, they like me better. They take better care of me, use me more often. That makes me feel comfortable and contemporary.

—CHAPTER 04—-

I was built to last for 50 years. Now I’ve been here for 100. Much has changed though. After I miraculously survived some bombings and that nasty earthquake, they started taking much more care of me. There were some though times though – at one point almost everyone had left – either died or moved elsewhere. I was so ugly and useless. Many of my neighbors collapsed – they just couldn’t make it. But little did they know, in their places they built new, even more beautiful buildings. They have new incredible materials and shapes I had never seen before! Their windows are much bigger and people seem to find them very comfortable. Young people moved in there while I was being abandoned, I think in those years it was only my curiosity that kept me from falling apart. I just wanted to much to see whats coming!!. But time passed and space around me started getting tighter and tighter.

Until one  day they started paying attention to me again. But I didn’t understand it – instead of giving me this new look as all those neighbors, they returned me to my old look. Only it wasn’t it either – generations used to love me and change me and love me even more for what I am becoming and suddenly this crowd comes and they seem to like me only for what I WAS?!

I will never be more than what I am today and I think I used to be so much more! Now I have become that empty hull I was to begin with – my past is not my own anymore and there is no future to look forward to anyway.

They call it “preservation”. I call it death.

But maybe I’m doing too dramatic. I know for example, a few blocks away there is one other building, built even before me. Now she is also being “preserved” – and she loves it! She is PROUD of it. She says that’s the treatment she deserved from the start anyway. Now they finally see her or what she really is, they spend time admiring her, but don’t dare to stick around closer. She says they discuss her ideas and they love her for them.

 

I don’t know. Maybe she is right. After all we didn’t stay here so long just to be replaced, right? But somehow I keep thinking there should be a different way to show appreciation and respect. They cleaned me up and repainted my facade, but couldn’t take my curiosity away. I still wonder what new adventures will come my way in the future. Maybe one day people will change too and then carefully, with all the same love with which they restore me, they will make me theirs again.

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