The Controlled Ruin: Preserving Collective Memories through Building Transformation

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Building on partial demolition, The Controlled Ruin constituted an attempt to compress and subsequently stretch the inherent matter of time in the natural decay process. Given that the rapid incipient stages of decay that follow in the aftermath of abandonment are often considered unsightly, The controlled ruin sought to eschew these stages of ruination in order to avoid the incitement for complete demolition. A precisely defined partial demolition transformed the abandoned building into a controlled ruin and exposed the building’s private history. The private past becoming the public future provoked an exchange of memories of the building. This also triggered a discussion of the merits of privacy among the local people. Subsequent decay of the ruin proved to influence the feeling of the local community.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • transformation
  • preservation
  • depopulation
  • ruin

Artistic research

  • No

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