Gray Area: Provocations on the Future of Preservation

new and old photo

The shops of Summerhill, Audax Architecture, Toronto

The mixing of old and new is one of the toughest things to deal with in architecture. Do you try to blend in, doing faux old, or stand out in contrast? Does everything get perserved in amber or can old buildings lead new lives?

Now Design Philadelphia and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage have organized Gray Area: Provocations on the Future of Preservation to "pose questions about historic preservation in the 21st century" and look at these questions.

philadelphia silo

Interface Studio Architects tried to deal with these issues with a proposal to add to the top of an historic silo in Philadelphia and didn't get very far; it was too frenetic for Philadelphia.

Now Brian Phillips of Interface Studio Architects is curating the discussion. he explains:

We will consider how, for example, can Philadelphia best use its historic built environment as a catalyst for design invention, innovation and experimentation, What is worth preserving - neighborhoods, landscapes, buildings, interiors, stories? How can we create new ways of looking at old buildings? How do we protect Philadelphia's greatest asset, its unique urban character? And what are the connections among preservation, environmental sustainability, emerging technologies and economic development?"

Panelists at the October 19 event include:

Lloyd Alter, the Toronto-based editor of Architecture and Design, and Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario;
Mark Alan Hughes, distinguished senior fellow, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania and founding director, Greenworks;
Randall Mason, chair, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania;
Enrique Norten of TEN ARQUITECTOS in Mexico City;
Susan Szenasy, editor in chief, Metropolis, the award-winning New York City-based magazine of architecture and design;
Tod Williams of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York.

Admission is free but you must reserve a ticket.

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