The climate crisis and global decrease in resources require action from architecture. Nowadays, the preservation and transformation of existing buildings should be favoured over new construction. Consequently, this thesis deals with the topic of restoration, with the intent of developing a restoration strategy. Finally, this is expressed through design fragments for an existing building – the former Sanatorium Wienerwald.
The aspect of resource conservation, and thus of reuse in its broadest sense, leads first to reflections on monument preservation. In the 19th century, the pressure exerted on the city by urbanisation – as a result of industrialisation – led to the large-scale conversion and reconstruction of existing buildings. Consequently, the discipline of modern monument conservation developed, largely influenced by the precepts of John Ruskin. In his paper ‘The Seven Lamps of Architecture’, Ruskin makes explicit his preference to conserve – not to restore, – following the logic that each layer should unmistakably be of its time. The strict interpretation of these conservation principles over recent decades has often led to additions being made to existing buildings which try too hard to be of their time and thus declare themselves as new. In response, the ambition of this work is to expand the qualities and atmospheres of historical structures – aiming to create a dialogue over time. The documentation on the history of the former Sanatorium and its as-found state build the base for the design of the restoration strategy.
The fragmentary restoration design work uses the method of working with a series of parameters, like the added new, perception and deception or the topic of association through reinterpretation.