Upcoming census of Quito’s modern heritage
February 10, 2017 / Patricia Carolina González
To date there is no quantitative survey detailing the number of buildings making up the modern Quito Heritage. The initial constructions considered for the census are the recipients of the “Premio Ornato” (Ornato Prize) -a distinction given to those edifications considered a positive contribution to the urban landscape-.
By 2013, the 100 year anniversary of the prize, 138 properties were recognized, but, according to Ángelica Arias, director of the IMP, not all belonged to the modern school of architecture. ‘Quito: 30 años de Arquitectura Moderna (1950 – 1980)’, a book compiled by architect Hernán Orbea, selected 163 buildings representative of modern architecture.
Diana Araujo, technical advisor to the institute, explains that the catalogue being revised intends to evaluate the intent behind the design, and whether this vision was maintained through time, its impact on the city, its designated typology (characteristics of the building), the changes exprienced, it’s historic and symbolic value, and the response of the constructive system
Modern architecture arrived in Ecuador, specifically in Quito, with the European migration in the first decades of the 20th Centry, gradually creating important changes in urban design. A distinguishing feature is its simplicity, incorporating straight lines and cubic volumes, for its industrialized production using concrete as the primary construction material.
“[Modern Architecture] is generous with its spaces, with an aesthetic that, in context, merged innovation technologies, petmitting a mass-produced architecture and the vertical growth of the city,” explains Orbea, professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.
Contemporary architecture makes great use of technology and favors revetments. Adittionaly, “it goes hand-in-hand with financial performance, accomplished by reducing spaces and seeking greater hights,” adds the architect.
The upcoming census will be mor than a historic snapshot of the city. The technical advice of the IMP points out that the heritage must be understood as a resource fo the socio-economic development of the city. As for maintenance, once on the census, owners of the properties will receive the appropriate technical advice.
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