INTRODUCTION

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This design project deals with instrumentalisation processes in historical meaning-making and historical preservation in architecture. A critical attitude towards the concept of authenticity and its entanglement in power structures has been developed and different examples in different cultural contexts have been examined.

The starting point was the examination of current practices of historical preservation and how they lead to the production of hyperrealities by looking at history from a singular point of view and perceiving it as a stable, linear entity.

It is, therefore, important to acknowledge that history, is a complex, unstable, multilayered process. This project aims to depict this process more accurately and therefore practice and develop other ways of depicting and preserving history in the built environment without creating hyperrealities. This includes image as well as form-making.

 

The Delftse Poort serves as a case study object in this context as it reflects and mirrors the historical processes of the city of Rotterdam; it transformed simultaneously to the changes and shifts of the gate.

Water disappeared. 

Building and streets appeared. 

The bombing ruptures this expansion process.

It was the gate to the Interior of the city and had representative as well as defensive functions, it served the authorities as a valve to control individuals' access. After it lost its function it was the only gate left that was not demolished and therefore it served as an important monument of the city’s identity. During its lifetime it has experienced and witnessed historical events. Furthermore, it was a subject and object in countless individual memories and encounters connected to the city.

 

Therefore, preserving and depicting the history of this building means to depict and preserve the history of the Hofplein as well as the whole city.

A gateway to the city's past.