- World Heritag e
- industrial Heritage
- Royal Saltwoks of
Arc-et-Senans / France : September 2002 the 20th
- Presentation / see
: French Presentation
- It is only in the last
two decades that industrial heritage has become a specific subject
for study and survey. Since achieving main stages of de-industrialisation
we witness new concern to reuse run down industrial sites, and
to conserve those that best represent either technical or social
- The whole of Europe possesses
a rich industrial heritage. Conservation, clearing, rehabilitation
and the social & urban reintegration of this legacy are important
issues for the lasting development of Europe's town and cities.
Certain questions seem to be raised:
- What aspect of industrial heritage do we choose to highlight
at each site, and why?
- Do we always seek to provide an outlet for cultural production?
- How do we manage the transformation from protected monument
to cultural attraction?
- In retrospect do we discover an aesthetic quality in these
- In this respect, the
old Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, a listed World Heritage site,
provides an appropriate setting for this type of discussion.
Built according to the plans of it's architect Claude-Nicolas
Ledoux between 1775-79, today it is considered as one of the
most remarkable jewels of industrial architecture. This manufactory
is appreciated as an essential element of an ideal city (Ledoux's
project for the City of Chaux) which went beyond the scope of
its intended industrial activity.
Workers' lifestyles history, working conditions and the type
of operations carried out are not specifically dealt with on
site, we should point out that no technical apparatus remains.
By promoting its architectural aspect and its urban quality the
Saltworks conveys an image disassociated from its former-functional
value, and as such challenges our sense of history.
- Can we, therefore,
simply speak about industrial heritage?
- How should we define
this ? What features do we emphasise - beauty, massiveness?
- Which historical symbols
do we evoke?