The Book “A Time For Conservation”

How should we cope with a memory of a place? How do we assimilate historical times in the contemporary environment? In the first book of its kind in Hebrew, architect Amnon Bar Or opens a window into the world of Architectural Conservation by focusing on the controversial historic context. For Bar Or, the main role of the conservation architect is to deliver the “cultural package” comprised from heritage materials of the built environment to future generations. The architect should be able to read and decipher the stories behind the structures he operates in and to ensure that the values embedded in them would remain as parts of the cultural landscape shared by all stockholders. Bar Or demonstrates his thesis by analyzing the whole spectrum of projects he was involved in throughout the last three decades, with all the deliberations, challenges, successes and failures involved. Conservation, he claims, is an activity requiring in-depth acquaintance with the various aspects of the built heritage, with the objective of respecting and saving the remains left by the earlier generations from fading into oblivion. No wonder then that conservation ideas find it so difficult to strike root in the contemporary Israeli environment, which always has sanctified the destruction of the old, trying to forget it and make it disappear it in favor of the new and the modern. Therefore, the story of conservation in Israel is a continuous struggle, which despite the achievements accumulated in the course of the last decades, suffers from constant dwindling of its status and deterioration of its right to exist as a legitimate approach to planning and design.