Sabine Marcelis

Deconstructing Reconstruction

Edition: 2017
Workshop: Deconstructing Reconstruction

Sicily has a history of great earthquakes. Namely in 1693 a devastating earthquake destroyed over 70 towns in total. The reconstruction plans of these town were of three types: move the town to a new site, rebuild at the same site with a completely new town plan or rebuild using the existing town plan. Examples of towns that fell in the first category were Avola and Noto, their former locations now being known as Avola Antica and Noto Antica. Catania is an example of a city that was rebuilt on the same site to a new plan, while adapting some of the existing structures. Syracuse is an exam- ple of a city rebuilt entirely to its existing plan.

The workshop will question the impact of these decisions. When is it appropriate to start over again from scratch; how do we preserve authenticity within reconstruction; when is the erosion or partial demolition more iconic or important that the original state; which memory takes priority; how can homage be payed to an existing notion when starting over from scratch.