Between 2011 and 2017, an Italian government’s program supported initiatives by Palestinian municipalities, among others, in the field of restoration and value of cultural heritage.
SEUM has had the privilege of participating in these two important initiatives: in Tulkarem, in the north and in Hebron in the south of the West Bank, two important buildings have been studied, restored and adapted to new compatible functions, involving local professionals in activities exchange and Capacity building.
The Al Saraya palace in Tulkarem, former seat of the Ottoman government in the region, built in 1893 has undergone the events of history and the ravages of time. Today, respected and restored through a yard school, it is a guesthouse and a traditional restaurant, shops for typical products, a convention center and site for temporary exhibitions.
The Hammam Al Hibrahimi, located in the core of the old city of Hebron, since 2017 UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been the subject of a careful restore and can now be visited in its original shape dating back to the Mamluk era between the 13th and 14th centuries and an integral part of the Visitor Center which houses at its entrance a Mini museum that collects archaeological finds dating from the 1st millennium BC. to Roman times to crusade up to more recent traditional items. In this book, published both in English and in Italian, the moments of the two experiences telling the evolution, analyzing the buildings and deploying the executive modalities both under the aspect technical than the organizational one. And more. The text and the numerous images not only represent a technical manual on the restoration of monuments as well as a compendium on local history but also witness and memory of an extraordinary adventure lived between Italian representatives and local technicians and professionals.
Man has always expressed his connection with the territory on which he constructs, and his will to put down roots there along with his people. Hence the origin of the symbolic value that every historical center continues to exert on its population, which finds in this area the traditions and myths of its offspring (S. D’Agostino).
A place dictates the terms of shape, colour, proportions and functions of what has been built on it; the territory’s materials, culture and tools shape the buildings and influence urban planning.
All of this establishes the modus costruendi. The close connection between constructions and people who live in them represents the genius loci, where typical features and wealth of urban centres influence the people who live there and is subliminally perceived by those who visit it. This concept supports that of concinnitas described by Leon Battista Alberti, a famous architect of the fifteenth century.
Color loci represents the first impact on an observer; even before perceiving shapes and volumes, he has an overall sensation transmitted by colours and light. Due to such an impact, he is more or less ready to perceive formal aspects and details.
Colours express the soul of the people who live in that place, their expectations and hopes as well as commercial and technical capacities of the time. This publication illustrates the theory, physiology and psychology of colours; moreover, it deals with perception issues and explores terms and systems of colour notation throughout history. The book also investigates how identity is related to colour in the city of Arezzo.
Images enter strongly into the city’s colours and bring out all its tones. Images extract colours from their context, highlighting similarities and contrasts. Light is exploited in a way to establish what is dominant and what is complementary. The momentum is amplified; it immerses the observer in a state of excitement and produces an extraordinary feeling.
This book is a precious document that captures the different colours of a Tuscan city, stimulating a conscious and correct approach in order to maintain the city’s identity and genius.
De signs, the title of SEUM’s publication recalls the Latin term dē signo, that is related to the sign; in English, design means project as well as drawing- Drawing is the discipline in which the Renaissance included the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture. Sign and design, painting, sculpture and architecture are altogether summed up to determine the urban landscape of a Tuscan city.
An impressionist view of the city leaves in the background the great monuments, towers, palaces, churches and universal works; it exploits this counterpoint in order to exalt the numerous signs, elements, similarities and differences that determine the perception.
Fountains, benches, balconies, doorbells, doorknobs, front doors, statues, bas-relief carvings, decorations, railings, emblems and manholes: all is described rigorously in detail. Architectures and interferences, light and shadow, order and disorder, all communicate with a language that expresses uniqueness and intimate beauty.
Rare letters deriving from banners and plaques, transformed into freely used characters, do maintain and transmit identity and genius, “vera imago urbis” that is the true urban image.
A city’s image is the result of a spontaneous or organized set of buildings and streets, whether empty or crowded, a summary of practical and beautification subjects. The perception of a city is subjective, influenced by the moment and the mood, wheras its communication depends on the purpose, which is often partial or arbitrary.
This publication, confined to the urban area, is not intended to be exhaustive. It calls for the continuation and spread of the DESIGN concept; it is an expression of love that every place deserves. Moreover, we wish to convey affection and enthusiasm so as to stimulate curiosity and wonder, analysis and criticism, all of which are perhaps insufficient but absolutely necessary to understand and appreciate the places that welcome us.
For participants, a professional training course must constitute a moment of growth, a path culminating in the acquisition of knowledge and skills which enable students to take on their selected career with confidence. Restoring a façade or pictorial decoration requires a knowledge of how this particular work was constructed: instruments, techniques, and the processing of stone, painting, coating, decorations and frescoes. An internship abroad is the most exciting moment for students. French and Spanish partners provided highly appropriate levels of excellence. The opportunity to operate within prestigious Paris and Barcelona-based institutions was a truly fascinating and engaging experience. Exchange with professionals from other countries was stimulating and essential for forging professionals with a European vision.
Restoration proved to be the most important element, insofar as it
was carried out on real works and under real-life conditions, with students organised into groups, each with its own leader, giving them the chance to autonomously organise all stages of works. Ten work sites for fourteen types of interventions. The works involved proved important in their own right and ranged from great to modest in value. A few discoveries were actually made thanks to restoration activities as well as the meticulous research and work carried out by students. It is not possible for all produced documentation to be included in this publication, however such records testify to the important work carried out. We like to think that this experience stimulated a desire for knowledge, comparison, improvement, and that it may lead to students’ professional and personal growth, as was certainly the case for us trainers.