Architecture of Ruins
This essay is discussing the question of architectural ruins of war, as a selfcontained architectural form, instead of merely physical leftover of what used to exist as a functional object. In the post-war narrative, damaged, or even completely destroyed buildings, can take on new functions and gain newly attached symbolism. However, if a building destroyed by war is not reconstructed or revitalized with a new purpose, that architectural ruin eventually becomes an entity in itself, a separate category in which the word 'ruin' not only describes its destroyed condition, but also signifies its new, memorial, or even ideological nature. The ‘architectural ruin’ becomes a cultural structure that exceeds the building's physical character. Reconstruction of such areas therefore represents a specific task, which must take into account not only the economic aspect and the current needs of the community, but also collective memory and changed identity of the population. With the physical destruction of the built environment, the coherence of the population is also destroyed - the way of thinking and movement within the inhabited space is altered, daily habits and language are changed. In these circumstances, whether the state of ruins should be preserved or which approach in reconstruction should be taken, is the responsibility that lies upon the architectural profession. The treatment of the ruins reflects the kind of common memory reconstruction tends to maintain, or even create.