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Art lecture on Conservation of Architecture on Aug. 16

Escuela de Bellas Artes in R. Hidalgo St. in Quiapo

The first ever Fine Arts School of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) called the Escuela De Bellas Artes is one fine example of conservation of architecture.

Built in 1867, the two-story bahay na bato structure was designed by Felix Rojas, the first Filipino to earn an architectural degree. It also served as the residence of the first dean of the school of fine arts. The school eventually moved from R. Hidalgo St. in Quiapo to Padre Faura campus of UP, dooming Bellas Artes to its derelict state of neglect, disrepair and abandonment.

The principal architect of Ciudad Real de Acuzar, Arch. Joel Rico, will discuss conservation of architecture using his experience in the dismantling, transporting and restoring of the Bellas Artes and other notable structures such as the Reyes House from Candaba, Pampanga (1780), and the Maxino House from Unisan, Quezon, (1839) on August 16, from 2 to 4 pm., at the Lopez Memorial Museum.

Arch. Rico obtained his bachelor degree in architecture from the National University in 1993. He is an active member of the Philippine Institute of Architects, of which he was a National Board Secretary (2003-2004), and Chairman, Cultural Affairs Committee (2003-present). He was a member of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) serving as the Deputy Chairman, Center for Filipino Architecture from 2006-2007. He is also the founder of the Architectural Archives Philippines (AAP) in 2004.

As an architectural historian, Arch. Rico published several architectural books and references such as the 100 years of Philippine Architecture (2004), the Philippine Institute of Architects 70 Years of History (2004), Zaragoza’s Iconographic Collection (2004) Gawad Gintong Likha (2005), Philippine Skyscrapers (2006), National Artist in Architecture (2007), Malacanan, Palace of the People (2009). Ang Mundo ni Maestro, 11 Pioneering Filipino Architects and Maestro de Obras (2009).

The lecture complements The Sum of Its Parts exhibit which is ongoing until September 2008. The exhibit features works which have undergone or are slated to undergo conservation at the Roberto M. Lopez Conservation Laboratory of the Lopez Memorial Museum. Lecture fee is P120 per person or P100 for students. For more info, contact Fanny or Jane at 404-2685 or email admin@lopez-museum.org.

19 thoughts on “Art lecture on Conservation of Architecture on Aug. 16 Leave a comment

  1. Good day! It’s such a shame we are highlighting that Bagac project. We should be promoting the preservation of heritage in situ and not the blatant transfer of it! I come from a province which almost lost an important heritage chapel to that project if not for the people’s resolve to keep it there. Did they mention that after ripping out the Enriquez Mansion from Hidalgo Street, they now plan to build a 20-storey structure that would ruin plans to highlight it as a heritage street? Maybe they could also discuss the rape of the Paco Train Station while they’re at it.

  2. Crap. Dismantling a heritage structure from its original location is a crime. You guys should know that once you removed an important vestige of an area, its identity will be gone for good.Don’t justify that you want to save a structure from utter neglect. That’s not the solution.This is all self serving. A heritage town in Bataan? You’re erasing Manila’s identity with that you’re doing!

  3. is this a joke, first of all this is not conservation. this is modification, and bastardization of philippine history, most specially if you have seen what they have done with those structures that was transferred there. you should have Bobby quisumbing talk about the santos house that was transferred to antipolo. and the whole story behind the transfer.sorry, this is not a good topic.

  4. is this a joke, first of all this is not conservation. this is modification, and bastardization of philippine history, most specially if you have seen what they have done with those structures that was transferred there. you should have Bobby quisumbing talk about the santos house that was transferred to antipolo. and the whole story behind the transfer. there is no relationship or what so ever in the collection. and this cannot be considered as a good example of conservation. plus who is that lecturer?sorry, this is not a good topic.

  5. Contrasting this argument with the transfer and relocation of the Abu Simbel temple to avoid being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser when the Egyptians built the Aswan Dam on the Nile River.Good intentions but different philosophical interpretations.I am not an architect or conservator.Eric Agoncillo Ambata

  6. Did your curators think about what is the ill effect of this lecture on the conservation of Philippine heritage? It seems to be counter to the purpose of museology.

  7. I am very much in favor for heritage conservation. For there is little left of our built heritage in Manila. I remember Calle Hidalgo when it was still lined on both sides with old houses and there was this arched bridge (near present day Jollibee) which seemed to be constructed during the Spanish era.But I also do not find anything wrong about transferring heritage structures especially if the options left for it are neglect decay, or a worst case scenario, demolition. It is better to have it relocated (this should be the last option – re-location)somewhere else where it would be conserved or cared for in a better suited environment.What are the other options left if the heritage structure/s are to be left in situ? Let’s say for example that a structure was preserved/conserved, and then what? I think this is one of the aspect that is lacking in discussing heritage related structures and conservation. What to do next or what other use or purpose could the heritage structure be utilize for. Ideally, it must sustain itself or bring in income for it’s own up-keep and maintenance. It also must have a purpose in terms of utilization (on the paractical side) so it will not exist in a vacuum or like an artifact or museum, piece. Another thing is, what do owners do who can’t afford to maintain these structures? What incentives could they avail of? Sometimes or most of the times, financial backing is necessary when educational dissemination is not enough to arouse interest. There must be a source of funding for such projects so no one can say that we better put our money where our mouth is.

  8. environment.What are the other options left if the heritage structure/s are to be left in situ? Let’s say it be preserved/conserved, and then whI am very much in favor of conservation. For there is little left of our built heritage in Manila. I remember Calle Hidalgo when it was still lined on both sides, with old houses and there was this arched bridge (near present day Jollibee) which seemed to be constructed during the Spanish era.But I also do not find anything wrong about transferring heritage structures especially if the options left for it are neglect decay, or the worst case, demolition. It is better to have it relocated (this should be the last option – re-location)somewhere else where it would be conserved or cared for in a better suited at? I think this is one of the aspect that is lacking in discussing heritage structures. What to do next or what other use or purpose could the heritage structure be utilize for. Ideally, it must sustain itself or have a purpose for its conservation. Another thing is, what do owners do who can’t afford to maintain these structures? What incentives could they avail of? Sometimes or most of the times, financial backing is necessary when educational dissemination is not enough to arouse interest. There must be a source of funding for such projects so no one can say that we better put our money where our mouth is.

  9. One of the purposes of the ongoing museum exhibition on conservation is to try make transparent the conservation practice in the museum. In the spirit of transparency, the museum has invited Arch Joel Rico to give the said talk so that there would be awareness of other conservation practices, etc. We hope this will encourage dialogue among practitioners.

  10. I want to hear what the speaker will say. Surely, it is not easy to do what they do. It must be a huge investment. Why do they do it? How do they do it? What does the government do in this regard? I do not know if the government is capable of restoration. I am not aware of anything that they are doing that would protect private houses. As for me, as long as the houses do get preserved for future generations as whole pieces , I think that is a better option than having them as bits and pieces and not sold as “parts” in lumberyards and antique shops.

  11. The Bagac Project violates in particular Article 6 and 7 of the Venice Charter. They cannot argue that they transferred the Enriquez Mansion to save it because they own the property where it stands. If they really wanted to save it, they should have restored it as part of the heritage street project for Hidalgo Street since they obviously have the funds to do so. Its transfer was obviously not justified by national interest and went counter to it because they did not keep the existing traditional setting of Hidalgo Street. In its place, they plan to construct a 20-storey building that jeopardizes plans to highlight the street as a heritage street.At the same time, the project in Bagac, Bataan reconstructs the houses out of context. It mixes urban homes with country mansions. Imagine a Binondo row house with a garden in front of it. So again, it violates the Venice Charter which calls for the preservation of monuments in a setting which is not out of scale, and protecting the balance of its composition and its relation with its surroundings.The said lecture thus goes against the internationally accepted principles of heritage conservation. We should stop promoting the wholesale and blatant transfer of our architectural heritage. Old houses are not collectibles and should not be treated as such. Let us not call it a lecture on the conservation of architecture because it is not.—Article 6.The conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out of scale. Wherever the traditional setting exists, it must be kept. No new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed.Article 7.A monument is inseparable from the history to which it bears witness and from the setting in which it occurs. The moving of all or part of a monument cannot be allowed except where the safeguarding of that monument demands it or where it is justified by national or international interest of paramount importance.International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (The Venice Charter)

  12. @ynchaustti, we do put our money where our mouth is:Prof. Victor Venida lectures on the economics of heritage preservation on August 16You are cordially invited to the 4th Architectural Conservation Lecture on the ECONOMICS OF HERITAGE PRESERVATION by Dr. VICTOR VENIDA. on Saturday, 16 August 2008, 2:30-5:00 p.m. at the Army & Navy Club Building (now Museo ng Maynila), South Boulevard, Ermita, Manila.Dr. Venida is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Lecturer on Basic Economics for International Economic Law at the College of Law, Ateneo de Manila University.Registration starts at 2:00 p.m. There is a minimum donation of P200. Students with valid ID, free of charge. Snacks will be provided by the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission. See you there!

  13. this is not acceptable, it clearly violates the Venice charter. the structure should remain as is to its original place. The structure should be preserved including its surrounding environment.

  14. Thank you for coming to Lopez Museum and weighing in so passionately on matters issuing from the talk of Architect Joel Rico on the Bagac project. It is precisely our desire as a research and cultural institution to stimulate discourse among various stakeholders—theorists, advocates, practitioners, etc.–in relation to on ground conservation cases that enflesh points of debates surrounding current practice. To our mind, productive public dialogue can only occur in the midst of as many pertinent though divergent views which our various publics should be appraised of to pursue shared ends. It is in this spirit that we extend our appreciation for your earnest vigilance and trust that we can take this virtual and actual conversations to a deepened, constructive level mutually beneficial to the communities we have made ourselves accountable to.We do hope to see you again at the museum soon.Sincerely, Eileen Legaspi-RamirezCuratorial Consultant, Lopez Memorial Museum

  15. Talk is cheap. Those who can – do.I would like to know what concrete steps Mr. Anonymous(aug 12 am) has taken to preserve heritage sites in situ. Granted that the Bagac project is not the ideal method for conservation, what do you Mr. Anonymous offer as a concrete, actionable alternative?Talk is cheap. Those who can – do.I understand passionate discussion on issues born of one’s convictions. But please match your strength of conviction with the courage to identify yourself and not remain an anonymous commentator.YNCHAUSTI is right.Put your money where your mouth is.

  16. I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!Sorry for offtopic

  17. Ivan.. you speak so passioantely about conservation and heritage structures.. but have u spent a single centavo on truly preserving one? Critisizing that project is nothing but blatant hipocrisy.Can you really say that you could do something to save th Enriquez house from rotting? You speak too much about laws, plan, etc.. We need to see some REAL actions bro. That house now beautifully stands in Bagac, appreciated by many while still learning about its rich history. I bet you cannot even save one of its beautiful pilars. So shut it!!!