The other heritage But there is another lower heritage, in which ancient is called old, then time does not mean greatness but degradation. This heritage can not be restored with the same criteria as the monuments. Whose artistic value is doubtful, whose real value is the mark of the time on their walls. In this buildings the architecture fades from the walls, gradually disappears, roofs break down, mortars fall, walls collapse, and finally the ground absorbs debris (the remains). This heritage is closer to us, much of it “life” corresponds to our own lives, their time is our time, and, for our consciousness its degradation is a failure, because we saw its glory, and we see its decline. The cracks in the walls correspond to our skin wrinkles and damages in the building are like our diseases, which is why we sadden when we look to this heritage and produce rejection to us, because remind us our own degradation. The distant past is glorius, our recent heritage is sad. The Heritage in capital letters is restored, our lower heritage fills up with same, we demolish it or we drop it.
Another way to project In this case restoration requires expertise, technique and experience too. But this is not enougth. This “subheritage”, perhaps by contradiction, perhaps by rebelliousness, caused a new metod of approach, a different way of project. As a further step in the value chain of our ruins, the restoration process is replaced by a different process: the ruin is not restored, nor is rehabilitated, we just work on it making a new architecture, inside, around or in between. Producing something like a controlled decrepitude. The “greatness” exists in the unknown or missing details. It´s more important what is insinuated that what is shown. Subtle, evanescent does not exist in the ordinary look. Our western ideals exalt the monumental, spectacular and enduring. Appreciate the value of this heritage is to appreciate what inconsequential, the hidden, the provisional, the ephemeral. From material poverty arises spiritual wealth. The ruin shows us that there are no immutables values and allow us to appreciate the aesthetics of the evanescence of life. Ruin is the conjunction of space and time. This event creates a vibration between architecture and the moment we grasp (capture) the beauty.