"The identity image of industrial
culture and preservation of historic industrial building
Since the beginning of last century how to deal with historic industrial building heritages became an important issue of architectural conservation. But the practise of preservation in west Europe hadn’t experienced a rapid development until 1970s. The industrial building heritages are not only to be interpreted as “historical documentation”; they also represent the aesthetics and culture of industry and technology. Without a new understanding of the cultural originalities of the industrialised world and without identification with one’s own industrial history in a broad sense, the acceptance for industrial building heritages would be unthinkable. All these acquirements show us the crucial questions: Which identity image has the industrial culture? Are there any large difference between cities and regions? How do the different identity images impact the practise of preservation of historic industrial building heritages?
The new assessment of industrial culture and the necessity of basic industrial archaeological research are important acquirements in the post-industrial countries in Europe and America. Meanwhile, in some large cities in China it also shows the tendency of paradigm shift. As China’s economic centre, Shanghai has a similar history of industrialization for over 140 years as those in west Europe. Since the mid-90s the preservation of historic industrial building heritages also becomes a more and more important issue. In the late 90s, there are the first experimental projects of industrial building heritage preservation in Shanghai. Since then there are more needs of international exchange of expert opinion and also more needs of comparison research on different cities and regions.
In this work Berlin is chosen as a reference and comparison research object. The development of Berlin represents an important type of urban development in Europe. In addition, there are several similarities about these two cities – Shanghai and Berlin - which allow a comparative research: the similar initial situation of economic state of underdevelopment before industrialization; the almost coincident start of early industrialization in both cities at the middle of the 19th Century; and the imitation attempts of foreign industrialization models.
The industrial culture is a very broad term. As important element of identity images of industrial culture, architecture and buildings will be mainly discussed in this research work. They present both the industrial history and the preservation work of industrial building heritages. With this research work it will be tried to give an outline of the difference of the industrial culture and show the uniqueness of historic industrial building heritages.
DFG Fellow, qualifying scholarship, at the Transatlantic Graduate School for Metropolitan Studies Berlin/New York at TU Berlin
Graduate student of “M.A. Historical Urban Studies”, at CMS – Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin
Study of Architecture and Urban Planning at TU Darmstadt