Conoscenza e tutela del patrimonio architettonico moderno e contemporaneo: esperienze a confronto

79 Molti gli interventi non coordinati con l’aggiunta di elementi accessori, per giustapposizione, che sviliscono i caratteri architettonici principali, quali: antenne paraboliche, impianti di condizionamento, tettoie, paraventi, cartelli e insegne pubblicitarie, etc. Tutti interventi, di per sé, leciti che, realizzati senza regole e senza un progetto unitario, possono determinare modificazioni sensibili degli edifici e del loro contesto. Le aggiunte per adeguamenti funzionali, ormai ritenute indispensabili, suggeriscono di trovare al più presto criteri che permettano di intervenire sui manufatti in modo corretto, adattando così le costruzioni ai nuovi bisogni dell’abitare contemporaneo senza tuttavia trasformarne l’assetto in modo irreversibile. Urgente è, pertanto, l’adozione del Piano degli interventi di conservazione e manutenzione e del Progetto colore per Asmara, vero e proprio museo en plein air dell’architettura e dell’urbanistica moderna, dove si dovrà operare necessariamente anche con un piano programmato degli incentivi, in salvaguardia del suo tessuto urbano, dei singoli edifici, ma anche delle finiture e dei colori del Moderno (Boriani, Toniolo et al. 2009; La sfida del Moderno 2003). Inoltre, sarà importante esplicitare alcuni principi attraverso una serie di interventi edilizi esemplari, che possano mostrare la possibilità di risolvere i problemi in modo compatibile con le esigenze della conservazione del patrimonio. Infine, una fase da non sottovalutare nell’affrontare i piani è la diffusione sia degli intenti che dei risultati, in quanto è necessario il coinvolgimento di tutti i livelli della comunità per il raggiungimento degli obiettivi prefissati3. I piani imposti dall’alto, infatti, se non vengono recepiti anche dagli abitanti, rimangono fini a se stessi, senza avere prosecuzioni di valorizzazione future. The additions by functional adjustments, now deemed indispensable, suggest finding, as quickly as possible, criteria that make it possible to intervene on the structures in a correct fashion, thereby adapting them to the new needs of contemporary living, but without irreversibly transforming their arrangement. Therefore, it is urgent to adopt the Plan of conservation and maintenance interventions and Progetto colore for Asmara – a genuine open-air museum of architecture and of modern urban planning, where work will necessarily have to be done also with a programmed incentives plan for safeguarding the urban fabric, the individual buildings, but also the finishings and colours of Modernism (Boriani, Toniolo et al. 2009; La sfida del Moderno 2003). It will also be important to clarify certain principles through a set of exemplary construction interventions that can show the possibility of solving problems compatibly with the needs of conserving the heritage. Lastly, a phase not to be underestimated in dealing with the Plans is the spread both of intentions and of results, since all levels of the community must be involved in order to achieve the objectives that have been set3. In fact, plans imposed from above, if they are not adopted by the inhabitants as well, remain ends unto themselves, with no continued valorization in the future. Asmara and its context, between past and future For Asmara, combining protection and development is a passage necessary for the very sustainability of the city’s protection. If the core zone and the buffer zone are important for identifying and characterizing the heritage, it is difficult to think of development while containing our gaze inside them. Asmara’s recognition as a heritage site might therefore be not so much as a point of arrival but one of departure for spurring understanding of the network of relationships and exchanges4 that made this city a strategic centre in the Horn of Africa – relations that are just as significant in the contemporary age. While at the end of the nineteenth century Asmara became the capital of the Eritrean colony even though it was less inhabited than Massawa or Keren, it was above all a development in the transport network that placed it at the centre of the highland’s road grid and linked it to the port of Massawa via what later became, in the late 1930s, the most infrastructured axis in the Horn of Africa, endowed with a railway line, a blacktop road open for traffic in all seasons, and a three-cable aerial line, the world’s longest at that time 5. This broadening of the gaze leads in the first place to reflecting upon what the impact of the colonial presence outside of urban settings was, and what took place along this axis in terms of transformations of the cultural landscape after 1889, the year when a link – first physical, but then cultural as well – began to be established among the various populations of the coastal lowland and the

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