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from 15 to 30 October 2023


The Biennale takes place  n l'ex Canonica de San Giovanni, Piazza San Giovanni 7, Florence

AMERICA     ASIA   _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ AFRICA   _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ EUROPE




Planetary connections aligned Brazil to the Silk Road. Part of the Iberian mobilization, between the 16th and 19th centuries, Brazil joined the Portuguese Empire with settlements in different latitudes – in Asia, Oceania, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, Africa and America. A string of trading posts/fortresses, towns and cities were articulated through maritime trade routes across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Artistic and commercial geographies articulate material culture and an entire ecology of knowledge orchestrating objects,  fauna and flora. Through the Canton fair, the Portuguese accessed the Silk Road, shipping products via Macau, Malacca, Hindustan (Diu, Vasai, Daman, Chaul, Goa, Cochin, São Tomé de Meliapor), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Hormuz in Persian Gulf, North Africa (Alcacer Ceguer, Tanger, Mazagão, etc) and squares of sub-Saharan Africa (Costa da Mina, Guinea, Angola). The Carreira da Índia, both on the way there and on the way back, obligatorily anchored ships in Maputo (Mozambique) and Salvador for watering. In this sense, officially and unofficially, products, artistic objects and people (lay people, Portuguese crown officials, military engineers, Jesuit priests, etc.) were connected on a global scale.

Chinese objects appeared in Brazilian art from the Northeast to Minas Gerais, demonstrating  materially such planetary connections.

Researchers from the University of São Paulo and the CHAM-Centro de Humanidades of the University of Lisbon, as well as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, have been focusing on studying such connections and shared heritages, in recent research projects such as “Heritage of Portuguese Influence in the World” ( e  TechnetEmpire ( The idea is to bring together researchers from all these latitudes around BRAU6, including Brazil in the world artistic geography operated by the Silk Road.

BRAU's 4 themes address negligent cultural aspects and their economic and social implications, with references and interventions that allow the realization of a conceived and proposed solo project. Participants in meetings organized within BRAU are invited to present studies and projects with the following themes and sottotemi.


rapid changes in the European socio-economic scenario and the increased demographic and geographic transformations oggi la discrepanza tra lo sviluppo delle attività attività e l'ambiente “constructed”, giving rise to differenti politiche di intervento, essentially dependent on the realtà economiche di ciascun paese.


The whole problem of investing in the totality of tali processi, trovano modalità and permanent experimentation campuses in the small town that is interested in creating systems of “permanent maintenance” of the local built heritage.


With regard to this prevailing reality, it is necessary to make a greater effort to confront and discuss it on an international scale, in reference to this specific scope of the theme.

1. Modern trends in risk management


Review of the technical literature related to the risks of constructed marriage.

Priorities identified by those responsible ​​ for the management of different types of built heritage and their perception and knowledge of risks in the sectors within their competence.

Property risk assessment and corrective measures from a scientific perspective.

Law proposals, both at national and regional level, for the elaboration of information instruments on the state of the built heritage.

Protocols for monitoring the residual performance conditions of the built cultural heritage, i) initiatives at institutional level (political and administrative), ii) indicators that may signal risk conditions.

Cultural Heritage Risk Maps: mapping of risks on a territorial scale (seismic, hydrogeological, anthropic) in order to define intervention priorities according to the seriousness of the detected situations.

2. Integrated risk management


Methodologies and tools for the systematic, balanced and practical management of specific cultural heritage risks.

Monitoring techniques and instruments. Processing and Interpretation of instrumental data.

3. Risk classification


Characterization and therefore recognition of the full range and complexity of risks to which cultural heritage is exposed.

Collection of statistics relating to asset damage per risk; end-users' lived experiences for selected types of cultural heritage; Consultation with entities and agencies that indirectly affect heritage conservation (public administrations, insurance agencies).

Management science-based risk assessment for each hazard category.

Integration of research results into a risk management framework with a multidisciplinary perspective.

4. Integrated strategies for the protection, recovery and promotion of cultural heritage


National and regional legislative provisions that aim to guarantee and regulate the gradual recovery of historic buildings and cultural assets.

Prevention of the risk of collapse in residential buildings - Self-assessment sheets.

Multidisciplinary processes for evaluating permanent maintenance strategies.

Tools to plan the permanent maintenance of heritage, identifying knowledge gaps and possible research needs.

5. Maintenance and energy requalification in the recovery of small historic centers


Preserve the degraded architectural heritage and its social fabric, through action to protect the environment and the use of new technologies, design and installation of low-emission energy systems.

Integration of passive heating and cooling systems, bioclimatic architecture, landscaping and other strategies to redevelop local cultural identity.

6. Case studies related to the above topics.

Interventions in the architectural heritage constituted by Monumental Ensembles have always been contested between conflicting motives and interests. Among them, the need to adapt, albeit partially, to new standards of living and safety (factory engineering, fire prevention, anti-seismic) that oppose those of conservation of their Values, tangible and intangible, contained in their environments and in their structures; and also in the conflicts around the appropriate use of advanced technologies and the revival of technologies of the past.


The solutions to these and other problems still to be solved can only arise from a direct comparison between specialists on an international scale on all the conflicting aspects that condition the decision-making process of intervention in monumental buildings. A comparison that, in addition to taking into account the degree of risk for people and the monument, will also have to consider, through a careful analysis of social perceptions, an optimal combination of all the needs of citizens.


1. Management and Planning of Interventions


The conservation of monumental heritage is an integral part of the process of planning and managing the cultural heritage of a given community and should contribute to the sustainable, qualitative, economic and social development of the community itself.


Authenticity, Historicity, Ceremoniality, Identity of a Monument. Proposals for the redefinition and critical categorization of monuments.

Procedures for assigning “Importance” to each monumental characterization, in accordance with the technical codes and moral values of the community.

Respect for the rights of future generations regarding the monumental heritage available today and conservation options.

Political management of monumental architectural heritage. The role of government and local authorities in planning to protect monumental heritage.

2. Emerging conflicts in the intervention process


In all the restoration practices in force in the various countries, their main characteristic is the contradictory nature of the Monument's Values, but also their relativity, since every time an optimal combination is sought, there are immediate repercussions on design choices.


Redefinition of the Values of a Monument: i) Human Life Protection Value, ii) Shape Protection Value: aesthetic satisfaction that the view of a Monument offers, from the outside and inside, iii) Symbolic Value: historical importance or religious nature of the monument and its content, iv) Technical Value: construction procedures, construction details, incorporated materials.

Conflict in the conceptual triangle Functionality/Safety/Economy in recovery-improvement-adaptation to current norms and regulations and optimization of design choices.

Quality management algorithms and performance evaluation expected after the intervention: a) Reversibility/degree of repeatability of the intervention, b) Durability over time of materials and added elements, d) Constructive credibility of the intervention under specific technical conditions - economic and control, e) Feasibility and controllability of the proposed solution, g) Functionality for reuse in case of new uses (eg tourist exploitation).

Conflict between structural safety and technical value of the monument in the different stages of intervention. Optimization of design options. Case studies

Restoration/Anastylosis of Monuments: procedures, techniques, technologies.

De-restoration interventions. Legitimations and limitations of design choices.

The conversion of energy to reclassify the monumental architectural heritage.

Architectural barriers in the restoration of monumental ensembles.

3. Structural intervention in monumental complexes

Effects of intervention options on Monumental Values: a) on the Monument's Shape (geometric or chromatic modifications, degree of damage permissible by type of intervention within the scope of the project's actions), b) on the Historicity of the Monument (degree of elimination of preserved additions , impediment to current functions, such as liturgical celebrations, for example), c) the Technical Value of the Monument (degree of influence of the intervention on existing materials and their constructive arrangement).

Quality management algorithms and performance evaluation expected after the intervention: a) Reversibility/degree of repeatability of the intervention, b) Durability over time of materials and added elements, d) Constructive credibility of the intervention under specific technical conditions - economic and control, e) Feasibility and controllability of the proposed solution, g) Functionality for reuse in case of new uses.

Degree of adequacy/inadequacy of international prescriptions (International Conventions and Charters) in the field of structural restoration of monuments. Comparisons, deficiencies, proposed updates.

Constructive Reliability. Control and monitoring programs during and after interventions. Verification of the effectiveness of the results achieved during and after the intervention.

Preserving monuments from natural disasters: a) structural improvement/reinforcement/adaptation interventions, b) differentiated safety approaches between old and new structures.

Integrated global project: Procedures for assessing the importance attributable to the various aspects of the project concerning architecture, structure, systems and functionality.

4. Shared equity


Balancing the various emerging needs between different cultural communities during the decision-making process of restoring shared monumental heritage. Conflict between the need to protect the values present in the shared heritage and the expectations of the public, visitors and locals.

The removal or alteration of any historical material: belongings, relocations, restitutions: need for international regulation.

Socially useful uses of colonial monuments and their conservation. The conservation of shared monuments is always favored by their use for some socially useful purpose, without, however, modifying the architectural layout or the decoration contained in the building.

5. Case studies


Monumental ensembles of significant importance due to their historical significance and architectural and artistic features of particular value

Monumental or representative sets of historic buildings that have maintained significant architectural and distributive characteristics

Buildings that are an integral part of the historic built heritage, even if they do not have particular architectural and artistic characteristics of value




Taking as a reference the growing demand for construction and the demographic and infrastructural transformations of inhabited centres, the search for a global strategy for the reuse of representative or abandoned industrial buildings (cinemas, theatres, artisanal and industrial buildings, barracks, etc.), based on the attentive and interdisciplinary reading of the processes of modification of the built environment.


Only through a rich scenario of ideas and constraints, such as what an international restoration biennial can offer, it is believed that "reappropriation" strategies can emerge from interdisciplinary approaches, privileging resources and values.

The objective of this topic is to raise a debate about the competences, responsibilities and governmental and urban design mechanisms that determine future of brownfield sites and working-class neighborhoods while also pinpointing those schemes of urban governance, urban policies and urban projects which balance successfully between the imperatives of transformation imposed by market forces and preservation of urban memory.

1. Sustainable reuse of abandoned buildings and abandoned sites


Sustainability is a multidimensional process that involves social, economic and architectural issues that emerge from the real needs of a given community or may even have the potential to generate a given need or demand. There is a need for a new architectural design ethic that overcomes the ego and pretentious and abstract architectural concepts and results in a “dynamic process” of building lifecycle design.


Responsibility: the ability to provoke or give responses.

Dynamics (processes and transformation) of the Revitalization of Abandoned Sites.

International cooperation – exchange of experiences.

2. Urban Regeneration and Decentralization


With the changes in the socioeconomic structure of cities in recent decades, urban regeneration and the consequent decentralization have gained new importance as an ecological sustainability strategy. In many cities around the world entire neighborhoods (such as bathing establishments, former industrial plants and related residential areas) are abandoned and transformed for different uses and new social statuses; therefore, special attention should be given to the following subtopics:


Social impact of urban regeneration/decentralization.

Definition of urban requalification/decentralization policies.

Environmental impact of urban regeneration/gentrification.

Abandoned communication sites (ports, railway stations, airports, border sites).

3. Industrial Archeology


Industrial archeology has evolved in recent decades as a discipline that takes into account not only meanings in technological and economic terms, but also assumes cultural significance, as a symbol of change.


Methodologies, procedures and intervention techniques in Industrial Archeology

Perspectives on industrial heritage - Towards new recovery strategies.

Sustainable reuse of historic industrial areas

Conservation maintenance.

4. Intervention technologies in the sectors of industrial archeology and environmental impact


An interdisciplinary commitment and clear trends on the future use and enhancement of abandoned industrial buildings are needed, in the areas of urbanism, architecture and economics.


Intervention technology and environmental impact.

New approaches in the treatment of civil construction waste from the dismantling of industrial buildings.

Economic incentives to activate energy efficiency practices and services.

5. Case studies related to the above topics


Interventions in the modern built heritage


Intervention criteria in buildings representative of 20th century architecture have always been established based on questionable regulations, if not completely omitted, thus leaving much room for private initiative and free interpretation.


Furthermore, nobody expected to have to use the reinforced concrete buildings built immediately after the Second World War, for a period longer than ten or twenty years; the great post-war reconstruction of the fifties was undertaken in the belief that "everything will soon be able to be done again, better and with more modern technologies".


Therefore, these buildings today require "cures" of structural restoration, plant adjustments and aesthetic improvements that must be carefully regulated, in relation to the economic and technological resources of each country. An international comparison of its residual potential (safety, aesthetic values, technological values, etc.) may suggest intervention policies aimed at recovering the buildings themselves, without losing sight of the local economy.


The differentiated effort made in different countries (the poorest and the most advanced) to prolong the "life" of these buildings can make us understand the vastness of suggestions and solutions that can arise from a well-founded comparison on an international scale.


1. Education and theory for the preservation of modern buildings and 20th century building complexes


Strategic management for the restoration of modern architectural assets on a regional scale.

Training for the maintenance and restoration of modern architectural heritage.

Council of Europe and UNESCO initiatives for the conservation of 20th century architecture.

Heritage built between the two world wars: vulnerability and conservation. The knowledge and use of new materials and techniques (cellular and vegetable minerals, fiber reinforced materials, cork agglomerate, linoleum, glass-cement blocks, metal, concrete and aluminium). The stylistic identity: systems of shared values that aim for a generalized quality.

2. The heritage built between the 2nd World War and the 1990s in Europe


Redesign of buildings and urban spaces.

History and development. Diagnosis and remedies.

3. Stone cladding techniques in the 20th century


Restoration of the various stone cladding technologies: prefabricated stone panel: follow-up and intervention techniques for stabilizing the slabs.

4. Developing countries


The individual house: the house and its evolution, conservation of local technologies, color technologies and their conservation.

The great works: "other modernisms" to be preserved: public buildings, educational buildings, industrial buildings, sports buildings.

Conservation and sustainability: conflicting aspects, innovative technologies, intervention policies; real possibilities of adapting to settlement strategies and economic reconversion plans.

5. Case studies related to the above topics



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Theme D


Interventions in the modern built heritage


Theme B

Restoration of Monumental Ensembles

Theme C


Reappropriation strategies for abandoned buildings located in urban and extra-urban centers; industrial archaeology.

Theme A

Permanent maintenance of small historic towns

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