An exchange between François Chatillon, Managing Architect for Historic Monuments, and Vanessa Fernandez, Hunt Fellow 2010
The dialogue “Conserver c’est modern” constitutes a manifesto questioning the challenges presented by the 20th century’s abundant architectural legacy. In which ways can we envision the future of this heritage? Through what kinds of interventions? How can we end the dysfunctional separation of creation and conservation?
For the full French dialogue, follow this link, or just
In his approach to architecture, architect François Chatillon rejects the notion of a theoretical split between restoration of period buildings and creation – that is, between heritage and contemporary projects. Appointed Managing Architect for Historical Monuments (ACMH) in 2005, a large part of Chatillon’s professional activity has been devoted to the restoration of major works of architectural heritage (Grand Palais, École des Beaux-Arts, Voltaire’s château…). He has further been entrusted with several iconic twentieth-century buildings.“Conserve and create, create to conserve” is the guiding principle in his work in favor of “living heritage”.
ACMH President from to 2010 to 2014, Chatillon sits on the City of Paris’s Commission du Vieux Paris since January 2015. This municipal body oversees the evolution of historic structures and the urban landscape of the French capital.
He was entrusted with preparing a project for the Halles Centrales du Boulingrin in Reims and was 2015 winner of the European Union’s cultural heritage prize “Europa Nostra” in the conservation category.
Architect Vanessa Fernandez (RMHP Fellow 2010) is a 2004 graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville. Since 2010 she has specialized in the restoration and conservation of 20th-century heritage; she is also an advisor to project leaders and construction firms, and serves as teacher and second-year advisor in Paris-Belleville’s DSA program in Architecture and Heritage/IPRAUS.
Together with François Chatillon, Fernandez directed research committees for the renovation of the Salvation Army’s Cité de Réfuge and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, both in Paris. After winning the Hunt Prize in 2010, she received a grant from the Fondation Le Corbusier for her work on façade restoration. Fernandez has taken part in several international conferences as member of DOCOMOMO (Paris 2002, Mexico 2010).
—Florence Jeanjean, translation Donatella Andréani
To read the full French dialogue, follow this link.