I live in a city which has hundreds of historical buildings, many of them are under state protection as monuments of architecture, and the whole center of the city stands under the UNESCO protection. Yet, almost once a month I bump into the original wooden windows (because they are so old and “bad-looking” and need professional restoring) being thrown away and new ones (often plastic ones) are put in.
The problem lies in many aspects, but let me focus on the idea where the windows are taken out of their native place. At best, a professional carpenter-restorer has the opportunity to take the original handles and knobs and re-use them in other projects. Unfortunately, in most cases the original substance goes to waste.
I’m not sure if the designers of the Rake project have analyzed the problem in such a way, but what they did create is fresh, cool and intriguing. They collected the windows from the nearby building that was being demolished and reused them in the new-made cube pavilion in Trondheim, Norway. Windows of different sizes and looks were gathered to form the facades, whereas doors form the ceiling.
Not only is this object a great installation (which, implemented in a city like mine and filled with historic windows, could help raise the problems of historical windows conservation in public), but it is also a great exhibition room (48 m2 / 516 sq.ft.) and may become a special cultural landmark of the neighborhood / street / city center.
In my opinion, when there’s a will there’s a way, because I’m convinced that nowadays the surroundings should interact with people and create a certain interest. And, as I said above, I find it brilliant to use it as an instrument of raising discussion in public about the preservation of old building and materials.