|M.Sc Student||Tepper Barak|
|Subject||Conservation of the 'Realm of Memory' in Zichron Ya'acov|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Architect Peera Goldman|
|Professor Pnina Plaut|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This study proposes a new tool to process intangible information concealed in a place's history, narratives and legends, to achieve a fuller understanding of the site's 'cultural significance' and help preserve the 'spirit of the place'.
Two distinct trends are apparent in the evolution of site conservation theories. Emphasis has shifted from physical objects to the site's context and from the tangible to the significance of the intangible aspects of conservation site. While the available tools collect information on both tangible and intangible, there are no feasible tools to analyze and tie the intangible information to the tangible one.
The proposed method is based on the concept of a "realm of memory", which characterizes the connections between a place's "tangible inventory" and its history & collective memory. Narrative Studies methodology was adapted to identify intangible information concealed in the site's historic texts.
To test the proposed method, two empiric methods were used: three well-defined conventional conservation methods, and the proposed method.
The town of Zichron Ya'acov was chosen as the test case, since its development has altered the town's physical and population landscape at a rate that has blurred its unique character. Using these various examination and analysis tools enables both to test the proposed method, and to prepare an integrated "cultural significance" declaration to be used later as a basis for a conservation policy.
As initially expected, the conventional methods of analysis implemented in this study ignored the tacit intangible information, which often is more significant than the tangible. Contrarily, the narrative analysis method enables the integration of intangible information into the site's "cultural significance" declaration and together with the attached "realms of memory" map the proposed method could help preserve the 'cultural landscape' and foster the 'spirit of the place'. Thus, strengthening and presenting the associated ties between the physical the stories and the historical facts and enables people to identify themselves and their work within the environment, and maintain their identity.
The work led to the conclusion that it is necessary to combine both methods of research in order to formulate a complete and comprehensive "cultural significance" declaration. While the conventional methods tend to reveal aspects and issues of the broader context, the proposed method serves as a complementary contrast: the analysis reveals the small details usually concealed within a community, while the general aspects and issues tend to be less exposed.