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Museum architecture and conversion: From paradigm to institutionalization of anti-museum

DOI: 10.2298/fuace1201069m

Keywords: conversion , museum architecture , art museum , anti-museum

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The majority of art museums all over the world have found their accommodation in buildings whose primary function and service, at the time of construction, was completely different. Conversion was more a rule than an exception during (not so long) museum history, and it is unambiguous that typological structure of renaissance and baroque palaces have had dominant influence on museum organization and structure. The further important step forward, considering museum accommodation in historical buildings, happened after the Second World War, with reevaluation and representation of old artistic works by means of new architectonic tools. During the late seventies, reaction of artists to contemporary prevailing trends in museum architecture resulted in creation of numerous unconventional museums, placed in abandoned industrial facilities, warehouses, powerplants, on the margins of official culture, as a contrast to the overdesigned museums as sites of luxury and entertainment. Not long afterwards, the network of museum institutions has accepted the vital elements of this "parallel cultural system" concept and reaffirmed conversion as an equally worthy solution for collection accommodation and temporary exhibition space. In this paper, we have presented the history of conversion as a part of museum architectural typology evolution, advantages and disadvantages of conversion, as well as the contribution of conversion to the sustainable urban development.


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