Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

On the experience of temporality: Existential issues in the conservation of architectural places

Meraz, Fidel


Fidel Meraz
Senior Lecturer in Architecture


In discussions of the conservation of culturally significant architecture, awareness about issues of temporality and its theoretical import has been approached from varied, partial, perspectives. These perspectives have usually focused on accounts of temporality that focus on the past and the present – and more rarely the future – without considering either the complete spectrum of human temporality or its ontological bases. This article addresses this shortcoming with a phenomenology of conservation grounded on the fundamental attitudes of cultivation and care. After a phenomenological and existentialist analysis of Cesare Brandi’s thought – focusing on his paradigmatic Theory of Restoration – his attitude comes forth as a limited instance of the modern conservation attitude that is concerned exclusively with architecture as art. This attitude results in a limited temporal intentionality. Following Ingarden and Ricoeur, the existential approach is here applied to the deduced dimensions of the space and time of Dasein – in Heidegger’s terms – outlining the grounding of conservation on an existential interpretation of the more fundamental notions of cultivation and care. This interpretation suggests a solution for the modern impasse with an existential account of both the artistic grounding of architecture and its characterisation as the place that temporally accompanies Dasein. Architecture thus emerges as a manifold being, constituting existentially the space for the authentic human being, whose temporal consciousness compels it to cultivate and care about that space, thus enriching the possible approaches to conservation as a collective endeavour.


Meraz, F. (2017). On the experience of temporality: Existential issues in the conservation of architectural places. Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, 3(2), 167-182.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 4, 2017
Publication Date Jan 4, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2016
Journal Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology
Print ISSN 2053-9320
Electronic ISSN 2053-9339
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 167-182
Keywords conservation, architecture, phenomenology, existentialism, Brandi, Gadamer, Heidegger
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations