Hlinikáreň, Talum, 1953, Kidričevo, Slovinsko

Sonja Ifko

Industrial architectural heritage – re-evaluating research parameters for more authentic preservation approaches

In terms of social development, industrialization represents the greatest change of all, not only because of the altered methods of production, but also because of its effects on all aspects of life. Industrialisation or the Industrial Revolution, as it is often called due to the intensive changes that occurred over a short period of time, primarily means the transformation of production processes. Handcrafts were replaced by large-scale production, resulting in the fall of prices for manufactured goods and the growth of wider consumption, which touched on almost every aspect of life. The changes were first evident in the organisation of manufacturing and the design of production facilities and sites; in the next stages, industrialization dominated the tempo of social development and hence spatial development as well as architectural development. The latter change was reflected in the emergence of many new building types and a fundamental shift in basic design principles, as established by Modernism in Europe starting between the World Wars.This chapter will discuss only some of the most significant cases, illustrating events began most intensively in the British Isles and later came to Continental Europe, spreading from the West to the East. The Central European and more specifically the Slovenian territory, which is the main focus of my studies, saw the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 19th century, after the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy built the Southern Railway, which linked Vienna and Trieste in 1857.The development of Slovenian industrialization and the resulting industrial architectural heritage until the end of the 20th century can be divided into five periods. The first one is characterized by early industrialisation and the operation of the world-renowned mercury mine, most intensively from the 16th century until its closing at the end of the 20th century; in 2012, the site was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The early industrialization took place from about the mid-18th century until the arrival of the railway; it represents a stage when ironwork centres and companies from different industries came into existence. A distinct reversal was the building of the aforementioned Southern Railway, when the intensive second stage started. One of the development peaks was experienced as early as in 1863 when the Suedbahn Railway Company built the complex of workshops for repair and supply of trains in Maribor, including a workers’ settlement, over an area exceeding 84.400 m2. Industrialisation was no less intensive in the Zasavje coal-mining region, where coal mines were opened alongside, and supplying, the railroad….

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