The disappearance of an historic building in the consolidated built environment of an historic center leaves a wound calling for reflection. The delicate operation needed to stitch up this lacuna could be likened to that of art restoration or even be classified as an “urban restoration.” This essay analyzes the act of reintegration in different branches of the arts including painting, literature, and music and draws conclusions on the need for a detailed study of the context of the work to be completed. New design, in this instance, should be carried out in a contemporary manner but in dialogue with its context regardless of the physical and functional autonomy of the building. This essay describes three possible design strategies for architectural reintegration: conceptual, typological, and formal reprocessing. Compositional parameters such as color, geometry, form, volume, texture, materiality, lighting, etc. become tools in an act of allographic completion in which contemporary design professionals intervene within the context of anonymous traditional master builders. Finally, these reflections are illustrated with two case studies, both of which are located in the district of Valencia: the Maldonado building, with a plot, appearance, and setting of palatial buildings, and the nearby Recaredo building, with a floor plan, configuration, and context more suited to that of workers’ dwellings.
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