On the Aesthetics of Decay

Bart Smets
Education degree
School of Architecture


Architecture is an ongoing display of cultural history. A substantial change in a communities culture can cause once significant buildings to cease to function as intended. When these buildings have reached a state of ruin, restoration is inappropriate as it would depreciate a significant part of the history associated with the decline of the structure. This decay should not only be accepted, but should be exhibited and even be developed to an ultimate state. An approach from within the detail transforms the building respecting its aesthetics. A new cultural program gives back the building’s bygone importance within the community.

Zeche Osterfeld, Oberhausen, Germany
Strategy I
Strategy II
Strategy III