In approaches to the modern use of historical buildings in an architectural ensemble, a number of design strategies have emerged that are organically incorporated into the evolutionary process of changing the ensemble. These strategies are designed to assess the existing in its historical quality and make it clearer new.
Of considerable interest is the experience of Germany, revealing a harmonious balance between the history of the ensemble and its modern transformation. This experience is considered from the point of view of a compromise between conservation and development.
Today comes the understanding that sustainable development of the city can not be realized only through the further preservation of existing structures. It becomes clear that many historical buildings relatively simply meet the new requirements and, at the same time, can change the structure in a purposeful manner at short intervals.
The concepts of preservation, remembrance, renewal denote the field of the preserved monument and the restoration production. The maintenance of the monument is a joint game of conservation, restoration, and also new construction. The task of protecting monuments is the preservation and documentation of the historically valuable condition of the structure, which is preserved with historical, artistic, scientific or town-planning justification. However, conservation, in the sense of preserving the original state of the monument, is inevitably applied with its renewal. To preserve the monuments, they must be used, while they are not lost or depreciated, but are part of the structure that should develop further. The museum world, filled with unused monuments, perishes, while the interests of society are directed only at their protection. The renovation, connected with historical aspects, is the value of the monument, which gives it a special emotional meaning, corresponding to the interests of society.
Priority of renovation over conservation is only a compelling necessity for the use of old buildings. This is contrary to the purposes of monument protection, since the renovation is often combined with the destruction of the value of monuments. Also, the values of memories change negatively: with new construction, the smoothed old buildings can evoke superficial memories in all cases. However, it is possible to combine restoration (restoration) with the supposed state of the original (the danger of destroying the historical value of the external image). In this case, there is a great need to preserve, mainly, the “picture of the monument”, the value of memories. A compromise must be found between conservation, restoration and renovation, as well as between guarding and modern architectural requirements.
Traditional for the former West Berlin town planning principles required that the new building would complete the city quarter in the style of the XIX century. The official town planning of the former East Berlin was impartial to the proposal of a free-standing cube on the final quarter of the podium. Through the project, a combination of obedience (filling the perimeter of the block) and disobedience (erecting a stand-alone cube) was solved.
A continuous trajectory of motion permeates all eight floors of internal communication of the embassy building. The trajectory is developed in interaction with the context. The adjacent road between the “cube” and the “residential wall” is an inner courtyard open on one side, which offers a panoramic view of the River Spree and the park.
The compromise between the preservation of the historical heritage and its modern transformation finds avant-garde solutions represented by the experience of Germany. The considered methods of preservation and development of architectural and historical ensembles can be used in understanding the problems of the city’s development at the junction of the old and the new and the formation of an ensemble approach in the solution of architectural, urban planning and restoration tasks.