The reuse of cultural heritage

Behind the scenes of the European research project CLIC.
Reageer

Pakhuis de Zwijger is one of the partners of the CLIC project. Today we are talking with Thomas van de Sandt who is working on this European research project at Pakhuis de Zwijger. He will tell us more about CLIC, the goals and the role of Pakhuis de Zwijger in the project. 

Can you tell us more about the CLIC project?
“The CLIC project is a research project that investigates how to make the best use of cultural heritage. This is done by giving cultural heritage a new function. Various cities are involved in this project, namely: Rijeka, Salerno, Västra Götaland and Amsterdam. In addition to these four cities involved in the CLIC project, the CLIC project also has 15 partners. At least one scientific partner is linked to a city. Besides that there are a number of individual scientific partners, such as Ichec which is a business school in Brussels.”

What is the purpose?
“The aim of CLIC is to share experiences and methods on how to give cultural heritage a new function. There are two important conditions here; first, the function of cultural heritage must have value for the city or place where it is located. Secondly, this must be done in a sustainable and circular way. Circular means that materials are reused or waste is reduced. Cultural heritage is given a new function in various cities, the CLIC project helps these initiatives. Eventually, a CLIC report will be published in which knowledge is shared that has been collected by studying the CLIC’s partners. This report describes how you can assign a new function to cultural heritage in the most sustainable way. This final report will be presented on 30th of November in 2020.”

Why is Pakhuis de Zwijger a partner?
“Pakhuis de Zwijger is good example of how to reuse cultural heritage. Pakhuis de Zwijger was once a cooling warehouse and was set on a demolition list. The warehouse had to make place for a bridge, the Jan Schaefer Bridge, which would connect the Java island to the city. People didn’t agree and squatters took place in the building. The municipality decided to keep the building and also build the bridge. The bridge now passes through the building, causing the warehouse to miss parts of the lower floor. One of the conditions for the building to remain at his place was that the building had to be given a public function for the city. That brings us to what Pakhuis de Zwijger is today. Pakhuis de Zwijger is a success example of what CLIC calls adaptive reuse of cultural heritage.”

What do we contribute?
“The people working on CLIC are curious about Pakhuis de Zwijger’s business model. Our form of cultural entrepreneurship – renting out our conference spaces during the day next to collaborating with a wide range of partners to present our evening programme for free to the general public – is pretty innovative in the Dutch creative industries and cultural sector. Sharing our business model is part of our contribution to the project, in exchange we receive feedback from the other parties in CLIC. Together we try to improve the business model and make it as circular as possible.”

What is the impact of CLIC?
“By disseminating knowledge so it can be applied in other places. There are two major challenges that you face when you want to give old monuments a new lease of life: how do you do that from a financial and also from a environmental point of view in the most sustainable way. CLIC’s contribution to a better future is saving heritage and giving it a new function that has value for the city.”