Free access to heritage buildings: from Brussels-Congress station to the Saint-Josse baths
Maintaining or converting buildings that are open to the public presents very specific challenges.Set up a guided tour for a group
Maintaining or converting buildings that are open to the public presents very specific challenges. To the fundamental and functional questions about spaces for public use or as venues for events, can be added more symbolic and immaterial considerations: the continuity of use and the passing-on of heritage are of vital general interest. However, the heritage value and public access to these historical facilities is not always a priority and buildings can be subjected to harsh conditions (e.g. over-use, lack of maintenance, multiple managers). Parks and other public open spaces are only rarely recognised as heritage spaces and their management is often more constrained by functional imperatives than by heritage considerations. How can the practical needs of public facilities be reconciled with the preservation of remarkable urban heritage? How have practices been maintained or how have they changed since the buildings were built? Can new functions be developed while ensuring the accessibility and maintenance of these heritage buildings?