Within and against heritage
There are the Alps, the Alpine space, and there is heritage or heritages, depending on the meaning of the term and on the position adopted with regard to the questions raised by this notion. Heritage is not only something that exists and to which we are attached, but it should also be possible to produce it. It is this production that is addressed in these brief reflections on architectural works that attempt to combine heritage and “montagnité”.
As soon as the mountain is built upon, the problem of form and, therefore, of its shaping arises. It is the latter that requires production, i.e. a way of thinking that is capable of thematising both the mountain and the heritage. But what are we talking about when we apply the heritage label to Alpine architecture? Is this what is commonly defined as edilizia rurale (rural housing)? Or is it the architectural work that interprets the edilizia rurale and, in a way, absorbs it?
Assuming that the heritage regime in the mountains is part of the variation and not the fixity of a notion such as that of the monument, and that the notion of heritage informs and conforms every architectural project in the mountains, it is possible to put forward a second hypothesis and to affirm that both the edilizia rurale and the architectural projects that transform it, operating within and against it, are heritage. For the latter, however, the rules that Adolf Loos wrote for those who build in the mountains remain valid.