IRON RAILINGS FROM URBAN ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE IN THE HISTORIC CENTRE OF LAGOS
Historic centres have considerable heritage resources that honour the legacy and knowledge generated by humanity in the past, and it is fundamental to preserve and transmit them to future generations, as required by cultural sustainability. In the final of the 19th century, in the construction of buildings, there was an intense use of innovative materials and techniques at the decorative level, in which the use of cast and wrought iron artwork stood out, such as the visible window grilles and balconies on the façades. These metallic elements participate in the composition of the buildings, enhancing the urban landscape. The perception of the importance of these decorative elements in the architectural language of the building’s perception, located in the historical centre of Lagos, Portugal, led to an inventory of the iron elements on the façade of buildings, finding that they have specific characteristics in terms of shape or design, material and symbolic representation. These architectural elements are adapted to artistic movements and to distinct periods. This study presents the spatial distribution of buildings with cast and wrought iron window grilles and balconies and develops proposals of urban cultural routes allusive to the Romantic period of the final 19th century and to the Art Nouveau of the beginning of the 20th century. The results indicate that the decorative iron elements have great expression, giving aesthetic valour to the urban landscape. This architectural heritage adds value to the city´s memory and can enhance the attractiveness of the historic centre through outdoor cultural routes, which can be differentiating in a pandemic context.
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