The concept of “Albergo Diffuso“ in historic centers

This master’s thesis is the first academic study which examines the concept of Albergo Diffuso (AD) from a historic preservation perspective. It is furthermore the first academic paper written in German that presents the concept of Albergo Diffuso (AD) in a comprehensive way; including its history and development, a description and analysis of the theoretical model, as well as its practical implementation. The main focus lies on the presentation and analysis of the theoretical model of AD and the presentation, anaylsis and evaluation of three case studies; the Alberghi Diffusi Antica Dimorra del Gruccione and Sas Benas, both located in Santu Lussurgiu/Sardegna as well as Borgo Tufi in Castel del Giudice/Molise. Special emphasis is given to the historical and current analysis of the structure, function, and heritage values of the three villages as well as to the organization and implementation of the various Alberghi Diffusi. Each of the presented case studies is evaluated based on urban conservation and preservation standards. The third part of the thesis discusses challenges in regard to the transferability of AD to Germany and offers possible solutions as well as recommendations. It also includes a description of the current planning status of the first known AD-project in Germany (as of September 2016).

The author of this thesis concludes that the concept of AD is a suitable approach for the conservation, preservation, and sustainable development of historic urban heritage in Germany. However there will be the need to develop further steering mechanisms in order to guarantee the touristic qualities of the concept as well as to ensure the strengthening of those aspects which are of significant importance for the preservation of  (urban) heritage.

Moreover, the case studies show that AD is a complex model that can be implemented in different ways with a high range of variety of the concept’s organization and its use of tangible and intangible resources. The presentations of the case studies and the description of the theoretical model can be used as a guide and offer ideas and inspiration for the implementation of AD in Germany and elsewhere.

The research for this thesis included a review of secondary literature and primary sources, expert interviewing and fieldwork during on-site visits. Single case studies were conducted based on the method of “historische Ortsanalyse” (analysis of the historic urban landscape of a village and its surroundings), a research method used in the “Denkmalpflegerischer Erhebungsbogen”, a well-established instrument for the preservation and development of historic urban elements in the south of Germany. Some of these research results are also presented in maps. Significant key passages of primary sources and secondary literature had been translated.

This thesis is a contribution to the  research project “Kommunales Denkmalkonzept Bayern” which aims at developing model projects of preservation, development, and revitalization of spatial structures which are of historic value and at risk due to demographic and structural changes. The research project “Kommunales Denkmalkonzept Bayern” is cooperation between the federal state office for monument conservation and preservation of Bavaria and the chair of Denkmalpflege/ heritage sciences at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg.

One Albergo Diffuso project had been initiated by the Lower Franconian community Mainbernheim and the urban development office transform in spring 2016. This project could become a pilot project for other “Kommunale Denkmalkonzepte” (“Communal concepts for historic sites and heritage”) in the future.

Anna Maria Boll

The concept of “Albergo Diffuso“ in historic centers.

An approach to make further use of existing building structure and its transferability to Germany.

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