THE REUSE OF INDUSTRIAL TANNERIES. ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE IN GUIMARÂES, PORTUGAL
The city of Guimarâes (Portugal) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and European Capital of Culture in 2012. From the 14th to the 19th century it was characterized by its Portuguese architecture using traditional construction techniques and materials, and known for its leather, metallurgical and cutlery industry. This study examines two former tannery factories dating from the 19th century, and occupying a sizeable portion of the historic centre of the city. They are located close to the Couros river, their main source of water, but also where the tannery waste produced by the tanks where the skins were tanned, is deposited. This text focuses on three main concepts - rehabilitation, reuse and sustainability - through the analysis of two historical moments. The first of these, the past, is viewed through a timeline of events recorded in plans, photographs, documents, and historical facts. A formal spatial comparison of these records and the present buildings shows how the present use of these spaces and their respective functionalities can be observed in parallel with the past. This before and after comparison shows a progression from industrial activities to a cultural valorization of an architectural, urban and environmental space, as well as the development of the industry in a new context evoking the collective memory of the place.