[Re]making History: Authenticity, Architecture, and Tourism

By AnnaMarie Bliss and Altaf Engineer.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

To assess how architectural landmarks create a more authentic experience for tourists by using themes of place-making, phenomenology, dark tourism, and identity, we discuss three famous sites -- two museums and a cemetery -- in the cities of Venice and Verona in Italy, designed by Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. The two museums are Querini Stampalia, previously a private residence, and Castelvecchio, an old castle. The third site is Brion Cemetery, located on the outskirts of Verona. Using qualitative methods of on-site observations and an analysis of professional photographs taken at each site, we test if these three buildings perpetuate Wang's three types of authenticity: objective, constructive, and existential, as postulated in his paper "Rethinking Authenticity in Tourism Experience" (1999). We find that each site validates one or more of Wang’s authenticity types by employing a variety of architectural interventions to create transformative experiences for tourists. Each intervention is discussed in detail, bringing up key questions and issues vital to the improvement of existing or the creation of new architectural tourist sites by decision-makers. The study helps develop a better understanding of how architecture perpetuates authenticity, a significant aspect of tourism discourse that is often overlooked.

Keywords: Heritage, Architectural Intervention

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 5, Issue 3-4, February 2015, pp.21-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1017.989KB).

AnnaMarie Bliss

Doctoral Student, Illinois School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Altaf Engineer

Doctoral Student, Illinois School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA