From the Isolated Building to the Urban Complex - Heritage Tested in Urban Planning
The 1913 Act considers the environment of listed buildings with a view to enhancing monuments. It allows in particular the classification, in order to demolish them, of buildings built that enclose monuments, and those, non-built (or bare land), which ensure on the contrary their clearance. In the Hautes-Alpes, the grounds surrounding the Saint-Apollinaire churches in Argentière-la-Bessée, Notre-Dame in Lagrand and Saint-Louis in Mont-Dauphin are thus classified to prevent any construction.
The surroundings of historical monuments
The demolitions of the First and Second World Wars made us aware of the heritage value of the built fabric in which the monuments are located, and of which they are inseparable. The law of 23 February 1943 thus introduced the concept of "surroundings" by creating a five hundred-metre perimeter of protection around historic monuments. The law stipulates that any modification of the appearance of the constructions located in the field of visibility* of the monument is subject to the agreement of the architect of the buildings of France. The protection of the surroundings is therefore not based on their intrinsic architectural quality but on their relationship to the protected monument.
At the same time, some villages and rural hamlets have been inscribed under the title of "sites": the hamlets of Névache (1943), Valgaudemar (1946) and La Grave (1954-1955), as well as the villages of Mont-Dauphin (1944) and Saint-Véran (1948), the medieval village of Tallard (1966) and the Upper Town of Briançon (1973), whose overall value is thus recognized.
The saved sectors
The Law of 4 August 1962, known as the Malraux Law, extends the field of protection to built-up buildings considered this time for their intrinsic architectural and urban qualities. It concerns the old centres which have "a historical, aesthetic or nature to justify the conservation and restoration of all or part of a set of buildings" and allows the creation of "safeguarded areas", such as that of the Upper Town of Briançon (1987). This protection extends to the entire urban fabric, including interior design. It is governed by a protection and development plan (PSMV) which acts as a planning document adapted to the identified conservation issues.
Heritage protection areas
To these tools of protection carried by the State, the law of decentralization of 7 January 1983 adds a device whose elaboration is entrusted to the communes: the zone of protection of the architectural and urban heritage (ZPPAU), which became ZPPAUP with the consideration of landscape issues in 1993. This tool, which aims to strengthen the protection of urban and rural heritage through a perimeter and a settlement adapted to local issues, adapts to all types of territories and heritage, whether urban (Embrun, Serres, Tallard) or rural (Saint-Véran, Lagrand, Remollon).
In order to better take into account environmental issues, including energy, and sustainable development, the law on national commitment for the environment of 10 July 2010 (known as the Grenelle II law), provides for the transformation of ZPPAUP into Architectural and Heritage Development (AVAP) areas.
One may well think that the atmosphere of a monument in a city, in a countryside, on the shores of a lake, of a river, of a sea, is a problem whose solution cannot be given in terms valid for any monument. Each architectural monument follows laws that belong to it, which belong to the place where it was placed, at the time it was executed.
Giorgio Nicodemi, The atmosphere of monuments, Athens Conference, 1931
* field of visibility: a project is located in the field of visibility of the monument when it is visible from the monument or at the same time as it