|Abstract: ||Being a fragment, the ruin can tell simultaneously the presence and the absence of the past’s architecture, vanished but still perceptible. Its demand of intelligibility is, first and foremost, a call to reconfiguration, which archaeologists and architects have historically worked, reinterpreting the existing vestiges according to new traces and readings.
The intent of this paper is to explain the case of the Roman Theatre of Clunia (Spain), which restoration is the end of an innovative and continued research process that investigate how the drawing, as a method of analysis, contributes to the advancement of knowledge regarding the interpretation of archaeological vestiges and its reconfiguration too.
From 1997, several interventions have been made in the theatre to better adapt it for visiting, as well as to protect the ruins that have undergone successive excavations and allowed us to gain a much better knowledge of different aspects of the theatre complex. Previous works have provided a more accurate estimate of the theatre’s appearance in terms of its size and spaces so that it has been possible to make a more appropriate schedule of the tasks required for the restoration of the monument, incorporating all available data in a process of reconstruction of the building.
This intervention has been made by a multidisciplinary expert team in order to reconfigure the space for its protection, understanding and use it as a place for performances and shows, envisaging the recovery of this space to ultimately return it to society at all levels. The Theatre Restoration maintains the authenticity of the few remains without losing the evocative character of the ruins, allowing the building to regain its original spatiality, part of its functions and make it legible for returning visitors by architectural mechanisms.
Avoiding an obvious literal translation of its pristine forms, the operation uses overlapping, reversible, identifiable, constructively compatible architectural components to assist the reconfiguration of the theatre as a new architectural unit in which the original remains along with the architecture show visitors the magnitude of the past.
For this purpose, the perimeter has been defined by a semicircular timber bridge at the top of the porch. Space has been recovered by building gabion walls and vegetated slopes, installing the entrances to the seating area and stairs in their original positions. The entire operation has used compatible, reversible materials, maintaining the original components as part of the whole and restricting access to prevent wear.
The fact that theatrical an musical performances are now possible in a space originally designed for precisely this purpose makes the Clunia theatre a living building, adopting the Segesta declaration which encourages the maintenance of theatrical uses in ancient classical venues under the auspices of UNESCO, making this compatible with the conservation of their archaeological value.|