AHI Architectural Heritage Intervention

“Contributing to enhancing our heritage, as the way forward for 21 st Century architecture is our raison d’être; to emphasize a diverse, rich vision that necessarily complements the intervention is our mission, and achieving it with reflexive and purposeful efforts is the challenge”.

This project, founded in, and directed since, 2011 by Ramon Calonge, Oriol Cusidó, Marc Manzano and Jordi Portal, architects and members of the Group of Architects for the Defence and Intervention in Architectural Heritage (AADIPA), has, through the years become a platform that includes four actions that are both independent and transversal.
The European Award, a biennial event that brings together and showcases the multiple approaches of intervention in Europe.

The International Biennial, a framework that serves to compare and gain closer insight of quality interventions in architectural heritage in non-European countries.

The digital Archive, a live and open window that provides a panoramic view of interventions in the history of our surroundings.

The Forum, a meeting place where you can participate in on-going debates about the main preoccupations and lines of thought about interventions in architectural heritage in Europe.


Visitor Center of Villers Abbey

Visitor Center of Villers Abbey

Throughout the years, the Villers-la-Ville abbey site had lost its logic and unity -divided and savagely crossed by a national road- making it hardly legible as a homogenous whole and being solely reduced to the ruins of the holy yard. This incoherent layout led to the creation of a masterplan reuniting the Cistercian site. Unlike the former entry which proved incoherent and out-of-place –directly situated in the heart of the ruins– the new visitors center, which is located in the rehabilitated old mill, offers a solid starting point for the visits and leads the path to progressive discovery of the ruins. The accessible architectural sequences wind through the mill (reception hall, model room), reaching the opposite hill by a new footbridge, past the garden and over a second bridge before finally heading down into the ruins. While the tone is set gradually through landscaping and a consistent sober range of materials, a climactic point is reached when, from the new vantage points, breathtaking views of the abbey unravel before the visitors.


Binario architectes
Pigeon Ochej Paysage
L’Escaut Architecture


Light designer: Henriette Michaux
Structural engineer: BESP / JZH & Partners
Mechanical engineer: Seca benelux









Surface area sqm


Cost €




© Photographer

François Lichtlé