Rehabilitation of the Tailors Tower in Cluj-Napoca - the adaptive “reuse concept” into practice
Tailor’s Tower, ranked as A-class historical monument, is part of the 2nd medieval fortress of Cluj, first mentioned in 1475, during the reign of Matias Corvinus and rebuilt several times during the 17th and the 18th century. Located in the most vulnerable part of the fortress, having a military role, the tower was also the most robust of the fortification system, entrusted to the tailor's guild. Latest rehabilitation took place in 2009, by the municipality, changing its destination into an Urban Culture Center, introducing a modern steel structure, independent and reversible, replacing the wooden boards and installing windows for functional purposes but maintaining the stone walls, therefore keeping the medieval look also inside.
Nowadays the Tailors’ Tower hosts in its 783 sqm disposed on 3 level various cultural events every week, in its foyer, meeting and exhibition spaces and conference hall, the spectacular design aiming to emphasize spatiality. It is also included in the touristic guides of Transylvania, being located in the very centre of the medieval Klausenburg/ Cluj-Napoca.
The latest rehabilitation performed in the XXIst century was of 0,48 M euro, funded by the local budget of the Cluj-Napoca City.
The Tower is managed by the Public Service for the Management of Cultural Objectives of Cluj-Napoca Municipality, having 3 full time employees.
Evidence of success
After 11 years, the building monument is still in great condition and also included in the tourist circuit. The maintenance expenditures are covered by the municipality and from renting the space for special events. Impressive number of activities have been registered since the change of destination: 1000 cultural events, 300 other types of events including 80 events organized within the Cluj-Napoca Youth Capital in 2015, attracting in 11 years 150.000 visitors and tourists, raising yearly.
Being a A-Class monument, several approvals were needed from the Ministry of Culture, turning the rehabilitation process longer than initially expected. Collaboration between historic experts and architects is an important element for the successful appearance of the heritage rehabilitated monument.
Potential for learning or transfer
Having such inherited treasure in the middle of a city is a fortune that needs constant care. The initiative of Cluj-Napoca Municipality to allocate local budget for the rehabilitation, preservation and valorification of the monument is a replicable initiative at the level of each municipality under cultural heritage priorities.
It might have mattered the classification of the monument as A -Class, meaning of national or international importance.
Constant activities within the Tower organised or rented by the public service in charge of the cultural objectives, transformed the static monument into a living character of the city, attracting the community and the visitors.
Inclusion in the touristic circuits is multiplying the dissemination effects.