In architecture and monument preservation, a reconstruction is the largely prototypical restoration of destroyed architectural monuments, historical buildings, or parts of buildings. Reconstruction of buildings has been a common practice for centuries.
For the most part, buildings and ensembles that are important to culture and history are reconstructed, often after being destroyed by war, decay, structural changes (such as demoulding), or demolition. Many reconstructed buildings are now cultural monuments themselves, and some are even UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Reconstructions are particularly common in cultural regions shaped by war losses and post-war demolitions of cultural assets, for example in Poland and Germany.
When restoring individual parts of an existing building, for example a facade after removal of the stucco, one speaks of partial reconstruction.
In the GDR (the former country of East Germany), which existed from 1949 to 1990, the term “reconstruction” was used in the building industry for the renewal, refurbishment, or modernization of buildings without monument preservation intentions or reconstruction plans. This term was also used for a long time in the English-speaking world.