Tradition, Innovation, Performance - Design Quest Architects - Chennai, India

Architectural Conservation

By Divya. B
Architects in Chennai

Conservation is the process of preserving a building with original character along with its footprints. The buildings to be conserved are selected based on its original state, site and their significance Architectural conservation deals with the issue of prolonging the life and integrity of architectural character and integrity, such as form, style, and its constituent materials , such as stone, brick, glass, metal and wood.

The heritage values of a building are of two types – tangible and intangible heritage. The tangible heritage includes (Monuments, Buildings, Dams, Landscapes, Built Structures, and Vegetation). The intangible heritage includes (Social Practices, Tradition, Customs, Beliefs, and Rituals).

The buildings can be conserved by two ways – Adaptive reuse and Restoration. Preservation places a main role on the retention of all historic fabric through conservation, maintenance and repair. It reflects a buildings continuum over time, through successive occupancies and the respectful changes and alternations that are made.

Rehabilitation emphasizes the retention and repair of historic materials, but more effort is been provided for replacement because it is assumed that the property is more deteriorated prior to work. Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. It is regarded as a compromise between historic preservation and demolition.

Facadism is the practice of demolishing a building but leaving its façade intact for the purposes of building new structures in it or around it. Restoration focuses on the retention of materials from the most significant time in a property’s history, while permitting the removal of materials from other period.

The role of a conservation architect is to monitor or manage the work on the site and protect historic failure. The conservation includes building repair, building maintenance, and building restoration. There are three concepts for a building to be listed as a heritage building, they are – historic significance, historic integrity and historic context. There are various organizations like ASI, UNESCO, and INTACH that work on preservation of historic buildings with value.

The historic buildings have numerous values that need to be preserved so that the life span of the buildings can be increased. There are lots of damages that are been caused in historical buildings and places that needs to be preserved. As an architect we have to take a step to preserve and conserve those buildings. The methodologies and materials of the golden days are entirely different from the materials we use today, the life span of those materials are also more. So there is a serious need to identify those structures and retain their original value.

picture courtesy : Mahashakthi S

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