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Thank you Danilo for raising such a meaningful question and clearly summarizing the value of historic buildings, which demonstrate that they are worthy of conservation. As far as I am concerned, it is also significant to discuss “how” to save historic building. I will mainly adopt the Burra Charter (2013) as the reference to list all methods towards conservation of historic buildings.

Conservation

According to the Burra Charter (2013, p.2), conservation means, with the intention to remain the cultural significance, all the processes of taking care a place. It is an integrated action, including maintenance, preservation, restoration, reconstruction and adaptation, and will be a combination of some of them (ICOMOS, 2013, p.6). (Fig.1)

Fig.1 Methods of building conservation (Source: Gadhi, 2014)

Maintenance | Maintenance is the most fundamental process to look after a historic building as it must turn bad with time.

Preservation | Preservation is applied when there are two conditions. Firstly, the historic building is absolutely invaluable. Or other methods of conservation can not be carried out due to inadequate evidence.

Restoration | It is necessary to restore a broken historic building but in sensitive way.

Reconstruction | Reconstruction of a historic building or place should be totally based on sufficient evidence and when the target object is completely damaged.

Adaptation | Adaptation means changes in function. It is increasingly popular among conservation practice because it brings the old place to life. However, every adaptation should strictly obey the rule that it has minimal impact on the authenticity of the historic place.

Although such systematic methodology of conservation of historic buildings has been established, it is still a serious challenge during the processes. Azizi et al. (2016) identify 46 issues, 5 themes in total confronted with the conservation (fig.2). In conclusion, further effort is indeed needed.

Fig.2 Themed categories of historic building conservation issues (Source: Azizi et al, 2016)


References:

[1]Australia ICOMOS Incorporated., (2013). The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance. [pdf]. Available at <https://australia.icomos.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Burra-Charter-2013-Adopted-31.10.2013.pdf> [Accessed on 18 May 2019]

[2] Azizi, N. Z. M., Razak, A. A., Din, M. A. M. & Nasir, N. M., (2016). Recurring Issues in Historic Building Conservation. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 222, pp.587-595.

[3] Gadhi, A. H., (2014). Conservation and revitalization of historic buildings. [online]. Available at <https://www.slideshare.net/alihyder790/conservation-and-revitalization-of-historic-buildings> [Accessed on 18 May 2019]

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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