In this important book, the authors unpack the theoretical and practical issues around the development of heritage sites, critically dissecting key conservation benchmarks such as the ICOMOS guidelines, BS 7913 and the RIBA Conservation Plan of Work to reveal the mechanics of heritage guidance, its advantages and conceptual limitations.
Underpinned by an active understanding of the conservation philosophy of William Morris, the book presents five case studies from the UK, North and South America that speak about different facets of heritage value, such as urban identity, commodification, authenticity, materiality, and heritage as an intellectual and ethical framework. Heritage is never neutral, its definition is privileged yet its influence is political. Art, Landscape and Archaeology all offer examples of how the operational ideas of adjacent disciplines can influence an integrated idea of heritage conservation, and how this is communicated in order to determine significance and share in its custodianship.
This book provides insights into how to identify and challenge these limitations, expanding inclusion by describing tactics for changing how people can relate to, and build on the past. Clearly written for all levels of readership within the conservation professions and community custodians of heritage buildings and places, the book provides strategies and tactics for understanding the heritage significance of materials, their fabrication, detail and use. The narratives that historic fabric contains can help shape the meaningful involvement of local people, providing a roadmap for those navigating the double-bind of using the past to underpin the future.
"The conservation of buildings is messy and complicated. The philosophically-led decisions that seemed easy to make in the office are almost always harder to implement when the project becomes a live building site. I welcome this book because it embraces those challenges and shows how a thoughtful architect can find practical solutions that remain true to the original design principles. It also demonstrates that the tenets of conservation philosophy proposed by William Morris remain valid today if we choose to care for our heritage in a way that puts people at its heart." - Sara Crofts, conservation architect and SPAB Scholar
Overview and Book Structure 1. Introduction - Heritage conservation in a neoliberal culture 1.1 Heritage as narrative – The value of selection 1.2 History as an unfolding process – Style or substance 1.3 Frameworks for heritage, education and training 1.4 The professional landscape – How is heritage framed for the architects who frame heritage? 2. The Production of Heritage – Philosophies of fabrication 2.1 Palacio Pereira, Santiago, Chile – 2012/2019 2.2 Defining the strategy 2.3 After the strategy, the tactics 3. Place: material and the urban imaginary 3.1 Covent Garden 3.2 Battersea Power Station 4. The Memory of Surfaces – The physical nature of visual memory and its illusion 4.1 Artificial Realities: the Courtauld Institute East-Wing Biennial – 2016/17 4.2 Clandon Park and the ‘phoenix concept’ 5. History and Material Significance – Craft and a sense of place 5.1 St. Pancras Church, London – 2016 5.2 The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 6. As Found – Tactics for a way out of the heritage trap 6.1 Conservation Plan and the mechanics of conservation empathy 6.2 Learning - from Landscape Archaeology and Art Conclusions Index