Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 12 Number 2 July 2006


Conservation Practice of Chinese Timber Structures Dina D'Ayala and Hui Wang

Cardiff Castle Clock Tower: Architectural Paint Research and Recreation of William Burges' Polychromy and Design  Elizabeth Hirst, Karen Morrissey and Alison Thornton

Managing Historic Cities: The Management Plans for the Bath and Edinburgh World Heritage Sites  Dennis Rodwell

The Colour Washing and Pencilling of Historic English Brickwork Gerard C. J. Lynch

The Repair and Alterations of the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea: Intervening in History  Mark Cannata

Read the Editorial by Elizabeth Hirst


Abstracts and Author Information


Conservation Practice of Chinese Timber Structures

'No Originality to be Changed' or 'Conserve as Found'

Dina D'Ayala and Hui Wang


Historically China has developed robust intervention strategies for the upkeep of historic timber buildings, from minor repairs to major restoration. Such strategies, strongly influenced by the inherent use of timber in buildings and their traditional and cultural context, have been largely retained in contemporary preservation practice. The basic principle underlying the current official approach, as stated by Chinese law, is: 'the original state cannot be changed during intervention'. This statement highlights that 'authenticity' and 'value' are attributed to the original state of the building. However, the term 'original state' may lend itself to different interpretations - some of which are discussed herein. The paper describes construction and deterioration problems in traditional Chinese timber buildings and reviews traditional and current practices of timber components conservation in relation to accepted conservation philosophy. Some examples of conservation projects completed in China highlight the issues influencing the choice between replacement and retention in structural repair. It is concluded that in general 'conserve as found, as far as possible' might be a more realistic objective for the preservation of these buildings.


Dina D'Ayala Dr.-Ing., PhD
Dina D'Ayala is a senior lecturer and director of Postgraduate Studies in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath.

Hui Wang BE
Hui Wang is an MPhil student at the University of Bath and a senior engineer in Hebei Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, China, a member of ICOMOS China. He was involved in the China Principles application case study programme (Shuxiang Temple Conservation Projects in Chengde), which is conducted by the State Administration for Cultural Heritage in China and the Getty Conservation Institute in the United States of America.


Cardiff Castle Clock Tower

Architectural Paint Research and Recreation of William Burges' Polychromy and Design

Elizabeth Hirst, Karen Morrissey and Alison Thornton


Cardiff Castle's Clock Tower dominates the city's skyline. Designed by William Burges for Lord Bute it was completed in 1873 to epitomize the Victorian dream of High Gothic. The tower is ornamented with painted and gilded features including clocks, sundials, heraldic shields and life-size human statues representing the planets. The tower stands at over one hundred feet tall. Despite the obvious difficulties that this height presents in reaching the main features of ornamentation, the statues, clock and shields have all been regularly overpainted, meaning that the original colours, details and paint types intended by Burges have been gradually lost and obscured. As part of a multimillion-pound conservation programme for the Castle, architectural paint research was undertaken on all areas of the Clock Tower's ornamentation, leading to an accurate recreation of Burges' original scheme, which adhered to the demands and ethics of the project's overall Conservation and Management Plan. The project is managed and funded by Cardiff Council with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw.


Elizabeth Hirst AMUKIC, ACR, FSA
Elizabeth Hirst is a founding partner in Hirst Conservation, based in Lincolnshire, England. Hirst Conservation, founded in 1986, grew to form a multi-disciplinary organization possessing a wide range of skills and technical expertise, working in the UK and overseas.

Karen Morrissey BA(Hons), Pgdip
Karen Morrissey joined Hirst Conservation in 1997, specializing in the conservation of painted decorations associated research. She is the senior historic paint researcher for the company and is also responsible for the accurate recording of historic interiors, including photographic and diagrammatic formats.

Alison Thornton BA(Hons), MA
Alison Thornton joined Hirst Conservation in 2000, specializing in the conservation of easel paintings. She is the senior paintings conservator, managing site-based projects and undertaking research in various areas of preventive and interventive conservation.


Managing Historic Cities

The Management Plans for the Bath and Edinburgh World Heritage Sites

Dennis Rodwell


The city of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh in 1995. At the dates of their inscription, management plans were not required by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as part of the nomination process. Although management guidelines for world cultural heritage sites have been published, these do not offer a template for the holistic heritage driven management of complex urban sites at the scale of Bath or Edinburgh. 

Management plans for the Bath and Edinburgh World Heritage Sites have now been published. Following on from this author's paper 'The World Heritage Convention and the Exemplary Management of Complex Heritage Sites' in the Journal of Architectural Conservation, this paper aims to: summarize the approach and key issues that have been addressed in these two management plans - including aspects of their implementation; relate these to the expectations of the World Heritage Convention and other international agendas; and comment on the extent to which these management plans provide models for complex urban sites elsewhere, both in the United Kingdom and abroad.


Dennis Rodwell MA, DipArch(Cantab), DipFrench(Open), RIBA, FRIAS, FSA Scot, FRSA, IHBC
Dennis Rodwell works internationally as a consultant architect-planner, focusing on the promotion and achievement of best practice in the management of historic cities and the conservation of historic buildings.


The Colour Washing and Pencilling of Historic English Brickwork

Gerard C. J. Lynch


This paper examines the long-standing traditional bricklayers' craft practice of applying a colour wash over the facades of external brickwork, including on some internal elements of brickwork, then re-emphasizing and delineating the bonding by the application of thin distempered lines upon the ochred mortar, in contrast to the original, wider, joint sizes. This may have been an integral part of the finishing phase of the building process on a large percentage of significant historic brick properties, and in parts of England carried on well into the first half of the eighteenth century.


Gerard C. J. Lynch LCG, Cert Ed, MA (Dist), PhD
Dr Gerard C. J. Lynch is an internationally acknowledged expert in historic brickwork, master bricklayer, author and lecturer. He is the author of Gauged Brickwork: a Technical Handbook and Brickwork: History, Technology and Practice. He runs a successful consultancy practice and has worked on and advised on many significant historic brick properties in the UK and overseas. 


The Repair and Alterations of the De La Warr Pavilion

Intervening in History

Mark Cannata


The Grade I listed De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex is widely considered to be the most important Modern Movement building of the 1930s in Britain, and is an important landmark in the history of twentieth-century architecture. Pioneering in structure as it was in spirit, the purpose of this steel and concrete pavilion was to provide accessible culture and leisure for the people. It was the first public building in Britain designed and built on International Style principles an inspiration, amongst others, for the Royal Festival Hall - and is one of the few surviving buildings designed by Mendelsohn.

The aim of the first section of this two-part paper is to outline the history of the De La Warr Pavilion, its rise and fall and, above all, the background factors that made its conservation possible and the context in which the project was developed. The second section will look in greater detail at the technical issues related to the causes of the building's demise and decay, its repair and the principles, methodology and techniques that were applied to the project.


Mark Cannata BA(Hons), Dip Arch, MA, RIBA, ARB, AABC
Mark Cannata grew up in Italy where he studied architectural engineering, and then architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University and the Architectural Association. He worked in the UK and in Italy before joining John McAslan + Partners, where he leads the Historic Buildings Unit. In addition to being responsible for the De La Warr Pavilion, he has recently completed the Roundhouse in London and is responsible for the phased refurbishment of and alterations to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Derngate in Northampton, James Stirling's History Faculty in Cambridge and Erno Goldfinger's Trellick Tower.

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