Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 2 Number 3 November 1996

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Uppark, West Sussex. South-east view of house after ‘restoration’.

 

See: ' Interview with Martin Drury - A Profile of the National Trust' by Charles McKean

Contents:

Integrity and Integration: Evolution and Rehabilitation in the City – Part Two Gerald Dix

The Conservation of Scotland's Historic Gardens - Some Recent Issues Ralph G. Skea

Interview with Martin Drury - A Profile of the National Trust Charles McKean

The Enhancement of Conservation Areas: A Search for Information Elizabeth A. Larkham and Peter J. Larkham

Conservation in Jordan. A Comprehensive Methodology for Historical and Cultural Resources Rami F. Daher

 

Editorial
Recognition and Understanding
David Watt

 

What is conservation if it is not about recognizing opportunities to prolong the life of our cultural and natural heritage and understanding the changes that come as a result of such practices? Regardless of the discipline in which we work, our actions depend on the facts that we possess and the information that can be gained from the building or landscape with which we are concerned.

This search for information provides both academics and practitioners with very real challenges. The papers in this issue of the Journal bring together examples of such work and demonstrate, whether dealing with an entire city or individual element of construction, that our actions must be based on current and relevant information.

In the second part of Integrity and Integration: Evolution and Rehabilitation in the City, Gerald Dix considers the challenges of introducing new buildings into old environments, and stresses the need for those engaged in urban design to develop an understanding of their surroundings and the communities whose lives are affected by their actions.

Conservation at an international level is similarly about achieving an awareness of place and people. What Rami Daher has given us in Conservation in Jordan: A Comprehensive Methodology for Historical and Cultural Resources is an example of how important research is to recognizing and understanding the cultural heritage of a country, and establishing a realistic approach to its conservation.

The architecture and often dramatic natural scenery of Scotland have long been admired, but only recently have her historic gardens been seen as subject to change, neglect and decay. In The Conservation of Scotland's Historic Gardens – Some Recent Issues, Ralph Skea has provided such a reminder, and has done so in an informative and well-illustrated manner. The historic gardens of Scotland are something that all of us should be aware of and, as such, this paper marks a significant step towards recognizing and understanding their importance.

With the constant need to monitor and record the results of our actions, and particularly for more information to be made available on the direct and indirect effects of our endeavours, Elizabeth and Peter Larkham have, in The Enhancement of Conservation Areas: A Search for Information, provided a timely study on the use of CD-ROM and on-line computer databases for understanding issues of conservation area enhancement.

One of the principal aims of the Journal is to disseminate information about what people are doing in conservation. In the first of our occasional interviews, Charles McKean has provided a fascinating insight into the work of Martin Drury, Director-General of the National Trust. In this, one is able to appreciate the valuable role being played by the Trust in promoting conservation, and the breadth of their collective experience.

With this issue, the Journal of Architectural Conservation is two years old. In this time we have achieved an international reputation for the quality of the papers that have been published, and the breadth of coverage given to subjects of growing importance. This high standard will be sustained in forthcoming issues with papers on planning and conservation management of historic cities; concrete as a historic material; painted and decorated interiors; archaeology in conservation; landscape preservation in the United States; and comparative studies of conservation repair techniques. Your papers, comments and suggestions have been most welcome over the past two years and will remain so in the future.

 

Integrity and Integration

Evolution and Rehabilitation in the City – Part Two

Gerald Dix

 

This paper comprises an examination of the relationship between architecture and civic design, conservation and environmental rehabilitation in the city. This is a complicated matter, concerned as much with the economic, social and cultural life of a place as it is with its built form, and one that is the subject of strong feelings. Consideration is given to a number of examples, drawing on the experience of several countries sharing a concern with urban conservation and renewal. It is argued that architectural quality and the contribution that is made to the townscape must be the principal concerns in urban development and conservation, and that in the urban scene the whole is invariably of greater importance than the sum of the parts. All buildings should be used to their best advantage in an evolutionary process in which there is a place for both new and old, provided that each is respected for what it has to offer in the long-term interests of the community. Part One of this paper appeared in the July issue of the journal.

 

Gerald Dix MLA, BA, DIPTP, HonDEng, FRTPI, RIBA
Gerald Dix is currently Emeritus Professor of Civic Design in the University of Liverpool, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, and Honorary Council Member of the Association for the Protection of the Mountain Summer Resort and the Eight Outer Temples.

 

The Conservation of Scotland's Historic Gardens

Some Recent Issues

Ralph G. Skea

 

Scotland possesses a great wealth of historic gardens and designed landscapes, and while many are major tourist attractions, others are suffering from decay and neglect. Despite being the most ephemeral and vulnerable aspects of Scotland's rich heritage, no primary legislation has been introduced to protect the sites. Furthermore, there is no consensus as to what method of legal protection should be introduced. The 1987 Inventory analysed 275 outstanding sites located mostly in rural areas. Many of these gardens and designed landscapes were found to be of national importance, but increasingly vulnerable due to a lack of preservation measures and adequate resources. A recent research study by the University of Dundee has analysed sites located in Fife and Tayside. While local authorities now have to inform central agencies of threatening development, more could be done by central government and local authorities to protect this fragile, yet valuable, aspect of Scotland's heritage.

 

Ralph G. Skea DA, DipTP, PhD, RTPI
Ralph Skea is a graduate of architecture and town planning, and holds a doctorate in built heritage conservation. He is a senior lecturer in the School of Town and Regional Planning, University of Dundee, and is Director of the MSc postgraduate programme in European Urban Conservation.

 

Interview with Martin Drury

A Profile of the National Trust

Charles McKean

 

This paper is based upon a discussion between Martin Drury, Director-General of the National Trust, and Charles McKean, Convenor of the National Trust for Scotland's Buildings Committee. The purpose of the interview was to explore the philosophies of the new Director-General regarding both the Trust and wider aspects of conservation, and his intentions as we approach the Millennium.

 

The Enhancement of Conservation Areas

A Search for Information

Elizabeth A. Larkham and Peter J. Larkham

 

This paper discusses some difficulties involved in finding information on conservation area enhancement. With over 9,000 designated areas in the United Kingdom it could be expected that enhancement would be a popular theme for academic and practice-based authors. Searches of CD-ROM and on-line computer databases, which are rapidly becoming more widely available, found very little. What information exists is largely outside standard bibliographic control and is very elusive. Finding out about what is occurring within conservation areas is thus not an easy task despite the new information technology.

 

Elizabeth A. Larkham BA, MA
Elizabeth Larkham took an MA in Librarianship at the School of Information Studies, University of Central England, after working in a major University library.

Peter J. Larkham BA, PhD
Dr Peter Larkham is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Planning, University of Central England. He has published widely on conservation planning issues in professional and academic journals, co-authored the RTPI's report on The Character of Conservation Areas, and has recently published Conservation and the City (Routledge, 1996).

 

Conservation in Jordan

A Comprehensive Methodology for Historical and Cultural Resources

Rami F. Daher

 

Currently, in Jordan, management of the cultural heritage is restricted to rescue and salvage archaeology and does not address the conservation of the more recent and diverse cultural heritage. The objective of this research is to develop a comprehensive-regional method for the identification, evaluation, and management of historical and cultural resources of Jordan's recent heritage (post-AD 1700) taking into consideration local culture, dynamics and context.

The research adopted a multi-method approach through the incorporation of between-method triangulation. The first method used was an exploration in the contexts and dynamics of heritage conservation, which took the form of an expedition (travelling workshop) to Jordan in 1994. The second method was a study of the evolution of conservation movements in different geographic and cultural contexts. This research goes beyond being an intellectual exercise or an advocacy to save monumental and appealing architecture; it is a rhetorical argument (a scientific, methodological and historical argument), based on maximizing the voices of authority and understanding the key players in conservation in Jordan to build a broader understanding of Jordanian local, national and place identities.

 

Rami Farouk Daher BSc, MArch, PhD
Rami Daher is an architectural conservationist, interested in research related to the conservation of historical and cultural resources, especially the conservation of the architectural heritage of recent periods.

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