Journal of Architectural Conservation
Volume 8 Number 1 March 2002
Community Involvement in a Housing Renewal Project in the Old City
'Conserving Cardiff Castle' John Edwards
The Reuse of Water-Towers Michael Gould
Historic Lighting Saint or Sinner? Gersil Kay
Analysis of Historic Lime and Gypsum Plaster Floors Part One David Watt and Belinda Colston
As the forces of globalization place increasing pressure on the culture and identity of individual countries, the need to recognize and respond to local and regional issues has never been greater. The role of groups and communities in protecting and enhancing our surroundings must be recognized in future policies and practices.
The value of community involvement is clearly demonstrated by Dr Eman Assi in Community Involvement in a Housing Renewal Project in the Old City of Jerusalem. In this, the role of local residents in the planning and implementation of project works has brought about a better use and understanding of traditional forms of construction.
The theme of local identity and practice is further considered in Analysis of Historic Lime and Gypsum Plaster Floors Part One by Dr Belinda Colston and myself. The use of earth and plaster floors, in many countries around the world, points to a proven and enduring form of construction that is vulnerable to the adoption of modern materials (especially cement) and building practices.
In The Reuse of Water-Towers by Dr Michael Gould, the history, development and changing role of water-towers are discussed and explored. Conversion is often seen as a valid means of retaining the structure, if not the fabric, of historic buildings. The successful conversion of water-towers, whilst demonstrably problematic, provides an opportunity for the best of contemporary conservation design. In this, the visual impact of water-towers and their contribution to our wider industrial heritage are key issues for the future.
'Conserving Cardiff Castle' by John Edwards provides a fascinating account of works being undertaken at this site of international, national, and regional significance. By linking philosophical discussion with practical application, this paper demonstrates the processes by which this complex project will protect and enhance the enduring values of the building and site at the heart of the capital city of Wales.
Finally, in a paper that shows how old and new can be successfully brought together, Gersil Kay in Historic Lighting Saint or Sinner? provides guidance and comment on the use of glass-fibre-optic lighting for historic buildings and their settings. Examples from both Britain and United States demonstrate the range and application of this alternative form of lighting.
Community Involvement in a Housing
Renewal Project in the Old City of Jerusalem
Housing renewal is a means of preserving buildings of architectural and historic significance as well as a process for returning property to a useful state. This paper documents the experience of the technical office of the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Program GRP in rehabilitation and housing renewal taking place within the city. Two historically important residential buildings Hosh Nseibeh and Hosh Jaber are used as case studies in a paper that presents the challenges and problems faced in the rehabilitation process. The paper concludes that one should not only identify goals and objectives in a project that requires community involvement, but also analyse the techniques that are available and the resources they require. In order to allow for community involvement in such a project (including survey, design and construction stages), there is constant interaction between technical and social issues, and between professional advisers and building users. In conclusion, the main source of user satisfaction is not so much the degree to which the needs of the client have been met, but rather the feeling of having influenced the final outcome.
Eman Assi BA, MSc, PhD
Conserving Cardiff Castle
This paper describes briefly what Cardiff Castle is, and puts it into a national and international context. It also describes how Cardiff Castle and, in particular, the house at Cardiff Castle is being conserved. It considers the Castle's conservation plan and illustrates a number of case studies concerning the William Burges interiors. These include previous conservation work together with current issues linked to both philosophies and practicalities. Current research and analysis, together with the planning of a major multi-million pound conservation project, is also described.
John Edwards DipBldgCons(RICS), MCIOB, MRICS, IHBC
The Reuse of Water-Towers
As changes take place in water-supply practice, a number of water-towers have become redundant. This paper reviews the current position regarding the reuse of redundant public water-supply towers for other purposes. Most structures that have been converted are of brick or stone, but interest has been shown in the conversion of reinforced-concrete structures, and this may be expected to grow. Following short background notes on the provision and type of water-towers, the paper considers the three most common difficulties encountered in undertaking conversions. Firstly, the poor attitude of many developers to possible reuse is discussed. Secondly, consideration is given to the problem posed by an exposed metal tank and the visual aspect of its removal. Lastly, a section on the difficulties that may arise in providing access up the tower.
Michael Gould BSc, PhD, MICE
Historic Lighting Saint or Sinner?
Although light is essential to see, it, along with unfavourable temperature and humidity levels, is one of the most destructive elements for cultural heritage. Continued exposure to infra-red radiation, usually emitted by all light (natural or man-made), may dry out fugitive organic materials like wood, textiles, paper, leather, ivory, lacquer and feathers to unacceptable levels; whilst ultraviolet radiation causes irreversibly fading.
Introducing electric light into older buildings, where it was never used originally, often presents a problem. In fact, the maintenance, repair, upgrading or installing anew of any modern mechanical or electrical system, if not done competently and with sensitivity, may cause horrendous cost overruns, untold aggravation, or even irreversible damage to original design and fabric.
Now there is a lighting tool with long-sought-after features of safety; ease of use; economy of installation, operation and energy; unobtrusiveness; and longevity. It is glass-fibre-optics. It is not meant to supplant conventional products, but to be employed either in combination with traditional products or, where it can do a better job, on its own. Being virtually free of harmful infra-red and ultraviolet radiation, it can substantially delay the inevitable deterioration by all types of light. Miniaturized, it is discreet, thus eminently suited for use in historic settings. Very energy efficient and long lasting, it requires minimal maintenance and affords prompt payback on investment. Its halogen-free 'green' components create a cool, glare-free environment that enhances architectural design, and improves personal comfort, increasing productivity, attendance, and sales.
Gersil N. Kay AIA/HRC, IESNA, AIC, SAH
Analysis of Historic Lime and Gypsum Plaster
Floors Part One
The survival and continued use of historic lime and gypsum plaster flooring is commonplace in certain parts of the United Kingdom, and yet it remains almost unknown in other parts of the country. The potential for loss and damage to such floors, whether through ignorance or indifference, is great and has prompted a study of this traditional form of construction in order to engender a greater interest and promote more appropriate forms of repair or reinstatement. The first part of this paper describes both the history and use of lime and gypsum plaster flooring, together with a brief commentary on the related use of earth and modified earth floors, and describes the composition of traditional plaster flooring through documentary sources.
David Watt BSc (Hons), Dip Arch Cons (Leic), PhD, MSc, FRICS, IHBC
Belinda Colston BSc (Hons), PhD, CChem, MRSC
Donhead Publishing 2013