Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 9 Number 3 November 2003

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Medieval woodwork at Borgund stave church protected by pine tar.


See 'Successes and Failures in the Conservation of Wooden Structures' by Martin E. Weaver


Cathodic Protection of Masonry-Clad, Steel-Framed Buildings Kate Turnpenny and Stuart Tappin

'A Fresh Window on Life': Adaptive Re-Use and the Landmark Trust  Caroline Stanford

Successes and Failures in the Conservation of Wooden Structures Martin E. Weaver

Architectural and Structural Modelling for the Conservation of Cathedrals Dina D'Ayala and Pierre Smars

Presentation of the Roman Temple at Deir el Hagar in Egypt Adam Zielinski



Culture of immediacy

David Watt


In today's culture of immediacy, where life seems governed by league tables and performance charts, there is a much-underrated need to acknowledge and value the everyday and commonplace. Knowing a nation's favourite personality, food, or fashion might make good television, but left out of such snap-shots are the humdrum events that define both people and place.

As we learn about our preferred historic buildings, monuments, and gardens, as well as those we would wish to see lost or saved, it seems that even features of the historic environment are susceptible to being packaged like consumer commodities, and ranked against each other. Immediacy is surely at odds with the study and enjoyment of the historic built and cultural environment that has taken generations to develop and mature.

In this issue of the Journal of Architectural Conservation, we see how those historic buildings and structures that have fallen on hard times can be brought back into beneficial use. In A Fresh Window on Life: Adaptive Re-Use and the Landmark Trust by Caroline Stanford, the meticulous work of the Landmark Trust is described in the context of the past and present histories that surround a number of their often highly individual properties.

Presentation and interpretation are what makes the historic temple site of Deir el Hagar come alive for those visiting the Dakhleh Oasis of Egypt. Adam Zielinski, in his paper Presentation of the Roman Temple at Deir el Hagar in Egypt, explains the rationale for the recent site work and draws attention to some of the difficulties of working in such a challenging environment.

Turning to more technical matters, Architectural and Structural Modelling for the Conservation of Cathedrals by Dr Dina D'Ayala and Dr Pierre Smars of the University of Bath describes the processes of recording and documenting the scissor arches and central tower of Wells Cathedral. From such detailed investigation we are able to develop our understanding of the constructional phasing and structural movement of this spectacular Gothic structure, and see how such tools might assist in the future maintenance and management of such a complex edifice.

Timber is one of the earliest decorative and constructional materials, yet it presents us with some of the most complex and enduring conservation problems. Finding sustainable solutions is never easy, yet there are examples of successful practice that should be heeded. In Successes and Failures in the Conservation of Wooden Structures, Professor Martin Weaver of Columbia University provides a review of recent literature and considers the lessons to be learnt from conservation projects around the world.

With Cathodic Protection of Masonry-Clad, Steel-Framed Buildings by Dr Kate Turnpenny and Stuart Tappin we are provided with a clear and informative discourse on the theory and practical application of cathodic protection in architectural conservation. As increasing numbers of twentieth-century steel-framed buildings are listed as being of special architectural or historic interest, the means by which we can attend to problems of corrosion become all the more important, and the need more pressing.


Cathodic Protection of Masonry-Clad, Steel-Framed Buildings

Kate Turnpenny and Stuart Tappin


Corrosion problems associated with steel-framed structures have become better understood over the past two decades. Many of the structures that suffer from corrosion affecting their structural integrity and visual appearance, are from the first half of the twentieth century, and are listed as being of special architectural or historic interest or within designated conservation areas. Cathodic protection is a proven method for protecting steel against corrosion in pipelines and, more recently, reinforced-concrete bridges and other structures. Cathodic protection is now, however, an increasingly acceptable long-term solution to prevent and control the further deterioration of embedded steel and iron contained within masonry structures, historic brickwork, framed structures, and statuary. This paper presents an overview of the development of masonry-clad, steel-framed buildings in the United Kingdom, guidance on their appraisal, and the corrosion problems associated with them. An example is provided to indicate the application of cathodic protection as a method of treatment to prevent the further corrosion of steel-framed buildings and the approach required to design and operate this particular technique.


Kate M. Turnpenny BSc, MSc, PhD, MICorr

Kate Turnpenny is a Materials Engineer with FaberMaunsell, Birmingham. She has experience in the inspection and condition survey of a variety of deteriorating structures, including assessment to identify the cause of corrosion and materials failure for metals, non-metals, alloys and coating systems.

Stuart Tappin BSc, MA, MIStructE

Stuart Tappin is Regional Director heading the historic structures team within FaberMaunsell, London. He has extensive experience working on some of the country's most important buildings, and understanding the special issues relating to listed buildings, scheduled monuments, and those within conservation areas. He has a particular interest in twentieth-century structures and is a member of the Twentieth Century Society Casework Committee.


'A Fresh Window on Life'

Adaptive Re-Use and the Landmark Trust

Caroline Stanford


The Landmark Trust pioneered the re-use of redundant and derelict buildings as holiday lets. Its premise for this adaptive re-use is based upon the willingness of the general public to pay for the experience of staying in historic buildings restored to the highest standards. The buildings' futures are then secured through this renewed vitality. Landmark is now the largest buildings preservation trust in the United Kingdom, with some 200 properties in its care. These cover a wide range of building types, each building requiring its own carefully drawn-up scheme. Four case studies illustrate both the flexibility and the rigour of this particular approach to adaptive re-use.


Caroline Stanford BA (Hons), MA, MSc

The author read History at Oxford in the 1970s followed by an MA in Early Modern History at Birkbeck College, London, while pursuing a career in international marketing. Increasing involvement with buildings conservation and planning led to an MSc in Historic Conservation at Oxford Brookes. She is now Historian for the Landmark Trust.


Successes and Failures in the Conservation of Wooden Structures

Martin E. Weaver


The year 2000 saw the publication of two major works on the conservation of wooden heritage resources. The first, by the British wood conservation expert Brian Ridout, entitled Timber Decay in Buildings focuses on the effects of attacks by fungi and insects and on the science and technology of the development of treatments and preventive measures. The second, by Norwegian specialists Knut Einar Larsen and Nils Marstein, entitled Conservation of Historic Timber Structures: An Ecological Approach focuses on the development of truly multi-disciplinary approaches to the holistic conservation of historic timber structures. Larsen's studies in Japan have enabled this extremely useful work to focus equally on the different conservation philosophies of East and West.3 These two excellent studies prompted the author to develop this paper, which reviews the development of appropriate approaches to the conservation problems of wooden structures and outdoor monuments over the last 40 years. It focuses particularly on the sometimes extreme treatments that were developed in the 1960s to treat attacks by wood-destroying fungi and insects, and the residual problems associated with these treatments. The development of more environmentally-friendly conservation treatments and minimalist approaches are also examined. The paper discusses the development of structural conservation media and methods – particularly focussing on the WER (wood-epoxy-reinforcement) and BETA systems and variations on these themes.


Martin Weaver A.A.Dipl

Martin Weaver is based in Ottawa, Canada and New York, and has an international conservation consultant practice. He is the professor in charge of the conservation sector of Columbia University's Historic Preservation Program.


Architectural and Structural Modelling for the Conservation of Cathedrals

Dina D'Ayala and Pierre Smars


Accurate documentation and study of architectural heritage is the first essential step in the design and implementation of effective conservation strategies. This paper presents a methodology for the survey and retrieval of information concerning cathedrals, as applied to the scissors arches and central tower of Wells Cathedral. The survey makes use of advanced technological tools, such as electronic distance measurement and close-range photogrammetry, together with direct inspection techniques on relevant parts of the structure. The survey data is stored electronically and used to build an updateable detailed three-dimensional (3-D) computer model, to be used for conservation monitoring. This model is integrated into an object-oriented hierarchical database, used as an interactive logbook for future conservation management of the Cathedral central crossing. The paper discusses the relevance of this work within the current trends in conservation, highlights the reason for choosing the central crossing of Wells Cathedral, and presents the methodology followed for the development of the 3-D model.


Dina D'Ayala, Dr. Ing, Ing, PhD

Dr Dina D'Ayala has lectured on structures, conservation of historic buildings, and earthquake engineering in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath since 1996.

Pierre Smars Ir-Arch, PhD

Pierre Smars is a Research Associate in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath.


Presentation of the Roman Temple at Deir el Hagar in Egypt

Adam Zielinski


Conservation and preservation measures were designed to open part of the historic temple site of Deir el Hagar, located in the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt, to the general public. The ruined complex, dated to the early years of Roman rule in Egypt, was part of a large settlement within an extensive Roman agricultural scheme. The site was abandoned when water was no longer available, and it became engulfed in sand dunes for centuries. Known since its emergence from the dunes in early nineteenth century, the temple ruin is one of the major historic landmarks in the Dakhleh Oasis. This paper describes the measures that were undertaken to stabilize and preserve the ruined temple structure. Work completed in the 1990s included clearing fallen stone elements and sand deposits from the temple complex, partial rebuilding using original elements, and installation of a modern site information facility.


Adam Zielinski MSc

Adam Zielinski trained as a civil engineer at the Technical University in Warsaw, Poland, and studied conservation practice with ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Prosperity) in Venice. He specializes in the conservation of historic buildings and structures. The work at the Roman temple at Deir el Hagar in Dakhleh Oasis adds to his 25 years of conservation experience on various sites in Egypt. Off-season, he works as an independent architectural conservator and heritage consultant in Canada and overseas.

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