The mishandling of architectural heritage in recent decades, either due to ignorance or due to various social and economic factors, is a reality. Therefore the training of students in recognizing and evaluating the qualitative elements that make the buildings and the ensembles preservable is a basic objective of this first elective course on conservation and restoration of historic buildings and sites. This course intends to provide young architects with first knowledge and experience that will help them decide if they want to work in the future for the preservation, restoration, integration of new uses and the upgrading of historic buildings and sites.
Restoration is directly linked to research in many fields of specialization. This requires the contribution of other sciences and specialties for the realization of a demanding restoration project. Therefore coordination and responsibility lies exclusively with the architect. Beyond general scientific knowledge, interest in History of Architecture and Art, as well as the ability to solve building construction problems are key prerequisites for anyone who decides to deepen on the issues of restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures.
The class includes weekly lectures on theoretical and practical issues related to managing historic buildings and sites. The methodology of designing interventions to historical buildings using traditional and modern techniques is also examined. Analysis of pathology of materials used in the construction of historic buildings, diagnosis and treatment of damages are presented. The lectures are based on existing bibliography, but also by presenting many examples from practice. At the same time visits will be made to restoration projects underway, as well as to monuments, which will allow for a better understanding of the issues presented in theoretical teaching. The class also aims in the development of other collateral skills that are necessary in the field of restoration, such as research and documentation. This is why the students are invited in the exercise to interpret a monument as a series of historical events and not just as a plain structure.