The idea of conservation architecture in as simple a fashion as it can be explained, is the restoration of historic buildings and old properties in a way that preserves its use with appropriate materials and methods of construction. The reason conservation architecture is used in many cases, is because the building has an historic importance or an interesting past that should be preserved, or legally has to be preserved in its original form and aesthetic due to it being a listed building. Conservation architecture is also about helping to preserve the buildings that we have and maximise the potential for all properties, instead of always knocking down and building anew, which has seemed the case for many types of buildings in the UK over the last few decades. Architects with experience of conservation architecture are best placed to make the most of historic buildings and to ensure that they are enhanced and maintain the integrity of the original design and features.
There are many instances of historic buildings, whether they are listed or not, that look incredible and are aesthetically pleasing but that might not have the right form or use for the current owners. In these cases, it might be a desire for the form and function of a property to be changed in a refurbishment project. When this happens, there is a need to make sure that the property functions in an effective way for the present day, but that the aesthetic of the property is maintained within the framework of the original design, the materials used and the method with which the construction takes place. This is certainly a balancing act that requires some time and effective thinking prior to any refurbishment or renovation work can commence.
This is where it is vital that the services of an experienced Architect with a specialist knowledge of conservation architecture and heritage properties is brought on board to run through the entire project and ensure it meets any criteria and restrictions that are in place in terms of materials that must be used and techniques that must be followed to meet heritage legislation. It also ensures that the completed work meets the need for a modern-day process and the requirements of the current or future inhabitants. The balance between modern function and historic design and aesthetic is an important one.
There are a few different reasons why conservation architecture is required for a building. It could be that as a listed building there are specific methods of construction and materials that are legally required in order to upgrade or renovate a property. Aside from that, the property might have special interest and an interesting past or is a beloved and central part of a community. Whatever the reasons behind it, hiring Architects with experience of working on conservation architecture projects will help a project to be completed with expertise and a level of quality that provides an efficient and spectacular finish to a renovation or refurbishment project.