In the ever-evolving and fast-changing world, conservation is what one brings back to the historical and cultural essence. It prevents one from losing one’s identity and preserves the reality for what it had been celebrated in the first place.
Architectural conservation means a process that retains the authentic built form of old buildings and heritage through restoration. Here are listed a few significant writings in the world of conservation.(Links for books available online for free have been provided).
1. A History of Architectural Conservation by Jukka Jokilehto
As the name suggests, the book amplifies the significance of the conservation of ancient monuments, artworks, and historical buildings. The book is a western thought of an international approach to the conservation of cultural property.
The author, a Finnish architect and urban planner focuses the book on the European context and ranges from extreme antiquity to the present day. This easily accessible and well-written piece of introduction to the history and theory of architectural conservation is richly illustrated and an engaging read.
2. Living Buildings by Donald Insall
The book stands as an amazing read and an incredible practical handbook. The author looks at the buildings as a living identity and focuses not only on the reality of material decay, building age, and design faults but also on the physical, social and structural changes it may go through.
It talks about the hard choices that need to be made while restoration. The book uniquely follows a format of documenting the author’s firm’s projects and reveals its philosophy and decision-making. The book provides valuable exposure to the field of conservation architecture at the ground level.
3. Architectural Conservation: Principles and Practice by Aylin Orbasli
The book, written by Aylin Orbasli, provides the text for both professionals in the field and historical property owners and managers. The book is divided into eight chapters clearly defining the content of principles, legislations, and theory, etc.
It gives an insight into understanding the fundamental and key principles, materials, and problems in the field of conservation. The book is loaded with case studies, making the work easier to relate and understand.
4. Design from Heritage: Strategies for Conservation and Conversion by Marieke Kuipers and Wessel de Jonge
It deals with challenges architects are faced with when dealing with the conservation and reuse of built heritage, with a focus on Modern Movement Monuments.
It discusses how to carry out a thorough analysis and evaluation of monuments upon which their conservation and transformation can be based providing fresh perspectives on heritage value assessment based on their experience.
5. Architectural Conservation in Asia: National Experiences and Practice by Robert G. Thomson and John H. Stubbs
The book adopts a country-wise analysis for various countries in Asia and gives a comprehensive overview. It draws out local insights, experiences, best practices, and solutions for effective cultural heritage management.
The book is loaded with case studies involving regional experts too. The book is one of the few delights to look at architectural conservation in the Asian context.
6. Equity in Heritage Conservation: Case of Ahmedabad India by Jigna Desai
Equity in Heritage Conservation takes the UNESCO World Heritage City of Ahmedabad, India, and investigates the realities of cultural heritage conservation and management. It contextualizes the question of heritage by citing places, projects, and initiatives from other cities around the world to identify issues, processes, and improvements.
7. The Conservation Movement: A History of Architectural Preservation: Antiquity to Modernity by Miles Glendinning
The book is the winner of the 2016 Antoinette Forrester Downing Award. The book questions the relevance of old buildings existing in the built environment whose existence is always considered positive.
It firmly presents, the entire history of this architectural Conservation Movement, and traces its fluctuations in ideas and popularity, ending by questioning whether its recent international dominance can last forever.
8. Building Limes in Conservation by Brocklebank
Lime has been a great material used for architectural restoration. This book brings together a selection of the best material, revised and updated. It focuses on tracing developments of lime-based materials and more on the physical and material aspects of conservation in buildings.
The book is divided into broadly three parts focusing on the understanding of nature and origin of the material, research and analysis of materials, investigation into current standards and the last part examines the techniques of use historically and implementation relevant today.
A good read for in-depth knowledge of better restoration practices.
9. Buildings Reimagined: A Dialogue between Old and New by Michael Low and Stella Papanicolaou
This book provides an in-depth analysis, looking closely at the property’s background, the transformation of the motivation, the transformation strategy, as well as the problems encountered in the transformation.
Internationally renowned architects discuss in detail key problems they’ve encountered when renovating an old building or conducting an urban renewal project and provide readers with helpful outlines of a range of projects and suggestions on what to look for in a project.
It includes technical drawings for specific details and data that provide a practical guide. Overall it broadens one’s view to make the right choices for the site or building.
10. Conservation of Modern Architecture by Susan Macdonald, Kyle C. Normandin, and Bob Kindred
This book examines the issues both philosophical and practical relating to the conservation of modern buildings. It also focuses on the problems faced with the use of multiple styles and materials in modern buildings.
Additionally, the book looks at the current scenarios and also focuses on modern-day issues like climate change which completely change the way buildings are thought about and contextualizes conservation with that.
From the giant sundials to the cautiously placed forts, the architecture of the past has a lot to learn from.
Charola, E., Henriques, F.M.A. and Jokilehto, J. (2001). A History of Architectural Conservation. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 40(2), p.150.
Amazon.in. (2021). Buy A History of Architectural Conservation Book Online at Low Prices in India | A History of Architectural Conservation Reviews & Ratings – Amazon.in. [online]
Matthews, H. (n.d.). LIVING BUILDINGS: ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATION: PHILOSOPHY PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE BY DONALD INSALL. The Art Book, [online] 16(3), pp.66–66.
Amazon.in. (2021). Buy Architectural Conservation: Principles and Practice Book Online at Low Prices in India | Architectural Conservation: Principles and Practice Reviews & Ratings – Amazon.in.
www.routledge.com. (n.d.). Routledge & CRC Press – World-leading book publisher in STEM, social sciences, and the humanities.
Amazon. in. (2021). Buy Buildings Reimagined: A Dialogue Between Old and New Book Online at Low Prices in India | Buildings Reimagined: A Dialogue Between Old and New Reviews & Ratings – Amazon.in.
Routledge & CRC Press. (n.d.). Architectural Conservation in Asia: National Experiences and Practice.