The obligation to conserve the architectural heritage of our local communities is as important as our duty to conserve the significant built heritage and its values or traditions of previous eras. More than ever, architectural heritage across the world is at risk from a lack of appreciation, experience, and care.

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet1
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Some have already been lost and more are in danger. It is a living heritage therefore essential to understand, define, interpret, and manage it well for future generations. Protecting the built heritage and conserving the local traditional and cultural values of communities for future generations present a real challenge for developers, architects, and professionals in the field of heritage conservation.

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet2
Heritage Architecture ©rethinkingthefuture.com

Great architecture doesn’t live alone. Even when designed in isolation, buildings and other constructed spaces play a part in how we understand our species and our place on this planet. Historic structures feed into our ideas of how to conserve the existing and build in the future.

While sensitivity towards a structure’s immediate local culture remains paramount which should be learned and studied rather than assumed, architectural history requires geographic as well as temporal context: 

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet3
Heritage Architecture ©rethinkingthefuture.com

“World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world,” as UNESCO puts it, “irrespective of the territory on which they are located.”

Heritage buildings and sites are remnants of our predecessors, a reflection of our past and an essential source of information to trace the evolution of our society as a civilization. Many of the heritage structures have stood the test of time. But, like human health, which requires precautions and check-ups from time to time, these buildings also require diligent preservation, conservation, and restoration.

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet4
Heritage Architecture ©architecturalheritage.intach.org

Heritage buildings and sites are remnants of our predecessors, a reflection of our past and an essential source of information to trace the evolution of our society as a civilization. Many of the heritage structures have stood the test of time. But, like human health, which requires precautions and check-ups from time to time, these buildings also require diligent preservation, conservation, and restoration.

Heritage Architecture ©sws.cept.ac.in

In modern times, these sites stand threatened not only due to the ineffectiveness in their conservation and restoration but also due to unanticipated natural calamities like earthquakes, fire, floods, hurricanes and tsunamis. Meanwhile, humans grappled with man-made tribulations resulting from long-term armed conflicts. A classic case would be the explosion of the Buddhas of the Bamiyan Valley by the Taliban in 2001. The statues, built in the 6th Century, stood as the tallest and largest statues of the Buddha in the world. The loss of the same went on to be mourned and regretted and received ridicule universally. Moved by the people’s sentiments, a Chinese couple invented a 3D projector which projects a 3D image of the original Buddha at the same site. This initiative not only garnered universal praise but also sparked an interest in the power of technology in the preservation and conservation of heritage buildings and sites.

Heritage Architecture ©sws.cept.ac.in

In modern times, these sites stand threatened not only due to the ineffectiveness in their conservation and restoration but also due to unanticipated natural calamities like earthquakes, fire, floods, hurricanes and tsunamis. Meanwhile, humans grappled with man-made tribulations resulting from long-term armed conflicts. A classic case would be the explosion of the Buddhas of the Bamiyan Valley by the Taliban in 2001. The statues, built in the 6th Century, stood as the tallest and largest statues of the Buddha in the world. The loss of the same went on to be mourned and regretted and received ridicule universally. Moved by the people’s sentiments, a Chinese couple invented a 3D projector which projects a 3D image of the original Buddha at the same site. This initiative not only garnered universal praise but also sparked an interest in the power of technology in the preservation and conservation of heritage buildings and sites.

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet5
Heritage Architecture ©rethinkingthefuture.com

The world recognises India as a place resplendent with a heritage dating back to 9,500 years ago. The architectural significance of these heritage buildings reflects the advanced understanding of design and engineering prowess during their respective eras. One can find plenty of cases wherein buildings in India have also suffered casualties due to unforeseen circumstances. In recent times especially, fire breakout incidences have made headlines resulting in devastating and irreparable damages. One wonders how well our heritage buildings are equipped to recover from such a calamity.

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet6
Heritage Architecture ©rethinkingthefuture.com

Architecture in the cultural form can be termed or considered as a cultural symbol. It is perceived as a symbol or a reflection of any civilization.Unlike humans, the heritage sites have stood tall against the test of the constantly changing political, social and economic narratives, with panache and pride, outliving generations. The onus is now upon us to value and preserve these archival buildings in a manner in which they can be passed on to our future generations to live with and cherish their historical ancestry. 

Understanding the aspect of heritage architecture - Sheet7
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Author

Trishla Chadha is driven by a persistent desire to learn and to inform. Besides working as a Junior Architect, she is also associated with an International social organization with the aim of empowering women in our society. She is particularly intrigued by the sensitivity of architecture towards nature and people, as well as discovering new aspects that enrich the spatial experience.

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