Post 179 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 

Buildings are invested with many different values. The values are, utilitarian aspects, sensuality, materials, technology, architectural character, spatial qualities, style, patterns, scale or proportions and antiquity. These values arise over a period of time, and what we perceive is a cumulative imprint of it. The values are subjective and circumstantial judgements and so are considered partial considerations. It is never possible to know how, why, and when the values were endowed.


Restored building Yatkha Bahal Nepal

It is not possible to restore a building to an ‘original condition, as none exists in a single time and space profile. It is also accepted that, a comprehensive restoration is never possible, because then one needs to consider all these values concurrently. Restoration, at best is a subjective approximation. Restoration inherently involves generalization, ignorance, insincerity, wrong decisions, lack of resources, and time constraints.

Restoration, is however, often considered easy, as the retained or restored identities provide a link to a perceived image of the past. Restoration is substantially an alteration, where nonconformist elements are changed. As a result in every restoration, something of the original character is irretrievably lost. ‘Too many restorations ultimately take away the original character of the building.’

Restored dockyard buildings to a different use at Alfred Road

Restoration to be purposeful must remain superfluous. Restorations at all times must remain irretrievable that is fully removable or demountable. Restorations without harming the substrate or basic fabric, preserves the essence of the building. It is ‘prudent to restore with a superfluous but traditional material, than employ an innovative but integrating material’. Integrated restorations affect the basic fabric or structure of the building.



  1. Pingback: LINKS on articles about CHANGES in BUILDINGS | Interior Design Assist

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