Conservation and Restoration

achieving the preservation of the nation’s building stock
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Using traditional materials & TEchniques

Muir Walker Pride Chartered Architects believe that the objective of building conservation is to achieve the preservation of the nation’s building stock, and in particular its historic buildings and fine architecture, in the long-term interest of culture, society and environment.

Our team includes members with long associations preserving buildings of historic importance.  Working with historic fabric requires us to have a considerable degree of knowledge in traditional materials and techniques, reinforced by a portfolio of specialist craftsmen and artisans.

Using the principles of conservation of historic buildings

Our approach is in accordance with the principles and policies of the key conservation charters and standards of the last century: the Venice Charter published by ICOMOS at the 2nd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice in 1964, the Burra Charter published by Australia ICOMOS in 1981, revised in 1999, and the British Standard Guide to the principles of conservation of historic buildings.

Reinvigorating historic buildings

We believe that historic buildings can be reused and revitalised to their maximum potential whilst still retaining their essential significance and visual appeal. The intention is to adopt sensitive intervention with the light of a clear understanding and respect for the old fabric. This involves understanding the existing, and extending in sympathy with scale, texture, rhythm, meaning and context.
Reproductions, often not built as well as the originals, do little to enrich the urban environment. This philosophy can be extended to urban design.
Discovering the past of a building involves researching the standing structure, removing all accretions, and peeling back the unwanted layers to expose the authentic original elements for careful repair.
Our approach is to systematically gain an understanding of the significance of the building, both as an element of the built environment and in its wider historical and social setting.
Understanding and assessing this cultural significance allows us to make the appropriate conservation response and reasoned proposals which meet both the full potential of the client’s functional and aesthetic requirements, whilst preserving those elements of historic fabric that should be retained.

Employing experts in textile and fabric preservation

The assistance of other specialists, such as archaeologists and specialist textile and fabric conservators, may be required to complete a conservation policy. Once developed this policy needs to be managed, both in the short term for the immediate project, and for the life of the building.

A management plan of this type is frequently referred to as a Conservation Plan and can be a requirement for specific financial aid (The Heritage Lottery Fund) or as a condition to gain specific planning permission.

Appraising each buildings character

Not all listed buildings need elaborate, full blown Conservation Plans, but every historic site, however modest, benefit from some form of character appraisal to help owners assess more effectively the impact of proposed changes on even the simplest historic building.

Sustainable development is implicit in conservation work. Our vision of a sustainable built environment includes the creative, adaptive reuse of places of cultural heritage value. Where appropriate, careful inclusion of state-of-the-art technology and energy efficient design into an existing place, eliminating wasteful demolition and reconstruction processes, conserves energy to the benefit of all in the future.