The course is taught by means of lectures, visits and field trips across East Anglia to view buildings and practitioners at work. Lectures take place at Madingley Hall, a 16th-century manor house set in seven acres of landscaped gardens designed by Capability Brown, and the headquarters of the Institute of Continuing Education.
What will I be studying?
The evolution of buildings from medieval to modern times runs as a thread through the course and you will receive guidance on identification and recording and on the development of appropriate conservation strategies. The objectives are:
- to understand the development of the philosophy and ethics of conservation and the legislation and policy that protect the historic environment.
- to survey, record and analyse the development of historic buildings through the examination of their materials, construction and style.
- to learn practical techniques for conservation, repair and restoration, with the opportunity to experience the use of traditional materials.
- to be able to make informed judgements on conservation issues affecting historic buildings.
Each of the six termly units has a particular topic:
Unit 1: Conservation law and practice and vernacular architecture
Lectures and sites visits from Monday 9 October 2017 with a Saturday day-school on 9 December 2017
The first unit introduces the philosophical and legal frameworks for conserving the built heritage as a basis for students to begin developing their own approaches to conservation issues. Students will also begin to explore the close relationship between place, material and building crafts which is particularly evident in early and vernacular architecture, using lectures and site visits. Students will develop practical skills in observation, analysis and recording using a variety of techniques, through site visits and the maintenance of a site notebook
Unit 2: Church architecture (up to 1600) and buildings in stone
Lectures, workshops and site visits from Monday 8 January 2018 with two Saturday day-schools on 10 February and 3 March 2018
The second unit examines in detail the use of stone as a building material, exploring the relationship between geology, place, construction and style and students will examine more formal styles of architecture, in which stone is most often a key element, particularly the development of church architecture up to 1600. This will be done through lectures and visits to churches, a quarry and masonry yard, and through the examination of case studies. Students will receive tuition to develop their skills in drawing and sketching for recording standing structures.
Unit 3: Building with traditional materials: timber, earth, lime, plaster and thatch
Lectures and site visits from Monday 23 April 2018
The third unit examines the use of timber in traditional buildings, including its sourcing and preparation, and timber construction and repair techniques. Other traditional materials and techniques such as earth walling, lime mortars and thatch will also be introduced. These topics will be covered through lectures, site visits and practical demonstrations. Learning will be supported through continuing practice in analytical and recording techniques.
The course resumes on Saturday 6 October 2018.
Unit 4: Early polite architecture and recording, analysing and specifying change to historic buildings
Building on content from Year 1, Unit 4 will look more deeply into the philosophical and legal frameworks for conserving the historic buildings, focusing on the concept of “place” and ways in which it can be analysed and protected. Through lectures and site visits Term 4 will also explore the development of “polite” architecture and associated materials and building crafts from the Tudor period onwards, considering Renaissance influences and the development of the Baroque. Students will develop their practical skills in observation and analysis and through a session covering writing specifications.
Unit 5: Recognising and dealing with structural problems in historic buildings, protecting and managing designed landscapes and the emergence of industrial architecture
Unit 5 will look at important themes in architectural history, including Neoclassicism, early Victorian and industrial architecture, and designed landscapes. Associated building materials, particularly metals, will be considered in the lectures and site visits. Students will develop their understanding of structural and material failings in historic buildings and repair solutions and wider strategies for the treatment of buildings at risk through the examination of case studies.
Unit 6: The development of style from the late 19th century to the present day, the use of modern building materials and techniques and conserving late 20th-century buildings
The final unit completes the overview of the development of architectural style from the late Victorian period, focusing on the Gothic revival, through trends of the early twentieth century and the radical changes to design philosophy and construction brought in with the Modern Movement. The use of modern construction techniques using steel framing, curtain walling and concrete will be examined through lectures, site visits and the examination of case studies. Students will be introduced to the important issue of development economics and its influence on securing the successful repair and re-use of historic buildings. Students will develop their practical skills in recording, through a session covering measured survey techniques, and will be introduced to heritage management in the international arena.