This year, the SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) has given our students the opportunity to work on a live project in ‘St. Andrew’s Chapel’, near Boxley Abbey, Maidstone. Built in the 15th and the 16th century and modified in the 19th century, the ‘chapel’ is currently in an advanced state of decay. The SPAB is currently surveying the building with the view to restore it. Our students visited the site several times and were guided by SPAB specialists. SPAB Director MatthewSlocombe introduced the Society’s work and project officer Jonny Garlick surveyed the building with the students and gave us an unforgettable tour of Boxley Abbey, focusing on previous SPAB repair work. During the Spring Term, the students will prepare a conservation plan, engaging in tasks that reflect their individual backgrounds. Those with an architectural background have the option to design the adaptation of the building into a new use. Students with backgrounds in other fields have several options which include researching the building’s history, analysing its significance and drafting conservation strategies. The resulting work will be submitted to the SPAB with the aim to contribute to the future conservation of this magnificent building.
For further information on the SPAB’s current ‘old house project’, see: https://www.spab.org.uk/old-house-project
Unité d’Habitation, Marseille (1945-1952), Le Corbusier. Restoration of the West Facade, discussed by Judy Loach.
The MSc in Architectural Conservation module ‘Conservation Principles’ had another very positive year. Manolo Guerci, the module convenor writes:
This year, our students included professionals in different fields, from the planning to the conservation sector, as well as from architectural practice. The module involved the theoretical as well as the practical analysis of areas based in Canterbury, but not exclusively, considering that students can chose their own sites for both tasks related to the module. This year we also benefited again from the lectures of international experts. Prof. Judi Loach, professor emerita at the University of Cardfif, and a leading scholar in the field of architectural conservation, delivered a stimulating lecture on ‘The 20th century, a case study: ways of conserving Le Corbusier’ (see photo). Prof. Loach had led DocoMomo UK, and her expertise in the topic was extremely useful to our cohort.
Marcon students also benefit from an extensive corpus of weekly lectures and seminars organised by the three reseach centres in the school, respectively dealing with history and theory, sustainable environment, and digital architecture. The school’s student association also runs a programme of lectures, while our PhD students give weekly seminars where their research is presented in an informal environment. Indeed, students of the MSc in Architectural Conservation and other programmes often continue with doctoral research in the school.. Joining our programme is an excellent way to both gain expertise in the broader field of conservation, and to equip yourself for further academic research.