Our module ‘Intervention at Historic Sites’ gives our students the opportunity to learn from recent projects of adaptive reuse, which aim to breathe new life into seminal historic buildings. Examining intervention projects elsewhere plays a key role in developing the knowledge and methods required to tackle the challenges of this module. On 14 March, we visited the church of St. Mary the Virgin at Willesborough near Ashford to explore the recent work carried out by Lee Evans Partnership. Nicholas Lee Evans, managing partner and the architect of this project provided us with a detailed presentation of the recent intervention at the building, which included the installation of a new floor, and the creation of new indoor facilities that aim to breathe new life into the building, supporting its role as a centre for the local community.
On 10 November 2021, the students of the MSc in Architectural Conservation of the University of Kent enjoyed an unusually close view of the vaults of Canterbury Cathedral, with the guidance of Purcell engineers as well as the managers and conservation specialists of the Canterbury Journey project. The scaffolding and deck inside the nave provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe the late-Gothic lierne vaults and their rich sculptural ornamentation. Dating back to the late 14th century, and associated the work of Henry Yevele these wonderful ribbed vaults constitute a feat of engineering and one of the masterpieces of vaulted architecture.
The students of the MSc in Architectural Conservation (Kent) on the ‘vault deck’ inside the nave of Canterbury Cathedral, November 2021
Leaving the vault deck, we moved to the top of the western towers, which gave us the chance to examine the recent preservation of pinnacles and louvres in a part of the structure that is exposed to particularly harsh weather conditions. Closing with a panoramic view of Canterbury, this visit has been one of the highlights of our programme this year.
The students of the MSc in Architectural Conservation visiting the western towers of Canterbury Cathedral, November 2021