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Restoration Architecture!

Updated: Mar 3, 2021


Restoration in architecture refers to a particular treatment approach and philosophy within the field of architectural conservation and historic preservation. In simpler words, it can be quoted as "returning a building to its former state".

Restoration work is commonly undertaken for historic buildings with the aim of bringing them back to a healthy state by protecting their heritage value.

There are different criteria to analyze if a building is fit for restoration.

The basic guide pointers to note for the same are:

- The impact of restoration work on the overall heritage value of the building.

- Solid proof for the need for restoration work

- Compatibility of the restoration work plan to the previous form

- A wide study on the maintenance requirement

Restoration techniques are of two kinds, reversible and irreversible respectively.

Reversible actions are that which can be subsequently replaced without damage to the original texture.

Mentioned below are a couple of example for reversible technique:

- External buttresses

- Ties at arch springings

- Rings at the base of domes

- Prestressed unbonded stitches

- External ties

- Strengthening materials to support the existing structure

(Source of info:

Some actions cannot be easily undone without causing damage to the existing structure in the restoration project which is collectively termed an irreversible technique.

Following are examples of some of the techniques of irreversible restoration:

- Groutings

- Bonding-in of new bricks across cracks after grouting and cutting out to each side

- Deep joints

- Rebuilding of part of the facings of walls

- Stitching of walls with prestressed rebars

- Reinforcement of masonry with steel bars

- Connection of marble or stone parts with bonded dowels

- Skins of reinforced concrete on masonry

- Strengthening of foundations

(Source of info:

If the restoration work is reversible or irreversible there are some basic principles that need to be followed and they are:

- Checking the compatibility of materials with the original material

- Respecting the age-old contributions in the new work plan

- Missing parts need to be included for the harmonious fitting with the rest of the structure

- Traditional techniques and materials must be made use of in the restoration work

- Modern techniques and materials are permissible when traditional methods turn out to be not feasible.

Restoration works require more skills and knowledge than a simple building. Preserving historical buildings is equally important as development as at least people could experience a bit of the past. In order to prevent the deterioration of historic buildings, restoration architects work on methods to retain the building with heritage and historic importance.

Restoration architecture is a whole wide field of study with significant importance.

"An old building is like a show. You smell the soul of a building. And the building tells you how to redo it".

- Cameron Mackintosh

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