Restoration projects in architecture are usually undertaken to sustain the heritage value of the structure and to preserve the creative motives of the respective creators. The concept of restoration is intended at minimal intervention from architects but has its own challenge of re-creating and reviving spaces from its historic time of creation. This would also call for a multi-faceted team of structural engineers and craftsmen apart from architects to carry out a detailed study of the history and construction principles used in that era to carefully replicate the physical fabric and essence of the structure such that the altered structure and texture fits into modern narratives.
Also, the restoration architecture not only focuses on keeping the building upright and tall but also on the health of the structure/building. Along with strengthening measures taken for the building, it is equally important to implement and install elements for the protection and to seek safety from environmental hazards and more. Likewise, restoration projects might involve the replacement of outdated heating and cooling systems with newer ones or the installation of climate controls that never existed at the time of building after careful study.
Restoration architecture is a whole different field itself and restoration architects are architectural professionals that specialize in the preservation and conservation of historic buildings and monuments.
We shall look at some successful restoration projects across the globe:
- The Statue of Liberty
After almost witnessing a century of weather pollution and sightseeing, the structure was called off under restoration work. The work included repairing the crown, repainting, and replacing the statue’s internal skeleton with stainless steel bars. Along with the installation of new elevators and an informative exhibit located at the base of the statue as an addition to it. The working team comprised American and French architects, engineers and construction specialists.
- United States Capitol Dome
The United States Capitol Dome is constructed of cast iron and it started rusting and deteriorating. Since the dome was in urgent need of repair, the restoration project team used both technical and historical tradecrafts to complete the repair.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
This popular museum built in the year 1928 just completed its restoration in 2017. The project was aiming for a design that upholds the cultural integrity of the structure and facilitated access to certain spaces that were restricted previously.
- Royal Opera House, Mumbai
The Royal Opera House in Mumbai now provides the facility for visitors to experience music shows and stand-up events in a Victorian setting with its baroque features and elaborate Corinthian pillars. The restoration project of Royal Opera House, Mumbai was six-year-long and it even bagged the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2017.
- Antwerp PortHouse, Europe
This second-largest shipping port of Europe was called for the relocation of their office in the year 2007. The project aimed at providing unified accommodation for the employees which would align with their interests in future expansion. The façade of the pre-existing fire station was retained because of its much-valued heritage importance. The extension on the top of the roof was proposed by Zaha Hadid architects adding a new dimension to the site and also keeping a signature element of every Zaha Hadid project.