Since colonial times in NSW, Australia, there are nine distinct styles of European, English and American inspired heritage architecture. Listed in order of appearance, they are; Colonial (1788 – 1840); Mid-Victorian (1840 – 1870); Late Victorian (1870 – 1895); Federation (1895 – 1925); Californian Bungalow (1925 – 1938); Inter-war buildings (1918 – 1939); Modern Movement buildings (1935 – 1960); Post Modern buildings (1950 – 1975); Brutalist buildings (1968 – 1975).Read More
To all heritage architects/ consultants/ advisors/ builders/ planners/ managers and owners out there – there are five cardinal principles that should be applied when attempting to integrate new design into heritage buildings. I list them as follows; Bulk and scale, Setting, Form, Materials and Juxtaposition. Taking each individually, it is a common rule with heritage buildings to ensure that the new fabric does not overwhelm the heritage fabric i.e. that a there is a delicate balance between the two but always respectfully giving greater prominence to the older heritage building or at least allowing it to be recognised as distinct from the new building. Accordingly, in most cases, the new bulk and scale should be subservient to the heritage building. Roofs should be set down lower and walls set in behind. The concept of heritage design is very much based on the streetscape view i.e. what one sees from the street.Read More
There seven things to know about heritage conservation on our contemporary world today. This is a message for designers, architects, planners and managers of heritage buildings and places.
The decisions we make today will forever affect a heritage building or place. Therefore, we need to be conscious and judicious in the way we treat heritage fabric because what we decide now will affect every future decision to come. This places a heavy onus on the design of heritage buildings and forces the designer/ architect/ planner/ manager to be very circumspect in regard to each and every decision affecting a heritage building or place. Heritage buildings are all about their fabric. If you remove an element – it’s gone for ever. Nothing but a replica can be returned, and replicas are not heritage. Its not about what it looks like – its about what it actually is. I cannot replace my grandmother with a fake replica – it just won’t be the same person. This is how we need to think about heritage buildings.
For local government heritage items (listed buildings) in NSW, Australia, we have only two little incentives. They are Clause 5.10.10 and Clause 5.10.3 of the Local Environment Plan. There is a third incentive only operated by the Council of the City of Sydney and that is a transferrable development right under the HFS (Heritage Floor Space Scheme). I will explain later what this other one is all about. However, first, I would like to say that these incentives are insufficient, paltry, ungenerous and counter-productive in their limited scope. Incentives need to be generously applied so long as it can be determined that the outcome for the heritage building would be positively enhanced, better maintained and actually restored. Put simply, these are the only criteria that should prevail. Instead, councils and the courts and now design review panels are applying a limited approach to the incentive – always with the suspicion that the applicant (developer) is seeking some sort of unjustifiable reward/ opportunity/ free ride.Read More