The conservation of buildings is currently becoming one of the main focal areas of the work of an architect, whereby a distinction is made between two domains: on the one hand, the upkeep of memorial installations – for which a thorough grasp of historical constructions and their structural methodology is required – and on the other design and construction as a continuous process of communication, the quality of which lies in dialogue with the location and its history. Research on existing features always takes precedence before the conservation and conscientious restoration of a monument. Knowledge which is important for future planning and cost-effective restoration can be gleaned at this point.
Architectural conservation within urban planning involves the long-term preservation of historic centers by safeguarding qualities which forge identity, such as the urban layout, embedding within the landscape, streets and squares as well as individual buildings of significance. Cities must live up to the fresh challenges posed by traffic, transport and supply and waste management. New features must therefore be integrated continuously, so that historic centers can meet these demands and can function; stagnancy can only breed decline within neighborhoods. Emphasis within urban development must lie on the greater whole, whilst still not neglecting individual aspects.
The preservation of historic gardens is the discipline responsible for the conservation and rehabilitation of historic landscaping. A garden-based memorial is primarily composed of biological matter (plants). It changes rapidly and is relatively short-lived. Its appearance hinges upon the change of seasons and natural evolution as well as decay. The handling of such a task calls for expertise within the domains of landscape gardening and cultural heritage preservation. The search for buried traces of a historic garden lies within the realm of archaeological heritage management; the restoration of park architecture is a task suited to those who have studied architectural heritage preservation.
In terms of the documentation of architecture, photographic surveying plays a significant role in mapping out buildings and their true color reproduction. Thorough photographic depiction is crucial for an inventory and all further steps within the documentation and planning process. Within architectural research and restoration in particular digital pictures are widely accepted as photographic documentation of condition. Long-term archiving and storage possibilities also play a pivotal role when it comes to cultural heritage preservation, architectural research and archaeology. Photography makes it possible to look at the historical state of a building and directly compare it with the current state of the building, as well as the stages of the building throughout history. Without photography, this comparison would be nearly impossible.
Taking measurements and documenting the general state of the building form the foundation of all planning. The more accurately the existing property is recorded, the more finely honed the implementation of rehabilitation, restoration and renovation measures will be. State-of-the-art surveying hardware such as electronic tachometers and GPS instruments are used for basic surveying. New scope for applications within the field of cultural heritage preservation are thus tapped into with 3D models. In this regard visualization may be utilized for many purposes, such as for construction-related documentation, analysis in relation to history of art, and the identification of vulnerable areas within the construction.
There has been a great deal of discussion about historical memorials within contemporary advertising, since the memorial as a trademarked good or a product is contentious. Since a memorial is a storehouse of associations it is possible to achieve successful advertising. Similarly, brand advertising itself has to be achieved in oder other to stress its importance of the memorial or to generate donations. We must save our historical treasures from sinking into oblivion. At best, historical monuments will thus be brought to life. Concepts and strategies have to be mapped out and advertised, accompanied by publications, events, fairs and exhibitions.
Oftentimes, with historical buildings, it is difficult to determine which historical construction method was utilized and/or which technique should be used to restore and conserve these historical buildings. The prevalence of these buildings means that technical expertise is crucial in order to be able to fully embrace historic building stock and thus safeguard the structural integrity of a building over the long term. The heightened demand for surveys during construction work on historic buildings has escalated the need for such technical experts. Inspections arising from non-invasive evaluations do not just pose a thoroughly effective alternative to invasive methods, but often offer the sole means of obtaining the information that is important for the preservation process.
Research and archival work rank among the genuinely vocational fields within cultural heritage preservation. The Humanities lay the groundwork towards an understanding of our culture. Interdisciplinary research plays a major role within the domain of cultural heritage preservation and is inseparable from it. Findings are incorporated into the work of journalists and published within papers in professional journals and books to raise awareness of these topics. Employers include public administration, museums, archives, universities, companies within the media and information sectors, associations and bodies.
Within cultural heritage preservation craftspeople are needed who know how to handle items of our historical heritage with confidence. For each raw material - whether it be wood, stone, metal or glass – there are experts in each field responsible for the professional restoration of the item. The basic principles underlying conservation are conveyed within a degree in Monumental Heritage, so that students in their subsequent career are able to enter into dialogue with well-versed craftspeople, collaborate on the concepts behind cultural heritage preservation and advise clients as well as appraise surveys and measures related to heritage preservation.
The task of raising awareness and acceptance of memorial conservation and cultural heritage preservation amongst the public so as to promote a sense of involvement in cultural heritage is enshrined within all heritage protection laws. Within this context, publicity and publications see themselves as a “goal-oriented mediator”; it is thus inherent to the policy mandate of those authorities responsible for monuments within the Federal Republic of Germany. “Media-related” heritage conservationists need competencies and skills within the realms of academic communication, since they act as mediators between research and an information-based society.
The traditional scope of activities associated with the arena of museums and exhibitions comprises collection, conservation, research, exhibition and conveyance. These rank among the vocational fields of university-educated heritage conservationists. This profession calls for graduates distinguished primarily by their sound knowledge of a particular domain within the history of art and architecture as well as a good university degree and who are able to work and communicate at an academic level. Vocational fields fall within administration – as a director, exhibition designer, librarian, museum pedagogue or a conservation worker. Museums play a vital role in our society and it is imperative that those who are employed by museums have the proper education and background to protect and preserve the history they contain.
In Europe, countless “traditional” vacancies related to cultural heritage preservation can be found within state bodies or city-wide institutions, thus ranking among the civil service sector. This body regulates access to its vacancies relatively stringently and determines the preconditions which must be met in order to be considered for a post. In order to get a job in the senior civil service – the category for people with academic qualifications within the public sector (state museums, national heritage agencies, universities) one must, as a general rule, have earned a doctorate; non-state bodies (e.g. urban, or private museums) have partially softened their stance on this issue.