David Chipperfield & Conservation #2 #Venice

Following on from THIS POST on a trip to Berlin to see the conservation work undertaken there by David Chipperfield; this post centers on two of his projects undertaken in Venice; namely the Procuratie Vecchi and the extension to the cemetary at San Michele.

The focus of this post is the conservation work undertaken at the Procuratie Vecchi but to kick off, below is a slideshow of images from the extension to the cemetery on San Michele island:

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You can see more on the cemetery at the architect’s website HERE

Instead now let’s focus on the conservation of the Procuratie Vecchi in St. Mark’s Square, Venice…

As an Accredited RIAI Architect in Conservation, the balancing act of retaining historical fabric and yet making a building suitable for the 21st century is difficult and frustrating.

A quote by Gustav Mahler sums it up nicely: “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”

We should be seeing to retain the historical fabric but cannot be blindly recreating the past without some way of moving a building forward in order that it gets reused and loved by new users.

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For those looking for more information, the following websites are a few additional resources:






We are currently undertaking a conservation project in Belmullet on a much smaller scale but in some ways equally complex considering the budget (I’ll be getting some photos ready soon on completion). Below are a few key pointers if you are considering contacting us to undertake a conservation project:

  • People say that they want to do there best for the building. This is probably true until they realise the effort, money and detail that this takes.
  • Make sure you have plenty of money. Restoration & conservation (especially now) is an expensive hobby.
  • Hire competent and professional experts and specialists – this also is expensive. Your architects, engineers, lime plasterers etc… need to be qualified with experience
  • Get ready for a lot of outlay in research and reports – this can include (not an exhaustive list):

    – Conservation Reports
    – Structural Engineering Reports
    – Asbestos Surveys
    – Bat surveys
    – Wood surveys

    If you are still interested in undertaking such a project, then why not CONTACT ME…

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