Teaching Activities: Theory and Critical Approach on Conservation

ARH 517 ∣ Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus 

The course Theory and Critical Approach on Conservation (ARH 517) is a postgraduate compulsory course of the graduate programme Conservation and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Sites. It includes a critical overview of contemporary trends and theories on conservation and reuse of historic buildings and buildings of the modern movement, providing the general principles and methodology for their overall protection.  In the framework of this course, a critical analysis of international charters and declarations on conservation, including the main theories of conservation, are discussed and important examples of historic conservation projects are analysed. The systematic analysis is applied to individual heritage buildings as well as complexes and sites.


Teaching is mainly carried out through lectures and discussions (after the study of related literature which is handed out to the students) encouraging critical thinking, as well as through visits to historic buildings that have been recently conserved. An important aspect of the course is the project carried out by the students. Such projects include a critical analysis of recently conserved heritage buildings and new proposals for their reuse. During the semester, students give presentations of their projects.


The course aims to develop critical methods of analysis of important architectural works of the past and to provide knowledge and methodological tools for their conservation. Through this course, students acquire knowledge and develop critical thinking on theories of conservation (throughout time) and on contemporary trends that have been recently formed. They are trained in both theory and practice on subjects of conservation and reuse of historic buildings and complexes, as well as buildings of the modern movement. At the same time, they get familiar to the principles of the overall protection of buildings and complexes.

Author: Maria Philokyprou
Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, UCY

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