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'Passion, Craft and Wonder' - A Philosophical Approach to Building Conservation in the UK
Building conservation projects are voyages of discovery - of the cycles of preservation and change that sites or structures have undergone since their very first construction. Also of the social, cultural, political, and economic circumstances that generated those cycles of change back through the decades and centuries, and how that is represented and readable, in the building fabric that we are now preserving. This is our human history, and it is a never-ending privilege to be a small part of our early 21st century cycle of change, that will leave a legacy for future generations to read into the building fabric that we leave behind us. Did we do it well? Have we left a legacy, not only of enduring crafts, design excellence, and sustainable building fabric equipped for the operational needs of our time, but also another chapter in that ongoing chronology of change that our historic assets enshrine.
Martin Ashley MVO RIBA, a British Architect and SPAB Scholar, is a leading Heritage Consultant in the UK. Martin was made Member of the Royal Victorian Order in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2011 for his distinguished work as Heritage Architect to the Royal Household. He holds the post of Surveyor of the Fabric to St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, to The Old Royal Naval College Greenwich, and St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London.
Martin lectures on the philosophy and principles of historic building conservation, and currently serves on Historic England Conservation Committee, The Georgian Society Buildings Committee, and is Trustee to West Dean College of Arts and Crafts, and the Stationers Hall Charity in the City.
Martin runs a successful Architectural practice with a portfolio of significant buildings including Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kew Palace, the Tower of London, and Eton School.