INTACH was founded in in New Delhi with the vision to create a membership organisation to stimulate and spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India. Since , INTACH has pioneered the conservation and protection of India's natural and cultural heritage and is today the largest membership organisation in the country dedicated to conservation. Today it has chapters in Indian cities, as well as chapters in Belgium [3] and the United Kingdom. Jha , M. Thapar , Martand Singh , Bilkees I.

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Conservation Objectives Listing Guidelines for Conservation. Retain visual identity In a globalising world, where visual spaces are rapidly becoming homogenised, it is necessary to retain the specific visual identity of a place created by the presence of unprotected architectural heritage and sites. Yet, this image should not be preserved in the manner of legally protected monuments, but must accommodate the imperatives of change in making the heritage relevant in contemporary society.

The objective must be to integrate unprotected heritage and sites into daily social life by balancing their needs so that neither overshadows the other. The visual cacophony created by advertisement boards, signage, hanging electric cables, air conditioning units, dish antennas, etc.

Additions of street furniture, pavement material, lighting, signage, etc. In this respect the objectives of conservation can mediate even new buildings or neighbourhoods by requiring them to make reference to the old by employing elements, methods and devices characterising the architectural heritage of the area so that the new is linked with the old.

Adaptive re-use The re-use of historic buildings and neighbourhoods is economically sensible. It is an effective strategy to conserve architectural heritage, particularly by using traditional craftspeople in the process. Such re-use distinguishes between preservation as an ideal on the one hand and, on the other, the goal to prolong the useful life of architectural heritage by retaining as much and not necessarily, all of the surviving evidence as a vestigial presence.

Priority must be accorded to retaining the continuity of original functions. Any new use must be introduced only after studying its effect on the local context, and must conform to the carrying capacity and vulnerability of the architectural heritage.

All changes to the original fabric should be preceded and followed by comprehensive documentation. Additions and alterations must respect the coherence of the whole, and must, to the extent possible, engage traditional materials, skills and knowledge in the process. When it becomes necessary to modernise and comprehensively alter the original internal functional characteristics of the building or site, its external image must be retained. At the outset, the local community must be made aware of the changes envisaged and explained the benefits to be derived.

It must aim to convey the meaning of the heritage in the most effective manner. It may include reassembling of displaced and dismembered components of the structure and conjectural building or replacement of missing or severely deteriorated parts of the fabric.

Invariably, restoration work must be preceded and followed by comprehensive documentation in order to base interventions on informed understanding of the resource and its context, and in conformity with contemporary practices of local craftspeople. In consonance with traditional ideals, replication can be accepted as an appropriate strategy not only to conserve unprotected historic buildings, but especially if such replication encourages historic ways of building.

At the urban level, the objective of rebuilding historic structures should be to enhance the visual and experiential quality of the built environment, thereby providing a local distinctiveness to contest the homogenising influence of globalisation. Reconstruction based on minimal physical evidence is appropriate where it is supported by the knowledge of local craftspeople, including folklore, beliefs, myths and legends, rituals, customs, oral traditions, etc.

The objective of this practice must be to interpret the original meanings of the resource in the contemporary context and reinforce its bond with society. Employment generation Conservation strategy must focus on the potential for employing local raj mistris, labour and materials because this will prolong the economic viability of traditional ways of building.

In conditions of resource scarcity, the use of architectural heritage can provide an alternate and more economic strategy to meet contemporary needs as well. Local material and traditional technology The use of local materials and traditional technologies must invariably be preferred. Their choice must be based on the availability of traditional knowledge systems. Modern substitutes should be considered only after their use is proven efficient and judicious, and must not compromise the integrity and continuity of local building traditions.

It is necessary to recognise that the use of certain traditional building materials may be inadvisable on account of the damage this can cause to the natural ecological systems. Thus the use of shell lime in coastal areas and wood generally may need to be judicially substituted with alternate materials. Integrated conservation Conservation of architectural heritage and sites must be integrated with the social and economic aspirations of society. Conservation-oriented development must be the preferred strategy for social and economic progress.

This necessitates the formation of multi-disciplinary teams to undertake integrated conservation projects. Since social aspirations are diverse and often at odds with each other, the conservation team must include social workers to facilitate dialogue and decision-making. In this context, continuity must be seen as evolving over time. The test of its validity must be the positive contribution it makes to the quality of life of the local community.

Listing Introduction Through the ASI, the Central Government protects monuments more than years old declared to be of national importance. Monuments of importance to States are protected by the respective SDAs. However, the existing legislation covers only about 5, monuments at the national level and approximately 3, at the state level.

INTACH has undertaken an inventory of built heritage in India which includes notable buildings aged 50 years or more which are deemed to be of architectural, historical, archaeological or aesthetic importance. It attempts to create a systematic, accessible and retrievable inventory of the built heritage of this country.

It will serve as resource material for developing heritage conservation policies and regulations. In due course, this database should be made more comprehensive and the information compiled should be available online.

It should also be made compatible with similar registers of other countries to facilitate international research. A similar Register of Craftspeople associated with the architectural heritage must be undertaken by specialist cultural organizations Article 8.

The Register of Craftspeople is, therefore, essential to viewing the architectural heritage in a holistic manner. The primary aim of listing is to document the fast disappearing built heritage and then present it to scholars and the general public in a user-friendly format, which aids conservation by generating public awareness. Ideally, the footprints of all listed buildings should be included in the Master Plan documents of cities.

Selection criteria Although interrelated, the following three key attributes will determine whether a property is worthy of listing:. Historic significance Historic significance refers to the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation.

In selecting a building, particular attention should be paid to the following:. Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble its historic appearance, but it must also retain original materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance.

Historic context Historic context refers to information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time. Knowledge of historic context enables the public to understand a historic property as a product of its time.

Precincts or properties with multiple owners A historic building complex may comprise of numerous ancillary structures besides the main structure. Each structure of the complex must be documented on individual proformas. For example, Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas and Moti Masjid all form part of the Agra Fort complex but are also individual buildings in their own right and, as such, must be documented individually.

Methodology The determination of significance is the key component of methodology. All conservation decisions follow from the level of significance that is assigned to a building or site. Background research Before commencing actual fieldwork, the lister should gather basic information from various sources including gazetteers, travel books and other specialised books containing information about the architecture and history of the area to be listed and documented.

In a given area, local experts and university scholars are resource persons who could also provide required guidance and help. Background research helps to ensure that no important structure or representative style of building is left out of the list.

It enables the identification of historic areas, historic development of the area, significant events in the area and important persons associated with the area. In some well-documented areas, distinctive physical characteristics of design, construction or form of building resource can also be identified.

Field work First and foremost it is necessary to carry out a field survey to identify the buildings and the areas to be listed. Following this, a detailed physical inspection of the property and dialogues with appropriate local people such as the owners of the property, area residents, local panchayats, etc. By physically inspecting the property the lister can gather information regarding the physical fabric of the building, such as physical characteristics, period of construction, etc.

By conducting a dialogue with area residents, the lister can determine the changes to the property over time, ownership details, historic function and activities, association with events and persons and the role of the property in local, regional or national history. When gathering information, the lister must be mindful of proforma requirements Article 5. The proforma is, first of all, a record of the property at the time of listing and consists of current name; historic or other name s , location, approach and accessibility, current ownership, historic usage, and present use.

Claims of historic significance and integrity should be supported with descriptions of special features, state of preservation, relevant dates, etc. Mapping of vernacular architecture and historic settlements The major shortcoming of the current list of legally protected architectural heritage is that it does not recognise vernacular architecture and historic settlements as categories of heritage worthy of being conserved.

The listing of unprotected architectural heritage and sites must, therefore, include this category. Sacred sites must be dealt with due sensitivity and knowledge of the local social and cultural imperatives governing their sanctity. Listing must record such characteristics associated with these sites.

Each proforma must contain information about listers and reviewers. Listing must be carried out by or under the supervision of experienced conservation architects. All significant elements of the property also need to be photographed. All photographs should be properly catalogued. A glossary should be provided explaining the technical and the special words used must be provided. A bibliography of all books, publications, articles and unpublished work must be provided.

The uniform format should be followed throughout. Grading The primary objective of listing is to record extant architectural heritage and sites. But the outcome of this process should invariably be to grade the listed heritage into a hierarchical series. This process must be undertaken in a rigorous and transparent manner by a multi-disciplinary team of experts whose recommendations should be available for public scrutiny. The importance of this process cannot be underestimated because its results determine subsequent conservation decisions.

Such hierarchical categorisation facilitates the prioritisation of decisions relating to the future of architectural heritage and sites. Some Grade II buildings, however, and all other listed buildings and sites, i. The process of listing should be constantly upgraded and the list updated in keeping with the availability of fresh information, financial and material resources, advances in technology and developments in the understanding of architectural heritage and its constituents.

These Guidelines should be updated by conservation architects periodically. It may also be necessary to bring out regionspecific guidelines so that conservation practices can be sensitive to regional material and cultural attributes. In general, Heritage Zones are sensitive development areas, which are a part of larger urban agglomeration possessing significant evidence of heritage. The Heritage Zone concept requires that the conservation of unprotected architectural heritage and sites must be sensitively planned, but also aligned with the imperatives of routine development process.

Urban conservation plans must be incorporated into the statutory Master Plan of cities. This necessitates undertaking a process of dialogue and negotiation with government town planning departments as part of the conservation strategy. Role of conservation architects The role of the conservation architect is to provide expert advice for conserving the architectural heritage and site. Conservation, however, is a multi-disciplinary activity and conservation architects must work closely with professionals of other disciplines in order to address its diverse objectives.

Depending on circumstances, the conservation architect may either lead the project team or simply participate as a team member with specific expertise.


INTACH Charter - Working Documents



INTACH Charter


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