Conservation

Interesting historic buildings enrich the built environment we live in and provide a tangible link to the past that fires the imagination, evoking a feeling of kinship with previous generations. The listed buildings and scheduled monuments in rhp’s portfolio range in date from the 12th Century to the 1960s, and our sensitive, creative approach to adapting existing buildings for use in the 21st Century means that they can continue to enrich the lives of those who encounter them, now and in the future.

Our conservation team has so far completed more than 200 projects in both the public and private sectors; projects ranging from compiling successful bids to English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant-giving bodies to managing complex conservation schemes from initial survey right through to completion.

Clients include preservation trusts; government departments; Oxbridge Colleges; universities and other education establishments, English Heritage and the National Trust, as well as individual building owners. Our experienced and skilful approach to updating and intervening in historic buildings has helped us develop close ongoing relationships with many clients, and as a result our involvement with some historic buildings and estates has extended over decades, embracing a wide range of commissions.

How we work

From surveys and repairs to adaptation, major refurbishment or the insertion of new work into a historic context, working within the constraints of a historic building presents a unique set of challenges to an architect.

At rhp, we start by gaining a detailed understanding of the existing building’s structure, fabric and repair history, with the help of detailed research and the meticulous recording of the structure, materials and construction methods. This intelligence-gathering stage informs all our future decision-making.

rhp’s conservation team uses its specialist skills and experience to meet the many challenges that arise, from remedying structural failings to upgrading living environments, and from changing the building’s function to meet the owner’s needs to creating modern insertions to help ensure its future viability.

We encourage and support all our staff in CPD, and for those in the conservation team this development includes specialist conservation courses and membership of conservation-related organisations, with accreditation through the AABC and CIAT conservation registers and schemes.

As a result, our specialist staff are able to analyse historic fabric, diagnose problems, choose a suitable repair technique, liaise with conservation bodies and source traditional materials and craftspeople, as appropriate. And when additions to the building are called for, we have the relevant skills to not only safeguard the historic fabric of the building, but also to enhance it, with carefully considered insertions, articulated in a contemporary idiom.